I am angry - don't mess with me

Something bad has happened to me.

But that can wait.

It's not like nothing bad has ever happened to me before. But this was big. And it hurt. Still does. Right now, you just need to know that something bad has happened to me, and the experience has made me change the way I deal with the people in my life.

I was raised you don't return evil for evil. I was raised you turn the other cheek. I was raised you reap what you sow. As a result, I have, more often than not, held my tongue when I'm angry, not rushed to tell everybody I know about this horrible person and what they've done to me or my loved ones, and given people the benefit of the doubt when they are rude, inconsiderate or just plain mean. Well, no more. This experience has toughened me up. It's changed the way I look at other people. It's changed me.

I'm done letting the jerks of the world get away with all the "stuff" (this is a family site, right?) they get away with so much of the time. From now on, I'm calling them on it. You hurt me or someone I love, I don't forget. I don't act like nothing happened and move on. And I certainly do not forgive. Those days are over.

I've been doing this now for about 18 months. I wake up each morning and review the list of everybody I'm mad at or have something against to make sure I don't unintentionally do something nice if I happen to see them today. It's hard to break old habits, and, if I'm not constantly on my guard, I might accidentally smile when I'm supposed to glare at somebody. I might say, "Hello" instead of ignoring them. If they call on the phone, I might sound pleasant before I realize it's "them."

Now I'm not just talking about people I know personally who have offended me in some way. If you're going to do this tough guy thing right, you have to be ready in any situation that might arise in daily life. If I'm not concentrating all the time on looking out for myself, I might let the guy with 12 items get in the 10 items or less line in front of me at the grocery store. I might let that car that tried to get to the head of the line by driving down the emergency lane cut in front of me. I might not hang up immediately on the telephone solicitor, and we can't have that. Not any more.

I'm doing my best not to be that sweet, stupid, schmuck anymore, but to tell you the truth - it's killing me. I can't carry all this weight around all day, every day. It's exhausting. And it's accumulating at an amazing rate. I never realized how often people do bad things. I guess I just wasn't paying attention before this bad thing happened to me.

All this effort I'm making to defend myself now against the slightest slight is wearing me down. It takes too much energy. And no matter how diligently I work at it, or how hard I truly try, you know what the worst part is? It doesn't change what happened to me in the first place. Not in the slightest. The person who did this bad thing to me has no idea what I'm going through, the effort I'm making, how much I've changed because of what happened. My only reward for all this work? I'm making myself sick.

Matthew Kelly got it so right when he said that unforgiveness is like taking poison and expecting that other person to die. I can't live like this. And it has nothing to do with whether what other people do is OK with me or not. I still have my opinions. I still react to injustice. I still feel other people's pain. I just can't carry the weight of the burden of revenge and spite and anger. Not all the time. Not every day.

A very wise man once said when you forgive someone a wrong they've done to you, it has nothing to do with expecting that person to be sorry. So forgive, for your own sake, but be realistic. Don't expect that someone to behave differently because you've forgiven them. Don't expect them not to do the same thing again. They might. In fact, they probably will.

Consequently, you might want to set some limits on your involvement with them. Not that you won't forgive them. But you might find you have a more contented existence when you limit how much of your time, energy and/or resources you spend on them. If they were unreliable, don't be so quick to depend on them again. If they didn't repay a debt or a loan, maybe you shouldn't lend them your money or your valuables. If they can't say anything positive about you or anybody else, maybe don't spend an hour on the phone listening to them every night. (I was going to say talking to them instead of listening, but I'll bet you don't usually get to contribute all that much to the conversation.) Have realistic expectations where they are concerned. Set limits.

The wise man said you know you've really forgiven someone if you can wish them well.

Yeah, not there yet. Not for the person who did this bad thing to me in the first place. I need more time. I'm only human. OK. OK, Mr. Wise Man, I'll grant that person is only human also. But, for now, that's as far as I can go.

I will admit though, I do feel better already.



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Comments 55 comments

mikeq107 5 years ago

Loved your vent..great read....keep on keeping on!!!!

Mike :0)


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Dammit! What the heck happened? I could feel your anger as I read that. Don't substitute anger for dealing with any hurt my friend. It only hurts you.

The Frog


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Frog Prince: My daughter's husband left her with two children, 3 and barely 1 after threatening to leave her when she was 8 months pregnant. Now she has to live 3 states away so the louse can share custody. Yes, I'm angry, but I am dealing. The hub helped!

Mikeq107: thanks for the encouragement. Funny I should hear from 2 guys. Y'all must be some of the good ones!


