When anger is denied

Afer sharing a reblog of Twinkletoes post on Anger Turned Inward yesterday I have been thinking a fair bit about the subject.   Anger turned inward ties into issues of feeling unsafe expressing strong feelings, feeling powerless, frustrated, neglected and ignored when we really needed help and validation.  There is a deep despair and grief that we are left with when we are not responded to with empathy or helped to be effective with expressing our wants, needs and frustrations as children.  If we have no where to go with these feelings we often repress them or they fall to the level of our body.

If we were raised in a far older family we may have been left alone or ignored all the time. We may have been on the receiving end of bullying which is projected shame and may be due to the frustration of older siblings who were left alone to take care of us in the absence of parents or carried their own pain due to lack of emotional receptivity and nurture, we are then on the end of the projection of that siblings pain as well that gets dumped into us, and if we can’t express that to anyone its a set up for a host of later painful feelings of emotional isolation and depression

Some of us like my fellow blogger and I were sent to our rooms when angry.   I wasn’t locked in mine but I still felt alone there with my ‘big’ feelings I didnt quite know how to manage.  But I also know my Mum had those big feelings too and Dad didnt know how to cope so would go awol, laughing and joking about it (which on one level was better than exploding) however that was a set up for me for a passive aggressive emotional style.

In the passive agressive style we don’t feel safe enough to set boundaries or say no or even allow for the fact we have needs which may differ from others.  We may equate self assertion with abandonment, if we were on the receving end of a lot of aggression when young we may come to fear self assertion believing it can only happen in a way that hurts and we may either fear hurting others or losing their approval.  If we have known the deep pain of feeling abandoned we fear being the one who abandons others and so we can end up putting other’s needs first.

In my own family I didnt see healthy self assertion modelled a lot and being left alone I learned to try to be needless and wantless, after all there was no one there so I was better to lock it all away or deny it.  I think at a young age I learned to escape into books and TV.  I can still do this at times.  I remember in a past relationship if my ex called and a show was on I liked often I would not take his call.  That may or may not be okay, I am not sure but surely connection to a human should be more important than a show.

I have learned a lot through reading. I sometimes think readers of my blog may get a bit frustrated though as I am always blogging about something I have read.  Escape is not always a bad thing, only when it diverts us from dealing with life and complexities.  That said some complexities we may wish to side step, if we are an empathic intuitive.  We don’t always have to be emotionally available.

Anyway there are some good books out there to help with understanding the role anger plays in our lives and whether or not we have learned to express it in healthy way and listen to what it is telling us in functional ways or repress and deny it leading to depression and auto immune problems.  I have written blogs on the subject in the past but often they get buried way back due to the way my blog is set up and the fact that now, 4 years on I have a lot of posts.

For information of those who would like it though, some of the books on anger I have found especially helpful follow:

John Lee, The Anger Solution : The Proven Method for Achieving Calm and Developing Long Lasting Relationships.

This book is great as he explains very clearly the concept of age regression which is similar to an experience of an emotional flashback that can intensify the way we responde to incidents which trigger old experiences of pain, neglect or abuse.  He gives techniques for unpacking the past triggers.  Just understanding when we are age regressed helps us a lot in our emotional recovery.

Beverley Engel, Honour Your Anger : How Transforming Your Anger Style Can Change Your Life.

Dr Les Carter, The Anger Trap : Free Yourself from the Frustrations That Sabotage Your Life.

And for those whose passive aggressive anger style may come from a fear of abandonment due to displeasing others a very helpful book on learning to self assert honestly is :

Harriet B Braiker, The Disease To Please : Curing the People Pleasing Syndrome.

I am sure there are many other wonderful books out there.  There is no substitute for good therapy to work with the roots of anger and self assertion as these are such important issues when we are dealing with depression.   I hope some of this information may be of help to others.

Tussle : a conundrum

Difficult night’s sleep last night after the revelations that came to light yesterday about my older sister (who is now dead) and her suicide attempt.   I felt very enmeshed coming out of yesterdays meeting with a family friend who is the oldest daughter of my god parents.  The background is that my godfather, Piet, left Holland with my father in 1938 to go to Indonesia.  Growing up Uncle Piet was more like a father to me, especially in later years after I got sober.  He validated my pain and struggle in my emotionally neglectful family to a great degree.  It was with he and my Godmother I went to stay after returning from overseas at 25.  I went there (overseas) a few months after Dad died and stayed 2 and a half years.  There was no place back home with my mother who was on the phone pleading with me to come home after sending me away and then told me when I arrived home she was remarrying.   I left shortly after to live in another town and my God parents took me in.  They took me back in when I fell pregnant in the darkest final years of my addiction and needed to have a termiantion as the sac with the baby ruptured.  My sister told me many years later my Mum was questioning whether she should support me or not at that time.  Thanks a lot Mum, when I needed you when the fuck were you ever there!!!  (This is past anger I am working on it!)

