How Do You Respond When Hurt?

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I cried today.  The level of emotion and exhaustion hung over me all day like a cloud and after work and class I drove home in a fog and my bed never felt so good.  I was mentally, physically, and emotionally spent and basically just overwhelmed with emotion.  Each day I struggle to navigate work related issues, some days with mad success and others I feel I am just barely getting by.  I work hard in my classes trying to learn and so grateful for the support of my classmates, especially those in my small group of four for my Skills class.  Then, there is my home life, family, friends, my daughter and pets who all add up in this great big thing I call life and last but certainly not least, the new man in my world.

Navigating this new relationship has been interesting, mostly fun and exciting but today was a rough one for me.  Apologies were said and love shared at the end of the day, but I also felt true hurt and sadness for the first time today in my new relationship, by words said through text messages.  Words are powerful and they stick and I feel words shared in a text can sometimes, sadly, be more powerful than the spoken word.  Spoken words in anger can be blurted out without much thought, just a quick reaction out of hurt or anger.  However, a text takes time to think and say in your head and then type out on your phone and finally press send.  Once said and put in the hard black and white, left to be seen by the person at the other end, it can’t be taken back.

We are all human and we all make mistakes.  Navigating bumps in the road of a new relationship is part of the process of getting to know each other.  One of the most valuable things to evaluate in yourself and others is how you get mad.  How do you respond when you are hurt and angry?  Do you lash out and say things to make the other person hurt too?  Do you withdraw and punish the other person with silent treatment?  One of the biggest tests of maturity in an individual is how they handle themselves when something is hurting them.  Fear of rejection, loss, loneliness, hurt…this can cause people to do and say crazy things sometimes.  I have always tried to ask myself three questions to run my thoughts through a filter when I am feeling especially emotional and hurt.  Is is kind?  Is it true? Will it help?  If my words do not easily filter through then they probably should be kept to myself.

I am a forgiving person, some may say I am too forgiving and too quick to move on and apologize but I honestly feel life is too short to stay angry or upset for long.  I am not saying forget it and act like it was never said or done, but we all know holding on to hurt and anger harms us more than it does anyone else.  Today I was kind and what I said was true and I tried my best to be helpful in clarifying my thoughts and feelings in the situation.  I took responsibility for my actions and apologized and he apologized for his hurtful words.  The difference is, my actions were never intended to hurt, I stayed out late with a girlfriend having drinks.  His words were intended to hurt me and this concerns me.  When I love someone the last thing I want to do is hurt them.  The need to punish or hurt the one you love so they feel the way you feel is selfish and honestly, just immature.  So ask yourself how you respond when hurt?  Could you practice more self control and filter your thoughts and feelings better before responding or reacting?  This is something that takes practice but has amazing impact on relationships.

The ability to own your part and apologize is a big part of maturity as well and forgiveness can come easy when you state your wrong and validate the other persons hurt.  However, at the end of the day those words can’t be erased with a simple I am sorry.  In a new relationship I understand there will be moments of misunderstanding and re-evaluating how this person is different from any other I have dated.  So today I choose to forgive and understand but….I still cried.

With love, health, and happiness,

Stacy

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