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Utilizing spirituality to help with negative behavior patters

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by Sm412, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Sm412

    Sm412 Member

    125
    +79
    United States
    Episcopalian
    Single
    Hi all, peace and blessings

    I am going through it today. Against my better judgment, I texted an ex to see how she was doing. Hadn't talked to her in several months. Probably ill advised. She had sent me mixed messages as to whether she wanted to talk to me again, so I was unsure of where she stood.

    A little bit of background: We were dating during the throws of both of our addictions. She was a heroin addict, and I was an alcoholic. She was entirely codependent and played a helpless role, expecting me to take care of her. The impact it had on me was devastating. She put me through a lot; dragged me through the coals. I struggled to take care of someone who had no desire or ability to take care of themselves. And I certainly wasn't innocent. The anger, frustration, and pain I experienced caused me to lash out at her. I said a lot of hurtful things that I later came to regret. She didn't deserve it, even if she was taking advantage of my compassion and selfishly draining me with zero regard to me or my feelings. As you can tell, I'm still a bit resentful.

    In the interest of owning my end, I have a behavior pattern of lashing out and becoming verbally abusive when I am excessively angry, frustrated, hurt, powerless, or feel a great injustice has been done. During our interaction, she accused me of being a bully. To an extent, she is right. I have in the past lost a sense of myself and let anger take over. I've tried to make amends with her, to no avail. She isn't having it. Forgiveness isn't her strong suit. I've tried to get her to take responsibility for her end and how she hurt me, but she wasn't having that either. To her, it's all me and what I did wrong. She is incapable of examining herself and taking responsibility. She puts it all on me.

    That makes me VERY angry, and makes me want to lash out, and hurt her as bad as she hurt me. There's a certain spirit of vengeance that I have. If you make me suffer, I'll make you suffer. I don't want to simply pay people back. I want to exact justice 100 fold. I want to leave them crushed and broken. And every time I've ever tried to do this, the satisfaction is fleeting. I am always overwhelmed by guilt, sadness, remorse, and self-loathing. It is SO destructive.

    I refrained from lashing out, ended the conversation, and went my separate way. I have to accept that I won't get any sort of closure.

    Aside from the obvious, never speaking to her again, what can I do? What are some spiritual steps I can take to resolve this behavior pattern, which has caused me to hurt so many? To my credit, it has gotten better. I've been working on my anger A LOT with a ton of success, so opportunities to lash out have become scarce as I've calmed way down. My emotional reactions aren't as strong, and I cope with them better. But when the day comes that the urge to lash out is awoken within me, I want to be ready. I want to be able to put a stop to it before it starts.
     
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  2. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla Well-Known Member

    +1,163
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Single
    I am sorry that you are mired in hurt and frustration. When I had a breach in the past I did not reach out to the person for two years. I spent that time in prayer before the Lord for myself and the other. I began from a place of forgiveness. Forgiving him allowed me to take the focus off of myself or descend into blame and apathy. I saw his condition and it struck me. I'd found God and he remained the same.

    Jude was the text I leaned upon. It enabled me to pray for his salvation and healing. I also prayed for healing between us as well. When I reached out to him on a whim his demeanor was different. He was kind and welcoming. The elephant was gone and we never revisited it. He has never apologized. But I was told consider his current thoughts and not those he expressed long ago. I didn't need the apology. The Lord freed me from the pain. I wouldn't put him under a yoke of bondage. His condition is bad enough. Love was the correct course and I bear no regrets.

    Remaining in an angry state always leads to spiritual complications. You'll inevitably deal with wrath, resentment, hatred, and rejection. You will rebel against the notion of forgiveness and look for the other person to do their part. If they're motionless you're rooted and become embittered. A stasis will set in after a while. Love and forgiveness are the remedy.

    The spiritual solutions for this are simple. Pray Psalm 51 and confess everything. Then forgive yourself and the other person. Both steps are important. Follow with Psalm 23. God is your shepherd. He knows your needs. Look to Him for peace and healing. Then pray 1 Corinthians 13. Do this every day until you experience a release within. You'll know when it happens. It will feel like something has broken off and you'll feel lighter.