I woke in the middle of the night with all of this going around and around in my head.  A photo of my godfather sits on my bedroom table.  It was taken on the day of my wedding in 1993, he gave me away and we are hugging in the photo.  I cried a lot last night with missing him.   He died in 2003.  He was more emotionally there for me than my father ever was but perhaps if Dad had lived it may have been different.  The difference was Piet was not hell bent on becoming a millionaire and sadly in later years my Dad had less to do with him because Piet was only a ‘lowly’ mechanic.  I use that word to convey my Dad’s bias not mine

My Godmother and I had a difficult relationship after Piet died.  I felt upset because in final years they were trying to paint him as angry and full of dementia.  What was happening was that his maternal abandonment (his mother died when he was only 3) which had never been dealt with came to the fore.  His daughter was telling me yesterday how she spent a lot of time with him in the later years talking about it.  What if she had not done that and just tried to judge him as my Godmother did?   I knew myself what he had endured and it was a part of our bond.

I like to believe my Godfather is around me in spirit.  I was praying to him last night.  I know he was in no way a perfect father and had heaps of flaws but he was the one male figure I felt close to.

I am having some residual anger towards my Mum.  My sister wanted to strangle her for all kinds of reasons.  I can get it.   I still have empathy for my Mum though, but at times its tough as she has never owned her own part in emotional abandonment.   She wants me to go and pick her up tomorrow night to take her to a function 10 minutes away.  Partly I dont want to do it.  I want to tell her to get a fucking taxi.   I dare not say it!  There I go miss ‘nice girl’.  Maybe I need to be honest.  Luckily I have therapy today so we can discuss this.  I try to compensate when I know my Mum and my other living sister are in pain.  My other sister’s suicide attempt 4 years ago came up yesterday too.  It was the first time Mum could unburden her story about it with someone.  I wish to God my Mum was in therapy, all this pain is too much to carry alone, its why her pelvis fractured several times and why she is now on constant pain meds.  Feeling the feelings and being honest enough to face her part in things would free her.  But she wont do it.  I do feel compassion but I no longer want to sacrifice my life.

I am a bit scared at the moment as I have been reading a book on Radical Forgiveness in which the author claims that failing to forgive often leads to cancer and that often a broken heart proceedes breast cancer.  I had my heart broken in the few years before my cancer appeared.  I also had a lot of anger to my Mum in those years.  I want to heal it, but suppressing or denying it wont help either.  Its a conundrum for sure but at least its one I am gaining greater insight into lately.   Feedback and comments greatly appreciated

The anger we need to survive and thrive

Ever been demonised by someone for lashing out in a situation in which you were honestly self protecting or responding to an emotional gut sucker punch?   Truth to tell the people who lack empathy into the core wounds in you that may be being retriggered are more than likely not only, NOT to show you empathy, but also will be invested in demonising you as a result.   That for many of us may be the end of the relationship or the movement of you to the scapegoat/exile zone.  For those who know us and our wounded self they will try to understand that anger used in just such a way is a valid form of self protection that we needed to survive until we can get to grips with the core wound that lies deep within.  They will question or understand our reaction, knowing us and knowing we were fighting for a truth, obscure or not and due to the wounds we carry it may seem that we are over reacting when really we are just trying out best to deal with something not yet fully integrated.

In this kind of situation after due introspection we may choose to apologise and explain what was triggered for us to respond in just such a way.   Anger is what we use to protect ourselves and survive and remind us of when needs or feelings are being triggered into awareness.  How others respond to our anger will also show how much they really respect us and our needs and feelings.

