Dear Dr. Love,What a great service you provide.I will state my question simply. I grew up with a narcissistic mother. Not surprisingly, I chose a narcissistic/borderline boyfriend who verbally berated me and my son, lies, accuses me of dastardly deeds that I did not commit, purposely left me out of major holidays and events, and altogether demeaned and humiliated me.After 4 years of that and some therapy, I left for good and understand the attraction (as hard as that seems!) and won’t repeat that mistake.However, I am extremely angry now at how I’ve been treated. The anger is consuming me and, I admit, I still have a little tug towards the boyfriend.How can I COMPLETELY get over this? When will I FINALLY feel good? What can I do to expedite the recovery?Please help!! Thank you.
Thanks for the kind words, which give me the encouragement to continue doing what I do.It sounds like you are drowning in your anger. In order to move past it, you need to understand what your unconscious mind is gaining by holding on to it.Sometimes we hold on to feelings as a way of punishing our offenders. The unconscious mind doesn’t live according to the laws of logic. Among others things, the unconsious is notorious for engaging in magical thinking. (Magical thinking is the norm during childhood and, many adults who haven’t had therapy find themselves engaging in magical thinking. )Any way, one form of magical thinking is the belief that if you think something that it will come true. For example, if you wish someone dead, he will die. Along the lines of this logic, the unconscious mind believes that if you hold on to anger toward someone that your thoughts can actually lead to an outcome and your offender will feel punished by your mere thoughts alone.While your unconscious may actually believe that it is paying your offenders back by staying mad at them, in reality, neither your mother or your ex are suffering from the rage you carry. You are the sole casualty. So, bear this in mind. This should help you let go of the rage.You also may find it hard to let go of your rage because you are suffering from a trauma syndrome. When we have been traumatized, the mind revisits the traumatic issues as well as the feelings attached to these events and issues. With each reliving of the trauma, the feelings are supposed to lessen and lessen. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work out that way.When traumatic memories stir up anger, it is common to find oneself stuck in those angry feelings. This is because anger has a self-feeding aspect, which means that each time you think about how you’ve been wronged, instead of working through the feelings, you just churn up more anger. In order to get past this block, you need to give your feelings a decent burial.To do this, first honor them, then communicate them to your mother and your ex. in whatever way feels comfortable. Then, tell yourself that you are finished.When the feelings come up again, gently remind yourself not to dwell, stop the negative thoughts, redirect your attention to other matters, and the feelings will dissipate.I have given you a lot to work with. You should be able to move forward now.Keep me posted on your progress.