Difference between healthy and unhealthy resentment

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Unfortunately, I do experience intense resentment which is dysfunctional and unhealthy. It is natural to hold grudges against my parents and certain people who hurt me as a child and it did happen. I couldn’t do anything about it. I was living on a day-day basis, and I wish things were different..if I had time to explore what my interests were-if I was allowed to just be a kid, I don’t think I am who I am today.

So what is dysfunctional..unhealthy resentment? To me, resentment is a little more gradual..I can control just enough to not let the other person whom I am angry with know..that I feel resentful toward that person. My anger keeps replaying itself..and it affects me emotionally and physically. Anger/Resentment protects us when we are feeling vulnerable deep inside..Because when we are angry, that anxiety and fear are directed outwardly..but my version of resentment has been with me for so long, and I quickly jump to conclusions.

“She is disrespecting me.”

“Again, she wants to fail me..”

I am feeling this particular resentment toward this specific individual who is unfortunately an authority figure in my career. 🙁 I was talking to my life coach about this issue, and she validated my feelings of anger toward this individual, and she also feels angry at her on behalf of me. Certain things she say about me that aren’t related to work really hurt me but is the level of anger that I feel is normal?

Probably not…If that person was my equal and outside my career, I would have needed a very long break..like I would have no problem cutting her off at least temporarily. Unfortunately, I have this black and white thinking that I am very aware of…it’s unhealthy..I don’t want to go there again, because I feel victimized verbally, it’s hurtful but I can’t say..it really angers me but I can’t talk about this..I don’t know how to say this to this individual without surprising her and this will definitely affect our work relationships.

Resentment is kind of addictive because it does temporarily relieves my extreme boredom and emptiness..but the feelings are so familiar to me because that’s how I used to feel toward my mother who suffers from BPD and some really bad adults that I had in my childhood. No matter how much I project my own anger onto others, I am never going to change the past-and there is really nothing that I can do to change the way she is and I can only do with my limited capabilities.

I can brush off whatever she says..and just laugh it off..and once I leave this position, unfortunately I will not be keeping in touch with this person. She has no idea that I feel like this..but I think she can sense my anger because even though I try so hard to control, she can probably see it in my eyes…

And resentment does seem to give me this intense short-term power which is quickly followed by emptiness..and hurt..pain..like I am reliving the past.

It is good that my life coach gave me this important tip today..

STOP..imagine you see the red light…literally you have to imagine that red light and say to yourself STOP!!!! and stop and walk away. 

If I don’t stop there, I start to fantasize revenge..that only makes me hate myself. But I am learning to accept that’s part of who I am now..My anger is never going to go away completely, and it’s always going to be there but there are things that we can do to become better friends with our anger!

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