A large part of healing from so called splitting disorders such a borderline personality involves a period of facing what rage and anger may be hidden within.   The rage and fear associated with original abandonment traumas function to keep the real vulnerable self in hiding and safe from attack.  The real problems start when the valid feelings of our true self are cut off and rendered de-potentiated.  What has happened is that we have swallowed whole the prohibition from those investing in us not having or expressing personal boundaries.  We then sadly come to associate any form of self assertion gone rogue as evidence of a ‘bad’ self that we then try to eradicate (or even get hoodwinked into apologising for).  Sorry!  Did it upset you that I pointed out that when you stood on my foot and then told me it didn’t hurt and I said ouch, that I then got angry?

What if this so called ‘bad’ self only became bad through exile and due to the fact that others tried to tell us we were ‘bad’ for having an intense response to something was actually justified should they really be capable of empathy or seeing into our soul? How then do we bring the so called ‘bad self’ back inside and out from the cold prison of hell it becomes consigned to with all our life energy we had to bury in order to gain love or please others years ago?  How then too, do we deal with the feelings of anxiety or shame which are really just a sign of positive life energy in support of a powerful self returning albeit in initially extreme ways?

Working through our anger issues is very important work and an important part of working through our abandonment depression the core of which is abandoning ourselves and genuine parts of our true self again in similar ways to the ways they were abandoned as we became conditioned to substitute a false self in its place.  It won’t be a comfortable process and may be fraught with unnecessary guilt if we don’t have on our side or fighting in our corner someone who can provide us with necessary ‘reality checks’.

If long ago we were told there was something wrong with our true self and then we made the poor bargain of disabling our instincts and intuitions leading to us becoming what therapist Clarissa Pinkola Estes has called instinct injured we are more likely candidates for trauma bonded relationships.  We choose those who don’t care for us or our true self, who may have an investment in us disowning it.  We also learn to surrender our power to others, we may adopt the ‘play dead’ or dissociation defence to ward off the anxiety of expressing our truth and having to stand for it in the face of disapproval suffering what Melanie Beattie calls afterburn. 

We face the abandonment feelings in full force when we begin to set boundaries.  Its a new behaviour and we have not yet fully developed those muscles and so they may be weak, but with time and with strength to bear all the feelings of abandonment depression (fear, guilt being two), connecting them with earlier experiences we will come through, stronger than we were before.  We will finally have developed legs to stand on instead of collapsing into the foetal position when others don’t respect us, see us or value us.  We will increasingly also be less triggered by those who do this, learning more and more that we can care for ourselves and self protect in healthier ways, which don’t mean we need to lash out, due to the fact we may have taken on board something we didn’t need to.   We won’t need to demand as much from those who are incapable, insensitive or just lack insight, we will realise this as their issue, we all have different levels of awareness.  We will also learn where our real wounds lie and when they are triggered own this honestly and become more able to express what we need, what was triggered or what hurt in healthy assertive ways.  Or else just choose to walk away.

Anger with my therapist leads to deeper reflection

I found myself feeling a lot of anger towards my therapist, Kat yesterday.  The intensity of what my body goes through on any day and any night as a result of having recently had this tooth removed on the back of a traumatic head injury at occurred after a time I so needed family support and was once again denied it at the end of my marriage bites me hugely.  I feel like I have giant incisor like wounds from that bite lodged in my psychic flesh and over the past few nights of the eclipse I have been bang awake between 3 and 5 with all these powerful sensations coursing through my body as my mind has struggled to make sense of the tangled up jigsaw pieces of the past 17 years of struggle to find and make sense of my true feelings and find a centre of self in the messy conglomerate of energies within and without which like wild currents and eddies swirl this way and that, at times setting up huge surge like storms of ‘meness’ and then at other taking me down with the powerful centrifugal undertow of black inky sludge drowning me completely and making it hard to draw a free breath!!!

I am angry that Kat didn’t seem to even remember the piece of writing I actually read to her last Thursday, I had to read it all over again and I was feeling so tired,  she is my fucking therapist why can’t she remember, why doesn’t she take the time to read my blog before I go to a session so she can help me a bit, for fucks sake its only one hour and reading three or four blogs to catch up is exhausting because often when I write the feelings are there simmering away under the surface and only emerge when I read them in session which now that I write it just goes to show if she did read it then that wouldn’t happen so why am I getting so mad?  I still am because I have to work so fucking hard at times and there is so much to get through in session.

