Resentments

3 November, 2009

He walks away. My children hand in hand with him, my baby in my sling but now wrapped around his waist. Not even a “bye”, I sit in the now empty car, the invisible woman. Anger rises inside me, my mind races, hurting itself with the shrapnel wounds of pains now past. Rage boils at all that I have been through. He walks away, oblivious. With our happy children beside him, excited at his Sunday company.  I need to do something to calm down.

The Doctor is running an hour late.  I read “Hello” magazine in the waiting room, feeling fatter and poorer than when I arrived.  There’s a book called  “I can mend your broken heart” by Paul McKenna in a box on the floor. I can mend It’s in the secondhand pile, which means he’ll mend it for nominal fee, it seems like a reasonable deal. I throw my lefty principles aside and invest 50p in private healthcare.

Dr Late asks me how I’m feeling – “Totally fine, except for odd outbursts of overwhelming anger and resentment”. I don’t mention how the Hello magazine has just destroyed the last of my self-esteem – now is not the time to criticize the NHS. I explain that everyone else has recovered and moved on from the break up. The children are much happier now Mr. Ex is finally having them one night a week. But I find myself looking back over the pregnancy wondering why Mr. Ex made it so hard. I feel angry. I want to be Mrs. Cool. I want the moral high ground, the dignified position. But I’m struggling to hold it together. I ask for counseling on the NHS. Dr. Late is a kind gentleman who listens when his patients talk, he thinks about his patients’ needs. He gives everyone the time it takes to hear them out, hence he is called “Dr. Late”. He probably hasn’t had a lunch hour in 30 years. He writes me a letter of referral, by hand, with an ink pen. Then he tells me that there is only a slim chance I’ll actually get any help, but he’ll give it his best shot.

The days roll on and nothing much changes, except I clean the car out and find Paul McKenna under some crisp packets. His nose is now a yellow boiled lolly, licked to stick and dusted with dirt. I settle down in the driver’s seat for my first appointment. I do as he instructs and read the book in one go. The exercise for resentment is simple – so simple in fact that it’s a bit of a joke, here it is. When I feel resentful, I have to freeze the image, put it on an imaginary TV screen and turn up the whiteness until the picture disappears. That’s it – well at least I only paid 50p. Private medicine is obviously not all it’s cracked up to be.  I decide not to use the CD – it’s in brand new condition.  If I don’t scratch it, I’ll get more for it on ebay, the lolly has left him in dire need of a nose-job though.

The next time I see Mr. Ex he is in newly aquired smart casual attire for his newly aquired job.  I am in something from ebay customized with custard and ketchup. He leaves the casual house but stays with me. He’s in my mind, and I feel the irritation, the anger the resentment. The jealousy – he is so free and I am so trapped. I stop it there, time to call in McKenna. I freeze the thought and hold the image of him in my angry mind’s eye. Slowly I turn up the whiteness and I blast him out of my inner vision. I blast him with brilliant white light and add some sparkles to it and keep it going until there is not trace of him. But there is no epiphany, I get on with my day as if nothing has happened.

But something has happened.  Something different has been going on and I haven’t even been aware of it.   It’s not until the evening that I notice it. I haven’t given Mr. Ex. a single thought for the entire day. I have thought nothing about him whatsoever. I have completely forgotten to feel resentful of him. I have forgotten to feel hard done by. I am amazed, I can’t believe it’s actually worked. I am shocked. I search for the resentment in my head and I find it, but it is dormant, no longer charging round my mind kicking off. I leave it resting and creep away.

It happens again the next time I see him. I blast his irritating image from my mind and forget all about it until hours later.  Same magical result as before.  It’s happened twice and I am speechless (almost). But then the time after that when I see him, it is different again. I dont blast him with light this time.  I dont need to because I don’t feel resentful anymore. It’s stopped, it’s over, it’s gone.  grateful am I to have my peace again. I cannot believe that it has happened so simply.  My best friend or worst enemy mind, I am glad to have it back on my side.  As I think about the changes, I have realizations about the break up, and these help me to take more responsibility for what happened. I suspect these have been triggered by Mr. McKenna. I have searched my mind for them in the past, but not been able to find the answers, now they are clear to me. I am less of a victim, I understand what I got out of marrying Mr. Ex and why it didn’t work. The results are so amazing that I take McKenna’s book off ebay.

About three months later, I get a phone,call out of the blue. It’s Mrs Psychotherapist from the NHS calling to assess me for her “list”. My referral has finally come through, and she wants to find out just how nuts I am so she can decide how long I can wait to get her help. Obviously she says it a lot nicer than that on the phone. I tell her that I think I’m OK, I get a slightly patronising, “Really?”, in response. It’s the voice of someone who doesn’t want to rain on my parade, but who also clearly doesn’t believe that I am able to get well without a lot of intervention. I tell her about the whitening-out exercise and how well it worked. She is listening, she is curious. I share with her my realization about the marriage; I explain how I got to an age when I wanted a baby, so I looked around and found a really nice baby and married him. How I loved that baby. I bought him nice clothes and cooked him nice meals. I sent him to the best college. But as that baby grew up, he became a teenager and got very difficult. Then he started hanging out with the bad boys in the local pub, and coming home late. He started arguments and picked fights and didn’t want to go out with me anymore, he’d rather be with his friends. Finally, he took some money from my purse and left home blaming all of his problems on me.

