For those that really know me... they will say that I am slow to anger. Which is a curse as well as a blessing. When people figure this out constructive criticism quickly turns into someone trying to bully me... to shame me.
Yes, I am slow to anger. Yes, I do get angry, but with what I have learned through the 12 Steps are methods to voice my opinions and my frustrations in a constructive way. But... some still see that as a weakness and continue their attacks. And I hate it... I hate it because... I do get angry... and it is a part of me that I don't like others to see... let alone myself.
One of the greatest gifts I have received in recovery is patience. To always try and give another person the benefit of the doubt. At times, it can be a simple communication breakdown... which I then need to take the next step and ask, “What did you mean?” It's hard to do at times, but it is with this humility that at times many confrontations have been avoided.
It just seems that since I left my wife, I have been “attacked” on many different fronts. And I don't deserve it. First my wife and a few others thought for sure that the reason I was leaving was because I was having an affair. Now almost five months later, that family realizes that I didn't leave for another person – I left for me.
So now that my wife realizes that she “attacks” in a new way. Dumping bills on me and then in the next breath saying she still loves me and wants to work things out.
It isn't the bills that is frustrating... it is the total lack of respect she has shown me through all our years of marriage. For over 13 years I provided the needs for medical insurance so not only her, but her three children were cared for. Not once has she... or her ex-husband ever said “thank you.”
For the last three years the ex-husband has been court ordered to pay a portion of the medical bills... and now that we are separated... not once as she thought that maybe that money was actually my money. NO... I would not take that money... it is not about money... just respect.
She too, abandoned our home and moved into the town where I now live. She will tell me how our dog isn't doing to well... yet she won't tell me where she lives so I can go see our pup. It is a control game for her and it is really bothering her that she no longer has control over me.
I gave her a good life... a life which no matter what I did... it was never enough. Am I on a pity-pot? No! I've just reached a point where I am tired of being shamed and bullied. Yes, I am angry.
And then through all of this one of what I thought was a close friend came a shaming message about how I ruined their “safe zone.” I made a comment to a person about something they said. In fact, what I said was that their comment was quite profound and it helped me a lot. Now, this person made this comment in a public place... I wasn't the only one that heard it... but I made a comment... actually a compliment about it... and I end up getting attacked for stepping in their “safe zone.”
I was floored by their attitude and offered my apology... and well that friendship is now over.
Yes, I do get angry... not to often... and when it happens I settle it as fast as I can and move on.
The sad part is my wife really wants a no holes barred war... and I'm not going down that road... which is one reason why I wrote this tonight... thanks for listening...