Resentment: release and restoration

I had a very good day with my youngest daughter and her father.  We went to church then out shopping and browsing afterwards.  We don’t have a vehicle, so it was all done on public transportation.  We left our home and didn’t return for over 7 hours.  In the past, there would have been more than a couple of times when we would have wound up in some kind of conflict during that period – usually over something inconsequential and forgotten long before the anger, hurt and resentment went away.    I’m so grateful that pattern seems to be changing.  It’s been changing for the past week or so., and I’m starting to trust that it’s going to continue.

Once we got home, we each started on our own self-assigned tasks: I put away the things from shopping and was going to work on cleaning the kitchen that hadn’t been cleaned since yesterday (not the norm anymore, thanks to him) while he got our daughter changed and put away the outdoor gear.  During this busyness, our paths crossed for a moment and he attempted to be physically playful with me.  Something triggered in me and, even though I tried to just go with it, I couldn’t.  I smiled and laughed and tried to explain I wasn’t comfortable.  I think he got his feelings hurt and felt rejected, based on what he said and how he acted after that.  The thing is, he wasn’t able to tell me what he was feeling, he just acted angry and shut me out.  So, I wound up feeling rejected and hurt myself. Then I started going over in my head why he was in the wrong and shouldn’t react that way to me and should be understanding and willing to be patient with me.  Very quickly I thought myself into a place of resentment and bitterness.  Which is not a place I care to live in anymore.  I just recently started stepping out of that neighborhood, again, by working the first three steps.  I KNOW that if I give into the resentment, then I’ll start isolating and stop moving forward in my recovery, and the progress that has been made this past week in our relationship will snap like a rubber band and hurt us both.

“Resentment is a mental process. With resentment, we repeatedly replay a feeling, and the events leading up to that feeling, that angers us…. With resentment, we reexperience and relive events in ways that affect us mentally, emotionally, physiologically and spiritually in destructive ways.

…What causes the unhappiness that underlies resentment?
a) What we feel people did to us that was unnecessarily mean, hurtful, and thoughtless
b) What people in our lives did not do for us that we feel they should have done
c) When we feel the people in our lives have not done enough for us

Holding resentments is choice. A choice to refuse to forgive; and unwillingness to let bygones be bygones…. We cling to a futile need to be right, which overrides the capacity to be at peace….usually because we don’t know any other way to come to grips with the painful feelings of hurt, rejection, and abandonment.” (http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/what-recovery/63491-10-steps-letting-go-resentment.html)

Thankfully, I remembered there was a meeting online I could log into.  I got there a little bit early and there were a few people already logged in.  While waiting for the meeting to start, I remembered reading last week about a Resentment Prayer, but couldn’t remember how it went, so I asked the room.  One of the people there shared this with me:

A Fourth Step Resentment Prayer….**Dear God, I have a resentment towards a person that I want to be free of. So, I am asking you to give this person everything I want for myself. Help me to feel compassionate understanding and love for this person. I pray that they will receive everything they need. Thank you God for your help and strength with this resentment.  (BB, Freedom from Bondage:  552) [http://www.friendsofbillw.net/twelve_step_prayers]

I repeated this prayer by typing it out, then stayed for the meeting.  Then I sent him a private message apologizing and explaining what I was going through when our conflict occurred.  I’m sure he hasn’t had a chance to read it or if he has he hasn’t responded yet, but that doesn’t matter.  Amazingly, I am no longer feeling the resentment and bitterness.  I’m feeling a sense of peace that this situation is going to work itself out and that HP has got us both covered.

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