There is a pause at the other end of the line.  I wait for the verdict on my mental health.  She  calmly says that she is taking me off her list.  That in her professional opinion I don’t need psychotherapy. Then she asks for the name of the book, because she wants to write it down.

And as she wrote, she said to me, “I wish I could get results like that with my clients”.


heart

Dr Late asks me how I’m feeling – “Totally fine, except for odd outbursts of overwhelming anger and resentment”. I don’t mention how the Hello magazine has just destroyed the last of my self-esteem – now is not the time to criticize the NHS. I explain that everyone else has recovered and moved on from the break up. The children are much happier now Mr. Ex is finally having them one night a week. But I find myself looking back over the pregnancy wondering why Mr. Ex made it so hard. I feel angry. I want to be Mrs. Cool. I want the moral high ground, the dignified position. But I’m struggling to hold it together. I ask for counseling on the NHS. Dr. Late is a kind gentleman who listens when his patients talk, who thinks about his patients’ needs. He gives everyone the time it takes to hear them out, hence he is called “Dr. Late”. He probably hasn’t had a lunch hour in 30 years. He writes me a letter of referral, by hand, with an ink pen. Then he tells me that there is only a slim chance I’ll actually get any help, but he’ll give it his best shot.

The days roll on and nothing much changes, except I clean the car out and find Paul McKenna under some crisp packets. His nose is now a yellow boiled lolly, licked to stick and dusted with dirt. I settle down in the driver’s seat for my first appointment. I do as he instructs and read the book in one go. The exercise for resentment is simple – so simple in fact that it’s a bit of a joke, here it is. When I feel resentful, I have to freeze the image, put it on an imaginary TV screen and turn up the whiteness until the picture disappears. That’s it – well at least I only paid 50p. Private medicine is obviously not all it’s cracked up to be.

The next time I see Mr. Ex he is in one of his new outfits for the office, I am in something customized with custard and ketchup. He leaves the house but stays with me. He’s in my mind, and I feel the irritation, the anger the resentment. The jealousy – he is so free. I am so trapped. I stop it there, time to call McKenna. I freeze the thought and hold the image of him in my angry mind’s eye. Slowly I turn up the whiteness and I blast him out of my inner vision. I blast him with brilliant white light and add some sparkles to it and keep it going until there is not trace of him. But there is no epiphany, nothing else happens, I get on with my day. That evening I a thought crosses my mind. I reflect on what’s happened. I haven’t given Mr. Ex. a single thought for the entire day. I have completely forgotten to feel resentful of him. I am amazed, I can’t believe it’s actually worked. I am shocked. I search for the resentment in my mind and I find it, but it is dormant, not alive and kicking me. I leave it resting and creep away.

It happens again the next time I see him. I blast his irritating image from my mind and forget all about it until hours later. I dont even remember I’ve done the exercise for hours. Then the time after that I dont need to blast him with light. Because I don’t feel resentful anymore. It’s stopped, it’s over, it’s gone. I am amazed and grateful. I have my mind back, I have my peace. I cannot believe that it has happened so simply. As they say, the mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy. I am so glad to have mine back on my side. As I think about the change, I have realizations about the break up that help me to take more responsibility for what happened. I suspect these have been triggered by Mr. McKenna. I have searched for this in the past, but not been able to find the answers, now it is clear to me. I am less of a victim, I understand what I got out of marrying Mr. Ex and why it didn’t work. I resolve not to sell McKenna’s book on Ebay.

About three months later, I get a phone,call out of the blue. It’s Mrs Psychotherapist from the NHS calling to assess me for her “list”. My referral has finally come through and she wants to find out just how nuts I am so she can decide how long I can wait to get her help. Obviously she says it a lot nicer than that on the phone. I tell her that I think I’m OK, I get a slightly patronising, “Really?”, back from her. It’s the voice of someone who doesn’t want to rain on my parade, but clearly doesn’t believe that I am able to get well without a lot of intervention. I tell her about the whitening-out exercise and how well it worked. She is amazed. I share with her my realization about the marriage; I explain how I got to an age when I wanted a baby, so I looked around and found a really nice baby and married him. How I loved that baby. I bought him nice clothes and cooked him nice meals. I sent him to the best college. But as that baby grew up, he became a teenager and got very difficult. Then he started hanging out with the bad boys in the local pub, and coming home late. He started arguments and picked fights and didn’t want to go out with me anymore, he’d rather be with his friends. Finally, he took some money from my purse and left home blaming all of his problems on me.

Mrs. Psychotherapist, crosses me off her list. In her professional opinion I don’t need psychotherapy. Then she asks for the name of the book, writing it down she says, “I wish I could get results like that with my clients”.

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3 Responses to “Resentments”

  1. Rowan Says:

    This is a fantastic piece of wisdom imparted in a beautiful and dramatic story about real life. It’s really personal so it takes you in so you can relate to it and therefore share what Hari has learnt, which is so powerful. I love the way the dynamic in the relationship has completely flipped and you didn’t have to do anything, just used a simple tool to give up the resentment. Great job and thanks for sharing it.


  2. Wow, you write beautifully and with a lot of humour – even when dealing with a tough subject.

    I will try that exercise next time I catch myself feeling annoyed or resentful.

  3. Newdawn96 Says:

    Oh H, you made me cry! I had no idea…


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