CreativeReaction profile image

CreativeReaction 5 years ago from Virginia

You're writing is superb. I could feel the anger radiating off the page. It left me feeling like I needed to go run or do something to rid myself of the feeling. So powerful! Wow. I am glad you are learning to channel forgiveness. Its a lesson that is the most challenging but most fulfilling. Something I learned is that whoever did it to you is sleeping at night. Best to let it go but stay guarded. I'm pulling for you!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Yes, he is sleeping at night - with a replacement for my daughter. But you make a good point and I appreciate the support - of my writing and of my spirit. Funny I'm hearing from all guys. Renews my faith. (Although I have a first-class husband and two great grown sons, so I shouldn't be surprised!


CreativeReaction profile image

CreativeReaction 5 years ago from Virginia

If you're daughter is as strong and independent, as your writing indicates that you are, then he is sorely missing out on a pretty solid individual. A woman, i think, that with your support and those of her family will inevitably come out on top. The crucial lesson i have learned from hardship is that when tested the mettle of the human spirit is indomitable, if you allow it to be. And I didn't notice until you said something that it was all guys responding.


Husky1970 5 years ago

Writing can be such a great release and you demonstrate that very well. Good for you. Glad this hub has made you feel better.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thanks Husky1970. I appreciate all the support. I should have written this hub months ago!!


nikki_m profile image

nikki_m 5 years ago from Kansas City, Missouri

I loved this article, because I have been at the same place you are as far as the feelings of betrayal and creating that shell to protect myself. It took me a long time to realize that I can't hate everyone because of what a few have done. I hope you find a happy medium eventually. Take care!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

nikki_m: I'll bet a lot of us have been there. Glad to hear from a survivor. Thanks.


daskittlez69 profile image

daskittlez69 5 years ago from midwest

I loved the hub. I hoped it made you feel better. Here's an up for you.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

daskittlez69: Thanks for the reading and the comment. Good to know you.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Hi there Kathleen! What a great hub and so true...and I bet everyone who reads this will understand every word...we've all been there...felt that..done that. Your advice not to carry it around because of the ill effects this has is right on! I agree. Recently, 'someone' did a 'bad' thing to me. And tried to justify it. I simply wrote down the FACTS and sent them along. With a caveat: "no reply needed." If I run into this person, I'll smile and say 'hello,' but, I'll never consider that person a friend...never..not for the way in which I and mine were treated...but, IO did need to satisfy the feeling that my words had to be seen by that person so that they would understand the FACTS. I'm resting assured that, indeed, this did come to pass. Great hub! UP Useful Interesting Awesome (in the absolute honesty of this article)!


Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago

Lucky Cats: Sorry to hear about your experience, but you are right. We've all had them. Like the tack you took. Hope it works for you. Setting limits is good advice. You can't un-know what you've learned about that person.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Good stuff. And it is so true, the anger and negative emotions wear us down and the perpetrators wander about largely (seemingly, anyway) unscathed.


Hillbilly Zen profile image

Hillbilly Zen 5 years ago from Kentucky

I'm so sorry that your daughter was disrespected like that, and so glad that the men who responded were so supportive. Great, great writing, Ms. Kathleen.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hillbilly Zen: Thanks for the support. Look forward to your hubs! Welcome.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon

Hi Kathleen, I enjoyed this write very much and adds material for my upcoming hub. Sometimes, it is best for the inevitable to happen as soon as possible, especially in relationships. He has forsaken a responsibility, which will affect his life negatively, more than hers. Meanwhile life will impose it's unfairness upon the innocent and our sense of justice will naturally crave a just retaliation. Who we become as a consequence to such unfairness will either endanger the heart we live with forever more or prepare it with something more permanent than justice. She may find within herself, in time, a heart of mercy. I will pray that it is so.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Arb: With perspective like you've expressed here, I can't wait for your finished hub. I feel like I've just received a blessing - for me and my daughter and her children. Thank you.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Very well done! This hub's a keeper. Shared it all over the place. Held me on the edge to the very last word. Up and across and a huge thanks!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

vocalcoach: Nothing like real life to bring it out of you. Welcome to my hubs and thanks for investing your time in me. Hope to return the gesture.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

Brilliant hub and honestly vented- I'm sure many of us who have been raised to be polite, to sal away from conflict, not to retort will feel the burden of such goodness as all those lilttle slights eat away at our core if we can't rise above such inanity. There is no denying the healing power of a perfect put- down! Your poit is well made and will be shared by many including me.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Docmo: Welcome to my hubs, all the way from the UK (which I've visited a couple of times and loved!) Thanks for your comments and encouragement. We all need it, don't we?


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Kathleen, Not knowing what this "bad thing" was, it's really difficult to give a specific comment or valuable advice (if, in fact, you even want advice.) However, looks like you're set on holding back so I'll just offer some random thoughts......

I was NOT raised to Turn the other cheek, keep my feelings locked up, always be sweet and nice to even ignorant, rude individuals.....or, basically, any of that (what we call) CRAP. My rearing turned out to be a BLESSING, when I found myself (via a death) a single Mom of 4 sons and a HELL of a lot of responsibilities in the big ole nasty world.

