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Forgiveness

(18 Posts)
annebo Tue 24-Nov-20 09:58:33

Hello everyone! Hope you are all well. Need a little advice on something that is bothering me lately.

Although I was bullied somewhat at school it was something I was able to leave at the door once I moved on. Being bullied as an adult has had such a profound effect on me that I sometimes wake up feeling like my life has been ruined and my day gets filled up with anger and resentment. I am so full of loathing towards this person that I sometimes don't recognise myself..I then feel guilty for feeling such hate and resentment. In every other are of my life I am fairly laid back and easy to get on with, work with, live with.

This person haunts me every day. The moment I wake up I have to deal with memories of things that have been said and done to me. Without going into details, this person is the most mean spirited, manipulative and selfish person I have ever met who have literally turned a normal, healthy young woman into a quivering wreck, scared of my own shadow, scared of the knock at the door, scared of the phone ringing.

I have withdrawn as much as possible from this person, and the coronavirus has been a gift for me so I do not have to interact with them. However, the feelings of hatred and anger are still there and I see I am hurting myself. Then I feel guilty for feelling like this, I also feel angry at myself for allowing myself to be treated so horribly, and resentful that people around didn't protect me.

I'm emotionally exhausted from it all and want to just move on. In other situations I find forgiveness easy and have not ruminated to such an extent. This person has gotten so much under my skin that I feel I will never get rid of them even at the point of death.

I am in need of counselling but money is tight right now so I wondered if you could give me some advice on how to let go of the bitterness a have a healthier life.

Thank you in advance x

ExD Tue 24-Nov-20 10:22:42

I'm sorry you're feeling so guilty about a perfectly reasonable reaction to someone who is making your life miserable, but please take a breath and think it through.
Is this person like this with everyone or is their evil behaviour directed solely at you? From what little you've told us it sound as though they're trying to make themselves feel "big" because they know in their own heart they're an ineffective, nasty nobody.
What satisfaction do they get from bullying you? It must be big or they wouldn't bother - so can you get that (the reason) out of the equation? Are you prettier than them? Do you have more/better friends? More money? Nicer home? Successful children, career, husband?
Whatever it is, this person envies you and has found a way of diminishing you (bullying) and making them self feel better. For the short term.
You are better than them.
(although I appreciate it makes you understand why someone would want to stick pins into a doll doesn't it??)

Not much help I'm sorry, be kind to yourself!

Sparklefizz Tue 24-Nov-20 11:08:42

annebo I am sorry to hear what you have been going through, and unfortunately lockdowns give us plenty of time on our own to dwell and brood on upsets.

I would look into something called Emotional Freedom Technique (usually called EFT). This is an easy technique to learn which consists of tapping on acupressure points, and it really does work. I used it a lot after my divorce. There are dozens of videos on YouTube showing how to do it, and if you searched for something like "EFT technique for anger", you would find a film clip to help you.

You need to get the anger out of your system first before you can look at forgiving.

Toadinthehole Tue 24-Nov-20 11:08:53

I know you don’t want to give too much information, and quite right too, you need to protect yourself. However, is this a form of stalking or harassment? In which case it could be a police matter. It is difficult to give advice, when we don’t know more, but perhaps you need to backwards, to the point where you met this person, and then work forwards, trying to pinpoint where the bullying started, and what kicked it off. You may then be able to see more clearly, how to approach it all. For instance, does anyone else know about this, or have you kept it a secret? Sorry if this isn’t very clear. If you feel your life is in danger, then please report it to the police. This could at least be the first step. If they can’t help you, they may be able to point you in the direction of someone who can. There’s always The Samaritans, Citizens Advice. Do keep us posted on how you get on💐

Toadinthehole Tue 24-Nov-20 11:09:37

need to go backwards 😖

annebo Tue 24-Nov-20 11:35:05

Hi ExD - thanks for your reply. This person has a jekyl/hyde personality, people will think she is wonderful or the devil. Very manipulative. So I think she picks on everyone at some point - even her children have slowly withdrawn. Several family members have cut her off. When she is charming it makes you think you are the problem and there is a push/pull thing going on making it difficult to get away.

Hi Sparklefizz - not heard of EFT but that will be something I can look into today thank you!

Toadinthehole - thank you. Not anywhere near as bad as stalking and harrassment, weirdly I wish it had been that bad then I would have just done something about it sooner. Far more subtle, passive aggressive, deniable insults. She did however call the house when she knew I would be alone, turn up at the house etc. She was asked several times not to do this but would ignore us. So when the phone would ring I would jump. Or sometimes find myself pretending to be out when there is a knock at the door - this isn't normal behaviour. She is blocked from my phone and there is a camera at the door. So that is dealt with.

There has been a lot of gaslighting that I am trying to unpick and will get very stressed if I cannot remember a conversation clearly because there is a nagging doubt that I am wrong, she is right. Does that make sense?

It is so subtle that when I have brought it up with her in the past she just denies it or has savaged me to the point that I end up apologising to her for having hurt feelings.

When I say death...I am sorry to say that this person is in the later stage of life and I am actually looking forward to that happening. Then feel ashamed because that is an awful thing to think. I admitted it to my husband and he rightly said that this person will haunt me beyond the grave if I don't learn to forgive and forget.

