I have read many times that when you’re upset with someone you should write them a letter and then burn it. Deleting it is probably more appropriate terminology for today, but the advice has always intrigued me. I mean, how does dwelling on how you’re upset with someone make things better? How does rehashing what it is that upsets you get you over it? Especially since you don’t give it to the person. I couldn’t figure out how it would help. Until I tried it.
I was upset with B today. Nothing major, just a little something that had gotten under my skin. Only, it had gotten in there deep like a nasty splinter and was festering. Now, B is gone all day everyday this week with his handball training. So, I couldn’t even talk it out with him. And I wasn’t sure I wanted to. Because it made me feel jealous and petty. And I don’t like feeling that way.
I opened up a word document and started typing. My goal was to lay out my thoughts so I could talk about them with him when he got home tonight. I didn’t hold back, I was very specific with why I was upset about the situation. I then had to go teach a lesson. When I came home it was still open so I started over. I again wrote out why I was upset but it focused on just the one thing about the situation that actually upset me. I was able to set aside a lot of the silliness and focus on what actually hurt me. The last time I wrote it I got about two lines. The document has been closed unsaved now. The words are a memory. So to is the slightly crazed upsetness that I experienced this morning.
Why? I just wrote about it. I didn’t talk to him about it at all. I haven’t solved any part of the so-called problem. It’s all still there. The only thing I can figure is that by writing it out I validated my own feelings. I told myself that it was okay to be upset by this situation. I allowed myself to feel these things instead of denying them. I also was able to distill through all the hormones and perceived jealousies to the heart of the issue. I plan on addressing that with B. But it will be sans all the crazy girl-ness that he might of gotten without this exercise.
What can I say? I’m a believer in this now. I was able to process a lot of junk without exposing my husband to it. Next time you want to just light into someone, stop and write out why. And then trash it. Keep doing it until you get the emotions out. The results might just surprise you.