I have spent much of the last three years angry. I don't think I could have avoided it. Dealing with the anger is an important part of the healing process. It must be acknowledged. Many of the tears I cried were anger, and grief at the pain I had experienced. It was not from sadness of leaving the relationship, that part I celebrate. It was the loss of myself that I grieve.
There was a lot of times over the past three years, I just wanted to forget move on and not think about the past. There was nothing I could do about it and it was over. But you cannot ignore that level of anger. Especially as you realize what really happened and what was really going on. The flames of anger are flamed by the fact that the object of your frustration is no longer there. It's like having good comeback long after the insult. It's too late. You cannot defend yourself, or right that wrong. You have to deal with it by yourself, and learn to accept the injustice of it.
As the emotional fog clears and I am living in a much healthier, psychologically safe place I see how absolutely insane that relationship really was. New realizations and fresh anger keep hitting. I would think of him and his actions and think "WTF". It had became clear exactly what he was doing. Gaslighting, manipulations, and just straight up crazy bullshit. There were no limits to what he would do in the name of control. He didn't care how much pain he inflicted, his only concern was staying on top. But what the world saw was a charming smile. The pain and confusion was not only unnecessary but by his design. It was how he controlled me. what a piece of shit he truly is.
And seeing how he lives his life now, I realize he treated me like that because the reality is I was married to a massive loser. On his own his has not been able to manage very well. I must admit, I did enjoy seeing how he has fallen on his face. While he might think he has the cat by the tail now, (and I am pretty sure he already knows he has fucked up) his future is pretty easy to see. And he deserves every bit of the misery that will come. But even that is getting boring now, who gives a shit about him. He doesn't matter.
He had to demean me in order to keep me controllable. If I had self worth and self confidence I would not tolerate his bullshit. He wanted me to be filled with self doubt and self hatred so he could push me around. (You can't hold a job! Everyone hates you they just tolerate you, but everyone likes me. They only tolerate you because they like me so much, I backed you)
Remembering this, anger kicks in, and hard. You bastard. All those years were just a complete waste, I was nothing more than a hamster on a wheel. No matter what I did, nothing could ever have been any different. It wasn't me, it was him. He is an abuser, and I danced to his tune. I always was capable of living a totally normal happy meaningful life. he had convinced me I needed him in order to survive. That clearly is not true.
But I think its important to remember, it really isn't about him. It's about me. What is going on with him does not matter at all. All these emotions are just the consequence of living in such emotional turmoil for such a long time. When it comes to him, I really don't care if he is alive or dead. I have no attachment. But the residual effects of what he did. That has my attention. I have to allow everything that had been repressed for so many years out. Air out the laundry so to speak. Keep pulling it out until there is nothing left, let those wounds heal.
In the aftermath of our divorce I would be overcome with wanting to scream in frustration. I wanted to kill him. Realizing the years of unnecessary pain, and the years of helpless frustration he created. Trying to understand, trying to fix it. All those years thinking if I just do this, maybe this will work. Turning myself inside out to try and make him happy, was not only fruitless but impossible. He wanted things exactly as they were. He wanted me compliant and he would say and do anything to keep me that way. I imagined myself in a room with him and a baseball bat bashing his head in. Just give me 5 minutes.
I wrote pages and pages trying to excise the jumbled mass of emotions and anger that brewed internally. I would experience flashbacks, memories of his words felt like physical blows to my head. It felt like it was still happening. Even now I see him leering eyes bulging fist raised " I want to punch you in the face, I want to knock your teeth out!" Seriously WTF. What husband says that to his wife, in front of their children no less. Nothing a woman does deserves that reaction.
There is no escape from it. It takes alot of energy to process and sort out those feelings. To soothe your soul. You just have to go through it. My trauma therapist would tell me, remember what it was like then, how it felt, and what is different now. I had to keep reminding myself that that is not my life any more. I am safe now. I had to give myself the time, space and gentleness required for my soul to recover. Honour the pain I was feeling, it was deep and it was real. It was valid. Treat yourself as you would treat a small child that was hurt. Give yourself love, understanding and above all patience. It takes much much longer than you would think to heal.
Dealing with that anger takes a lot of time and energy. But I think the most damaging thing you could possibly do is ignore it. After spending years feeling that way, just want happiness. I did not want to waste another minute thinking about that relationship. But unless you do the work of processing and healing, you will never truly be happy.
Recently, I was starting my morning doing my usual angry thought crossed my mind. Then I realized, it was taking more energy than I wanted to spend. It wasn't worth it anymore to hold on to that emotion. I have better things to do. I suddenly saw the price of anger. It costs you your peace. To me this is a signal that I am truly healing, and my soul has begun the process of truly letting go and moving on with my life. I have seen my mother who is still bitter and angry after 15 years, I never wanted to be that person. I want to really live the time I have left. I want to have deep meaningful relationships with the people around me. I want to discover who Carolynne really is. I am finding out, she actually is pretty cool. I have a unique and determined personality that most people enjoy. There is nothing wrong with her. But there were parts of her that had to be undermined to be able to maintain control and manipulate her into satisfying his wishes. That cost her dearly. But that not the reality any more.
It has been three years, and the anger is finally letting go. I asked my trauma therapist how some people are able to move on so much faster, and she told me every person heals at their own pace. There is no timetable, so what ever it takes is what it takes. Don't worry, it might take awhile, but peace will come.
I am so glad I am finally at a place where I can see the price of anger, and finally able to let it go. I am sure that at different times in the future I anger will occasionally revisit. I have been told by other survivors that you never really get over it, and it never really goes away. But I can still live a very happy and productive life.