I do know why I am angry though.  This is old anger.  I have had fuck all help in my life in the way that really mattered.  I didn’t need money thrown at me, I needed a parent who got me, and was there emotionally not one who consistently abandoned me and then told me I was a late developer when I shared I got into sobriety.  Yeah Mum it was all my fault that I drank in a situation in which so many painful feelings were going down that I didn’t know how to deal with in the absence of support, after a major traumatic injury at 17 that I never got any help to deal with later only to be followed six months later by even less care available due to my sister’s aneurysm occuring with all the complications that followed all at a time I was trying to develop and mature.  Fuck That!!!

Yet even as I write this and consider my last post about the poor fit between a mother and child that leaves the child, lost, confused, split off from her body and feelings and lacking self containment and integrity of being I realise that I must accept my mother went through the same with her mother and so just passed down the wound. The anger is understandable that I feel but it wont help me unless I use it to drive a deeper understanding and also to set boundaries so that I don’t open up and share intimate emotional stuff she is likely to dismiss, deny or be confused about herself.

So its probably not really even my therapist I am really angry with but with the entire sad history of a child who came to not be able to understand, express, or even tolerate her own feelings and then became an addict, only to get sober and be told it was the result of ‘character defects’ which just reinforces the scapegoats idea fixee of being the ‘bad’, ‘wrong’ or damaged one, inherently flawed in some way.

I don’t actually remember in the rooms of AA being given any help to understand my own feelings.  I do remember sitting there in meetings and crying my eyes out as other’s shared from such a damaged split off place, full of self blame and self denigration.  It broke my heart in two.  And then in Al Anon meetings I got the askance looks from those trying to whip alcoholic loved ones into shape with their own self righteousness not getting for a moment the suffering or deeper dilemma the person concerned was going through.   I remember not being hugged after a meeting or reached out to after I shared from a deep well of pain.

I know it probably wasn’t their job but I do feel that once our buried feelings begin to open up in sobriety we need some form of encouragement and affirmation from others to assist us and yet even that hope or demand has hidden deep in the centre of it a hope or demand that is loaded with the sadness and longing of deep needs of long ago for the parent’s unconditional love, understanding, mirroring and acceptance of feelings; needs we never got to fully understand or contain.

In the end, as I was discussing with Kat yesterday, perhaps no one now can give us enough to make up for what we lost or never received in the first place.  Such an empty void or space in the place where we most needed to be met, filled up, affirmed, received  must be acknowledged, deeply understood and grieved.  And then we must meet the challenge of finding ways to fill our lives with the good energy of connection and love, learning how to understand, feel and tolerate all our feelings.   Being or becoming the good loving mother and father to ourselves so that ultimately we don’t end up re-enacting our emptiness, wound or anger on others or keep ourselves lost and trapped inside the deep dark desolate place of that emptiness.

I do wonder now, though, if we end up alone with no life partner and disconnected from so many friends due to the wounds we have carried driving so many away from us in misunderstanding how sweet can life be?  Can we really fill ourselves up from the life font or spring of spirit that was meant to flow within and through us and can that be enough?

Its obvious to me now that the hyper sensitivity that so many of us feel who were not met or received in the needed ways, grew larger in the absence of such love and care.  The burden of our so called ‘over sensitivity’  needs to be understood and we need to make sure that we don’t blame ourselves while at the same time learning to take responsibility for the wound we carry in terms of taking care of ourselves, learning to be open, vulnerable and honest to ask for what we need rather than demand it or get shitty when it doesn’t just come automatically.

We also need an awareness of the real failures of others which came from the limits of their own capacity to be fully embodied themselves, a wound that seems to plague so many in a technologically driven modern society that has grown increasingly removed from the natural and soulful elements in vibrant earthly life.   To begin to feel that love means that we open ourselves body and soul to the soft caress of the sun on skin, to the luxuriant feeling of sea water on flesh, to the sheer love that shines in our dog’s eyes as he runs to great us, to the joy of feeling our free spirit express its bounty through dance, movement and song.

It surely means we open up again to try to find the love and containment we missed from a loving mother’s arms in places and spaces where it does exist.  And it also means that we as ones who have been damaged and know the cause and consequences of such disconnection and damage make a stand in a world where sensitivity and depth is so often not championed.  For the pain our souls have suffered has perhaps highlighted for us how essential such an earthly connection to life, feeling and nature is and to the deeper realisation that the wound to the mother that leads to severing from body and deep feeling is one we end up enacting on the earth and ourselves over and over again if we don’t fully face, feel and speak for the painful and agonising consequences of its loss or absence.