    Your freedom is not dependent on her forgiveness or acknowledgment. You are placing a yoke upon yourself and an albatross you needn't bear. Love covers a multitude of sins. It will cover yours and hers if you're willing to walk in love and surrender hate. Let the Lord deal with her. Don't force the issue again. Pray for her peace and yours. Blessings will return to you for doing so. Good luck.
     
  3. Sm412

    Sm412 Member

    125
    +79
    United States
    Episcopalian
    Single
    Thank you so much. This was really helpful.
     
  4. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla Well-Known Member

    +1,163
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Single
    You're welcome. Try that this evening. Pray the latter two for 7 days and see how you feel. If you still feel heavy do it for 30. It may take some time to loosen but don't give up. It will. :)
     
  5. Sm412

    Sm412 Member

    125
    +79
    United States
    Episcopalian
    Single
    I have a tremendous amount of compassion for others. Next step is developing compassion even for those who wrong me.

    Right now I'm fighting thoughts of vengeance. One terrible, atrocious idea I had, and please don't judge me: Her mother died two years ago. They were very close. An evil, angry, bitter part of me is telling me to desecrate the grave site, take pictures of the damage, and send it to her anonymously. I know this is an incredibly evil act, and should I do it, the guilt, remorse, shame, and self-loathing I'd experience would be immense. I would hate myself, doubt myself, and fall out of God's grace. There is a dark part of me that wants to destroy those who cause me pain, to exact justice and to utterly smash them to pieces. I want them to look up at me standing over them, smiling at them as they lay broken and defeated, knowing that I won. I fantasize about it. I'm afraid one day I'll do something truly awful. Other consequences would result. Not only would I be looking over my shoulder for her retribution, but I'd be under police investigation. I don't think there'd be any doubt I was the one who did it. Staying out of jail would depend on prosecutors' ability to prove it to a jury. These thoughts are a way of coping with being hurt, and they're not healthy, constructive, and certainly not Godly. I want to be rid of this evil.

    I will try that prayer and reflect on the situation. I will try to forgive and to love. I've owned my part, so that part is over. Next is forgiving her for hers. Maybe this is God's way of reminding me of the urgency of dealing with these highly destructive thought patterns, and erasing them so that I may walk in the grace of God. God's interventions aren't always pleasant.
     
  6. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla Well-Known Member

    +1,163
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Single
    Wrath is deadly and it is the Lord who is directing our discourse. Once you begin to cross the line it's easier to move into darker acts. This is your lifeline.

    That's hate. But it will drive you to much worse. Harming someone will become easy. Addressing this now is prevention and deliverance.

    Given what you've shared let's make one adjustment.

    Pray Psalm 51, 91, 23, and 1 Corinthians 13. Do it for 30 days. After you have confessed and forgiven her you can ask for deliverance and healing from the spirit of rejection, bitterness, resentment, hate, strife, wrath, obsession, and oppression. Continue seeking that on a daily basis and check back in a month. Sometimes I recommend having others stand with you but in this situation it's necessary to sear your mind and prepare you spiritually. If you are released and your mind isn't transformed you'll fall back.

    Stay away from her. You will be tempted to reach out. Leave her alone. It will stir up everything.
     
  7. Sm412

    Sm412 Member

    125
    +79
    United States
    Episcopalian
    Single
    Thank you so much. Are you okay with me contacting you periodically to check in with my progress? You're the first person I've ever communicated these thoughts to. I have a therapist, but I fear repercussions for communicating my thoughts of vengeance. Therapists have a legal "duty to warn," so they will be legally bound to go tell my ex about my thoughts. The repercussions from that would be catastrophic. My thoughts can be quite extreme, as you've seen. My wrath is considerable. I feel a lot of guilt and shame about it, and I fear people's judgment, so it isn't easy to talk about. I guess the anonymity of this forum made me feel safe enough.
     
  8. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla Well-Known Member

    +1,163
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Single
    I'm glad you overcame your discomfort and shared your struggle. I encourage you to post updates on this thread so that others may comment and lift you up in prayer. You can also submit a prayer request and our members will stand with you while you deal with this. You're not alone.
     
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