Septimia Tue 24-Nov-20 11:41:17

I don't have much advice, I'm afraid, but I would say that you have made the biggest step towards dealing with this by recognising what has been going on. This gives you a moral and intellectual advantage which will help with the other steps, like blocking her from your phone and the camera at the door.

lorna28 Tue 24-Nov-20 11:52:21

Hello, I was bullied at work and it made my life miserable. On Sunday evenings I would start with terrible anxiety just thinking about the week ahead. In the end I just lost it one day at work. I turned on her and told her in front of the whole office how she had made me feel. She didn't know what to do with herself she was so embarrassed. It wasn't a plan I just broke and it all came out. My manager spoke to me and said I should have spoken to him. I think everyone was shocked at my outburst. Anyway I felt I let myself down a bit by behaving like that. She ceased her horrid put downs and we had an uneasy truce. Is there anyone who could help you. A manager perhaps. Not sure if it's happening to you at work. Bullies usually fold when stood up to.

annebo Tue 24-Nov-20 12:06:06

Hi lorna28. Sorry you went through that. It wasn't a work place problem. My H is a union rep and we see all the time the effects of workplace bullying. I am glad you stood up to them, I bet others were thinking well done.

I have never lost it, but I have called her out on her behaviour which always makes it worse. She is the kind of person who relishes the drama and if she finds your achilles heal will really go for it. She hates being ignored so I decided that is the best way to stand up to her. For instance, when I was alone in the kitchen she insulted me regarding my parenting...I pretended I hadn't heard it and changed the subject. I became an expert at excusing myself to go to the bathroom when I sensed a bait.

Practically I have done all I can to block her out of my life. But I now see that she is still living in my head rent free and I need to evict her asap.

eazybee Tue 24-Nov-20 13:26:37

You posted about this woman very recently and received some sensible advice; have you allowed any time to put it into practice?

Judy54 Tue 24-Nov-20 13:28:54

What a terrible situation annebo. Very often people who are bullies have been bullied themselves and lash out. I agree the best way if you can is to ignore her and not let her see that it is bothering you. When these people do not get what they want from you or find they cannot manipulate you generally they drop you and home in on someone else. It is because it is all about them and they have no regard for other people or their feelings. Tell her you will show her respect if she shows respect to you, that her behaviour is unacceptable and unwanted.

annebo Tue 24-Nov-20 13:54:33

Hi eazybee - yes I got some great advice. I mentioned a plan which is essentially blocking her from my life without moving house and without DH becoming estranged from her. Because we live near its impossible to totally be done with her, but she cannot just turn up or call anymore.

Hi Judy54 - thanks you are right. I just need to stop feeling so bitter and angry. Its not a good look on me blush.

Poppyred Tue 24-Nov-20 15:23:48

Is this your MIL Annebo? Shouldn’t your husband have stopped this a long time ago? Surely he knows how upset she makes you feel?

You also mentioned that she is dying? Sit her down and tell her that you have had enough of her nasty ways ask her straight what satisfaction she gets from hurting people??

If it is your MIL then I would ask your husband to visit her -if he wants to - but not have her in your house.
Her behaviour is totally unacceptable.

silverlining48 Tue 24-Nov-20 17:13:04

I understand how destructive resentment and bitterness can be because I live with this myself. I know about constant flashbacks and regular intrusive thoughts which really can affect one’s life.
It’s hard, get counselling if you can but in the meantime avoid seeing this person, do not have her in your house. If your husband wants to see her he does it on his own at her house not yours. Lockdown makes this easier.
It could or rather will be awkward as you live close by, and there may be others who you see too and who may want to know why, you can either tell them why or not.
If its too difficult just avoid being alone with her and get some backup from your husband.
Maybe writing down all that has happened and what you would like to say. Do it just for you, it may help you to feel a bit better after you have got it out of your head and onto the paper. Don’t let her take up any more of your headspace. Is she worth it? Probably not.

25Avalon Tue 24-Nov-20 17:26:59

You are in danger of becoming obsessed and understandably so. Have you tried forgiving her in your head? Say to yourself or out loud “I forgive you” and keep saying it. This is supposed to take their power away. I’d even be tempted to say it to her face as it is totally unconfrontational and just keep saying it to her whatever she replies. Tell yourself she will die a sad lonely old woman which is what is likely to happen.

Elusivebutterfly Tue 24-Nov-20 18:36:52

I sympathise. I was bullied at work by a manager. She was disliked by everyone but I was the only one she really picked on. Luckily she moved to a different department eventually.

I still hate her and do not feel that I can forgive her. I've never felt like this about anyone else. She was paid to act in a professional manner and instead chose to be nasty. I rarely think of her now, unless something reminds me, like this thread.

I think is much more difficult if you are bullied by someone in your family circle. I hope you can manage to put this person to the back of your mind.

EllanVannin Tue 24-Nov-20 18:45:51

Take a deep breath and tell yourself that it is the person in question who's ill, not you. Begin by pitying their miserable and insecure life that must lead them to behave as they do.

You don't have to forgive as there's nothing to forgive but practice closing your mind to it all. It can be accomplished eventually and you can train your mind to switch off.

Lolo81 Tue 24-Nov-20 19:02:26

I went to counselling years ago and an exercise I was given to deal with the rage and resentment I felt towards my MIL was to write a burn letter. I don’t know if it would benefit you, but I personally felt a huge catharsis in putting down every slight, comment and insult on to paper along with the associated feelings of hurt, anger and resentment they had caused me. Then I had a wee bonfire with it (and a nice glass of wine).
The first step for me was realising that the forgiveness was for me, then I worked on letting it go via the letter.
The type of person my MIL was meant that I would never be able to have a constructive conversation and get out all these feelings, so the letter was a way to do it.
It may not work for you, but I certainly felt a weight lifted. I wish you all the best in getting back on an even keel however you go about it x