A sanctuary for lions

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The following quote just made my heart sing and at the end of it I hope that idea of ‘A sanctuary for lions’ brings a smile to your face.   I wanted to head this post The Lion’s Roar 2, as it touches on so many things I was struggling with this week.

Be Gentle with Anger

Be gentle with anger, Bow before it.  It is not what you think it is.

Let it come closer, let it enter you if you must.  Feel its power.

Until there is no division between “self” and “anger at all.

Until there is only fire,  passion.  But no violence.

Anger is the roar of a lion, the cry of a universe longing to be born.

It reminds you, when you have forgotten.

That the power of life moves through you.  That you matter.

That your voice will not be silenced.

That you have self respect, and deserve to be treated with dignity.

Do not push your anger away, or label it “negative,” “unspiritual,” or even “unhealthy”.  Do not pretend  it is not there.

Feel anger’s pounding, its vibrations, its fire, its longing to be acknowledged, held.  At its burning core, discover your courage.

The courage to be yourself.  To hold to your path, fearlessly.   To speak for those without a voice.  To stand up for truth, for your rights, for the rights of your brother and sister’s, with passion, but without violence.  Know that your heart is vast and spacious, and anger, so often misunderstood, has a home in you.

Be a sanctuary for lions

Jeff Foster

The Way of Rest

Wow!  Doesn’t the wake up the firey sunshine in your Lion heart?  Please join me in my sanctuary for lions, or build your own.

 

A Lion’s Roar

We are human but we are instinctual animals.  We feel wounds in a heart that suffers and when injustice strikes us we can roar and rage and burn.   Mars planet of assertion and action has moved into Leo ruled by the element of fire over the past few days and today I have been really feeling it.  I have been feeling the impact of all the assaults on my animal body from a very young age and the deeper fury of now having no front teeth.  Eating with my denture is painful and the roof of my mouth is sore.  So today I have been raging at home and then at the oval Jasper and I made a new friend we were able to share about our challenges and difficulties. I told her how angry I was today and how Jasper looked a bit scared at first when I was screaming and roaring around at home but when I told him the anger had nothing to do with him and gave him pat he was fine and soon calmed down.  She then felt safe enough to open up about their own issues.  It was another of those special moments of grace.

My rage seems to have abated now.  I did visit Mum today at the hospital and she held my hand in hers while I cried about the pain of the denture.  She opened up to me about how she never felt her mother gave her a sense of being worthwhile.  In fact she never told Mum that she loved her once in her life.  She was crying as she said this.  I felt so sad for her and for my family that has suffered deep wounds of lack of nurture.  We spoke about the impact of the First World War that took her father from her and then we shared some sadness over the emotional distance in our family.  It was painful and sad but I also felt a deep sense of peace because we were really sharing openly from our hearts.

“All of my life I have tried to do the right thing by others.” she said.  “Now I am so tired I really don’t want to be here any more!”  Oh Mum, my heart ached and I saw how I also have been a compassionate caretaker at times in the absence of really knowing any other way to be.  It was half an hour of raw honesty between us, during which I fully accepted the painful karmic consequences of my maternal ancestral history.

Today I have no answers to the sadness of what we have lived in our family.  But perhaps accepting the truth will provide a kind of liberation.  Getting into a rage over what is passed will not help me for very long, in some way I need to find ways to live outside all of that lovelessness, disconnection and unhappiness to find happiness and connection again.  It is going to take me some time to get used to my new denture.

I am also glad I no longer feel the need to keep distance between me and my Mum, sadly she passed down very real wounds to me and over those I am powerless.  The only real power I have now is over the choices in my life and whether they are based in peace and serenity or anger and disturbance.  The later doesn’t really lead me to any place of calm and self soothing. I need to let go of what can cause hurt or pain so that I no longer live in a place of hurt and pain recycling over and over again.  Taking some time out on Sunday made me able to be there yesterday in a way which didn’t deplete me, but rather filled me up with peace.   And today I felt was a day of real healing.

Forgiveness : a high price?

I am reflecting a lot on forgiveness lately.  Part of us when hurt wants to exact a retribution of kinds or at least block love from flowing back to the source of the hurt because perhaps we feel this is the only way we can hold onto a boundary and escape the pain of more hurt.  And by all means consciousness demands we find out who is hurtful to us most often from their own unconscious pain and wounded.

I always loved the saying “hurt people, hurt people”.