I'll share some tidbits with you that I heard throughout my years growing up: "Fool me once, Shame on you.....Fool me twice, shame on me." You can use any word you like in place of "fool"...such as "hurt" or any other. What my Dad meant precisely when he would say this is......People will get the best of you or try to harm you or lie to you once, without a doubt. If you do not wise up, protect yourself, defend yourself and REFUSE to give that person another opportunity......You have yourself, your own stupidity and naivety to blame, when it happens again.

You needn't SEEK revenge nor spew hatred. Just do not give this person the time of day......Because, the best revenge is to move ahead, be the better person and succeed.

Learn to simply let Karma do it's job. Peace to you......UP++


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

fpherj48: I'm happy to take advice. And yours is very wise. It's been more than a year since I wrote this hub. Not giving this person the time of day is my husband and my only option, because if I started in on this person, I wouldn't be able to stop. That would only hurt my grandchildren and probably my daughter.

Good advice. I hope I can continue to follow it. Thanks.


Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

Pavlo Badovskyy 4 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

I always thought that I am weak because I can not reply to oher person by the same negative deeds he did to me. But you described an other side of this anger pointed to your offender and now I understand why majority of people, including me, will forgive many things. I guess somewhere on the level of subconsciousness person will feel how much efforts it takes to revenge and how useless it can be. Thank you!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

It means a great deal to me that this hub spoke to you. It was a hard one to write at a difficult time in my life, so your comments are that much more meaningful to me. This is a hard subject for most of us.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

With so many of us headed to family gatherings this week where old grudges are worn on our sleeves like badges of honor, I re-offer this hub.

I'm thankful for HubPages and the wonderful, encouraging people I've met here.


Tom Koecke profile image

Tom Koecke 4 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

Sometime catharsis is better than forgiving, especially if you haven't found it in your heart to forgive someone yet.

I tried to mend some torn feelings a few years ago when I went on a soul searching campaign. I felt better about it, but it didn't really make things like they once were. It was a learning experience, though.

I hope things work out for the best for your daughter and grandchildren, although I have no idea what best is for those involved.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Tom: I had no idea what was best either. But between my daughter and a higher power, best has evolved. After an injury to a relationship, things are rarely like they once were. But, you are right. We learn.


Radcliff profile image

Radcliff 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

In the end, it's all about getting past the anger and resentment so that we can be our best for those who need us, isn't it? We can't let the offenders take control of our health and relationships. I really enjoyed this one. Thanks for sharing!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Radcliff: This one gets read a lot but often not commented on. I wrote it at the time of my daughter's divorce, but I could have written it yesterday. I'm dealing with my Dad's reaction to the recent death of my Mother or maybe I should say lack of reaction. These things trip you up. Thanks for your comments.


Beth37 3 years ago

Good writing and kudos on your honest revelations. Im a firm believer on not hiding our failings. What is harder than forgiveness, but what is more rewarding than when it is finally achieved. Maybe it takes a moment or maybe it takes a lifetime, but I believe it's, as they say, the gift we give ourselves. Thanks for a good read. :)


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Beth37: Thanks for taking the time to read this. We all go through the challenge of forgiveness at some point. I can be civil to my former son-in-law these days, which is a huge step forward. And I pray for God to help him. But that's as far as I've come in four years. When someone hurts your child, it may well take a lifetime.


parrster profile image

parrster 2 years ago from Oz

Wow, the flow of comments was as interesting a read as your detail of the event. You presented the whole internal drama perfectly, I rode the wave with you. So hard to choose the best course when such strong emotions loom. Testing as they are, though, you appear to have addressed things with much wisdom.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Kathleen (such a pretty name)....This hub holds valuable and true today just as it did 20 months ago and will continue to!! Bless you. UP+++


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

parrster and fpherj48: Welcome to my hubs. You've started with a doosie! You are exactly right about the comments, parrster. There is a treasure trove of wisdom in them that enriches this hub. Can't believe it's been 20 months since this hurt was so raw. For the record, my daughter and her children are thriving: successful career, homeowner, well-adjusted children. God has really protected them. Am I still angry? I think I refuse to answer on the grounds . . .


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Great energy and emotion. Well written and truly enjoyed. Sometimes it does feel better to rip someone a new one and then let the Zen begin.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

FlourishAnyway: Your name says it all. Glad you found this one. And thanks for contributing to it.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Hi Kathleen - I read this hub 22 months ago and here I am again. I respect you for being forthright as this leaps off the page.

Forgiveness is a 'cleansing of the soul.' We tend to think of forgiveness as a benefit for the one in question, but it's really a major benefit for us.

