This week’s blog post is from my guest blogger, Rose Lockinger. Rose shares her experience on how she is trying to let go of her toughest resentment; her ex-husband.
How do you forgive when you don’t believe the person is worthy of your forgiveness? What do you do when you’ve prayed and prayed and yet the resentment is still there? How do you let go when the hurt is still real and continues to this day? How does the progression of acceptance work? These are all questions that I have been asking myself lately and they are questions that I don’t yet have answers to.
All of this is centered around a single resentment. Well, actually multiple resentments against a single person, my ex-husband. The 7 years that we were together were one of the darkest times in my life. The relationship was toxic, to say the least, and he was abusive. During this time period I was completely incapable of staying sober and so my life was filled with addiction and abuse. Towards the end of the marriage, I knew that I had to leave if I was going to live, I desperately wanted out. I moved out of the house and in with my parents. From that point on I completely fell apart, winding up in South Florida for treatment and have been sober for the past two years.
The issue here is that I have two young children with him and so it isn’t a matter of me just completely cutting him out of my life because I can’t do that. He is, for better or worse a part of my children’s lives and so I have to learn how to co-exist with him, but doing so is proving exceedingly difficult.
For the first part of my sobriety, I was away from home. I spent 18 months in Florida and then moved back up to Virginia this past year. For the time period that I was in Florida, I never let go of my anger towards him. I worked my Steps, was involved in therapy, and did everything that I had to do, but my anger was something I was not willing to give up. I enjoyed it to be honest. It fed me in a certain way as I sat back feeling justified in my emotions, but this is no longer the case.
I don’t know if it is because I am now back home and have to deal with him on a regular basis because of my children, but the anger has started to take its toll on me. It no longer feeds me, but rather sucks the joy out of my life and at this point I feel almost incapable of stopping it. In fact, with each passing interaction, with him it only gets worse.
The thing is that I know I am not hurting anyone but myself. My anger and resentment towards him probably doesn’t keep him up at night, but it’s left many a sleepless night in its wake for me and I will revisit all the ways he has hurt me and is currently hurting me. The best way that he can get to me is through my children and this usually incites a rush of rage that surges through me until it boils over. You see the problem is that it’s causing me more pain than it’s worth to hold onto. I am holding a smoldering ember in my hand and wondering why I’m getting burned. I don’t want it anymore. In fact I am at the point where I would do anything to get rid of it.
I am told that being sick of doing something is usually the first sign that change is coming and I really hope that is the case. I just want to have no response, I want to be free of this anger, and be in a position of neutrality towards him, but how exactly do I go about that?
Whenever I come up against things in sobriety that I have never dealt with before – I for whatever reason – lose faith in my ability to change, even though time and time again I have evidence that refutes this idea. I once again snatch up my will and run with it towards an immovable wall that I know I can’t break through alone. Yet I have to try to, it’s a part of my process and so it is the same with this resentment. I know that working the program removed so many resentments for me in the past; so doing the same will work here as well.
I know that my part in this resentment is that I am incapable of letting go but I know that I have to try if I am going to be free of it. Part of letting go of this resentment I believe is going to be coming to the understanding that my ex was and is doing the best that he can. Writing these words does not sit well with me, but they are the truth, and if I want to be free I have to seek the truth.
I have to take the high road as it were and this is not always easy. Sometimes I want to slosh around in the mud with impunity but because of the life that I live in sobriety, this is not really possible. I myself have been given so many breaks in life that I have to extend this to others as well, regardless of how angry and resentful I might be. This doesn’t mean that I have to be his best friend but at this point, I am responsible for my reaction to him.
The reality is that there really is nothing that I can do to change him, which is probably what makes me angriest. I obviously don’t want him telling my children lies about me, but there is nothing I can do to stop this. In fact, the more that I get worked up over this the worse it will probably be. The only thing I can do is be the best mother that I can be and trust that God will take care of the rest.
Faith is probably the answer to how to get over this resentment. I know that it won’t happen overnight, because it is deep rooted and years in the making, but if I have faith that in time I can be free of it, I know that I will be. The program hasn’t let me down as of yet and I know that with God all things are possible. So I will continue to pray and continue to do my best to let go of the past, so I can be free in my present.
Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.