I shared earlier in a blog that I was so angry when I learned of something intensely hurtful my brother did to his daughter yesterday.  I felt anger burning through me like wild fire.  Maybe it triggered my own wounds, I am not sure but I was so impressed by my niece’s reaction.  She clearly owned the damage and lack of love in both parent’s as well as the unresolved hurt.

Maybe it might help more of us if we saw this kind of unfeeling narcissistic abuse as the outgrowth of an evolutionary pathway in which older generations were not allowed to feel hurt or pain or were humiliated or emotionally abandoned by a parent stunting permanently their own empathy.

In his excellent book on narcissism therapist Alexander Lowen shares his insight into how much early humiliation in childhood can lead people to develop a narcissistic defence, blocking feelings of vulnerability and deep anger at violation which then being disallowed may often permanently disable the person turning them into a rationaliser or someone who avoids further emotional pain by becoming a people pleaser or adopting a false self, or alternatively shutting them down emotionally and leading them to project rejected vulnerability towards others, most often children who act it out then get shamed, exiled or scapegoated all over again.

The way out of this dilemma involves owning the anger, to re-engage the assertive impulse for self care and self protection and end the shaming that can be internalised.  Holding onto the anger helps keep the defence in place, turning too soon towards forgiveness may mean being open to more abuse.  But in the long run some letting go of intense anger may need to take place as anger that hardens into resentment can become corrosive and lead to physical and emotional problems.

The next step often lays in realising the damage in the person that caused the pain.  Seeing they were once a vulnerable child defenceless against a parent’s inner conflicts or aggression or splitting of and hardening of feeling.  In my brother’s case I see why he may have had to shut down his sensitivity early on.  I know some of the things my Dad did to him in the late 1940s that were punishing and over the top. Last year he also revealed a bit about the abuse he suffered at the hands of the Christian brothers.

I asked my Mum if she was aware of this abuse and she said that no, my brother just came home and hung his school coat on the wall and quietly went off saying nothing.  I felt so sad for him when he told me that story in June last year I wrote a blog about it.

When I felt the anger to my brother I wondered at my right to judge someone who was acting out of buried pain.  I almost considered that I never want to have contact with him again on the other side and then questioned that.  Then today I read this on forgiveness :

Forgiveness is a selective remembering of what someone did right, at a time when the ego mind is shrieking about what someone did wrong  We always have a choice about where to focus – whether to blame someone or to bless someone.  I can concentrate my attention on what you did wrong, or I can seek to remember a moment when you tried to do right.  Although the ego insists that you don’t deserve it, the spirit absolutely know that you do.  And my ego has an ulterior motive, in seeking to attack you, it is seeking secretly to attack me.  Only when I remember who you really are (an innocent child of God, regardless of your mistakes) can I remember who I am (an innocent child of God, regardless of mine.)

Condemning another person, while it might give us a few moments of temporary relief, will always boomerang and make us feel worse.  If I attack you, you will attack me back – or at least I’ll think you did.  In terms of how consciousness operates it doesn’t matter who attacked first, who ever attacks feels attacked.

Forgiveness takes us off the wheel of suffering. It delivers us to quantum realms beyond time and space, when thoughts of guilt have marred neither your innocence nor mine.  This is summed up by Rumi “Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing, there is a field, I’ll meet you there.”  There, in this space of no-thing the universe miraculously self corrects.  In the presence of love, things automatically return to divine right order.  That which the ego has made imperfect is returned to the track of divine perfection, releasing possibilities for healing that would not other wise exist :

I’m sorry

I’m sorry, too.

Simple worlds, and how much better those words are than the ego’s alternative.

Mmm, but what of the person who when you say sorry, uses that as an opening to deny or as a weapon to beat you over the head with?  I was warned of this in my last relationship with a narcissist, to be aware that apologising to someone such as he may be used against me and it was.  In this case it was his ego that had shut down and locked the door and I could do nothing about it but walk away, knowing I was powerless and in time knowing that the price of holding onto the outrage was too much to bear, that in the end letting go and allowing the person to be shut down was the only way to become free, knowing I deserved something else.

Forgiveness, it most certainly is a thorny issue.  There are times I was slighted and could only see the wrong and the hurt and anger eclipsed other things that were right, so I do agree with some of what Marianne Williamson writes in that quote above but I still have some reservations and I wondered what others think of it?  Maybe you might like to comment below.  If we are repeatedly hurt and other refuse to own up, surely its in our best interests to keep a wide berth.