Thanks - Happy thoughts - Audrey


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

vocalcoach: This is always one of my most-viewed hubs. I think we've all been there. I re-read it myself from time to time as a way to cope with on-going challenges - cleansing.


timorous profile image

timorous 2 years ago from Me to You

Oh Kathleen; Your vitriol in the early part of this article just leaps off the [virtual] page. I'm glad you figured out that this kind of response was moving you in the wrong direction.

It's been said that the majority of people are in a sort of 'waking-sleep', in that they are letting their egos control them, rather than having any real control of their minds. When these people do 'bad things', they are effectively unconscious, and not in their right mind, as they have no control. Their violent reactions are conditioned responses they've learned or developed over time.

It's important to realize that all things and circumstances are neutral..they have no intrinsic value, meaning or importance. Trouble is, our egos like to place undue importance on many things and get all hot and bothered about these things. You might be interested in my hub article 'Why Does It Bother Me?'

I'll be writing more about this in a future hub.

There is also the law of attraction, and I have found that it works very well all the time, and doesn't play favorites. If you choose to react negatively, you'll get more of that in return...and so on.

While it may be difficult to forgive, remember..your forgiving is more for your peace of mind, not saying that the person's behavior was OK. You have to realize the past is the past, you can't change it (or the other person), and it's not coming back to bite you unless you allow it to. You have to totally accept that the past is what it is, and move on. Otherwise, you end up carrying a lot of unnecessary baggage around, and negatively affecting your health, as you found out.

It may sometimes be difficult, but you really must totally release these toxic people from your life, if you want to live a happy life. You'll find when you rid yourself of negative thoughts and actions, the law of attraction will bring similarly positive people into your life...try it!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

timorus: Welcome to my hubs. Great comments on the subject. I will look at your hub. This is kind of a universal experience we all go through at one point in our lives or another - unfortunately. It's great to get support from positive people.


LeslieAdrienne profile image

LeslieAdrienne 2 years ago from Georgia

Wow.....


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

LeslieAdrienne: Where are you from in Georgia? I live in Powder Springs but I grew up in Marietta. Thanks for the response!


lisavanvorst profile image

lisavanvorst 2 years ago from New Jersey

I'm sorry you have been hurt by so many people. Yes people can be mean and hurtful. I am at a point in my life when I avoid those people. I won't let it get to me. Read my narrative of "Happiness". This is how approach those situations. There will always be bad people out there, however I have decided to rid myself of those negative people. They only bring you down.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Lisa: Thanks for the empathy. Your philosophy is very wise. I'm glad you found this hub. We can encourage each other.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 18 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

This Hub has aged well, or I guess what I mean is it is evergreen, always relevant. Very well written and speaking to so many of us I would imagine. Theresa


lisavanvorst profile image

lisavanvorst 18 months ago from New Jersey

Wow, powerful stuff. I think you really needed to get that off your chest. You should read my hub "Why is Life So Hard?. It sounds like we both are going through some times. Sometimes you just need to vent.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 18 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Lisa, thanks for the encouragement. I'd like to send some back to you as well. This too shall pass - right? I'll take a look at your hub!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Although I don't believe in coincidence, there's no reason that this hub would make itself visible to me today. I see no recent comment here, unless you hold them back for your approval.

In any event Kathleen, I read this once again word for word. Did you know this hub would be very valuable as a reference hub?!

For the past 3 days, I've been fuming. I'm feeling appalled, angry and I must admit my anxiety level is ridiculous.

Just the usual. More incompetence, rudeness and selfishness I'm expected to deal with. Sure, this will pass and be old news in a few more days. Nonetheless, I truly tire of the "crap," as mentioned in your hub of wisdom. It's a good thing I don't have to react in any way until tomorrow (more time to cool down) but WHY must we experience these annoyances every so often? Are we being tested, Kathleen?

I wonder, when do we get to finish this course and receive our final grade??.............Paula


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 5 months ago from California

We have all been here I think--this place where anger predominates. The thing about anger that I think works, it is such a clean emotion. It is clear. All the other BS is moved over for a bit and we can sort through things--so unlike guilt in that way


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 5 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

fpherj48: I soooo believe things happen for a reason at the right time. I'm glad this hub found you today. I reposted it because my ex-son-in-law just pulled the same crap he pulled on my daughter on his fiancee with whom he has a two-year-old. It seemed appropriate. If it hit you at the right time, I can only give credit where credit is due: Providence. Glad you have a day to chill before you react. I've learned to sleep on it before I do anything that started with anger. All the best.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

My, what a special jerk the ex SIL is......Is he trying to qualify as a Serial Hit & Run expert??


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 5 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

His ex-fiance and my daughter have become great friends, intent on protecting their 3 children. The next unsuspecting victim who shows up is going to get a hint of what to expect for sure!

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