Anger Management

The client who continually felt resentful

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Hi Everyone,

Nancy Morris expertly helps her client collapse years of childhood resentment. Notice how she blends some general approaches with specific events. She says, "There were many, many of these living situations for Shirley during her childhood and we worked through some very specific scenes from a few of them, getting them down to 0 out of 10."

Hugs, Gary


By Nancy A. Morris, EFT-ADV

Shirley came to me complaining that though she wants to create beauty and joy for people in her life, she seems to continually feel resentful when she does these things.  For example, doing thoughtful things for her many, many step-grandchildren makes her happy in one sense and yet she feels resentful at the same time.

As we explored how long she’d felt resentful it came out that her childhood was one of being passed around to various relatives as well as living sometimes with her Dad with different step-mothers who already had “their own children.”  Shirley was always the odd one out in these situations as a child.

We focused in on one particular situation where Shirley lived with her aunt and uncle and her cousins.  Shirley felt great resentment toward her cousins because “they didn’t have to do anything to be loved” and no matter how hard she tried to be good and fit in, Shirley didn’t get the same kind of love and acceptance.  She always felt she had to try to be perfect just to not be kicked out.  Here are some of our setup phrases:

Even though I felt all this resentment…

Even though I resented my cousins and felt left out, I accept myself and my feelings.

Even though I had all this resentment, I accept all of me.

We used the following tapping reminder phrases:

This resentment … They got all the love … No matter what I did … they didn’t love me like that … I resented my cousins … I tried so hard to be good … I felt unwanted … I felt in the way … All this resentment …I tried so hard to fit in.

Shirley’s intensity level moved from a 9 on a scale of 0 to 10, where it started, down to a 7, 5,

2 and then 0 out of 10.  She reported feeling like “the bottom fell out and some space opened up”.

There were many, many of these living situations for Shirley during her childhood and we worked through some very specific scenes from a few of them, getting them down to 0 out of 10.  There were so many different living situations with so many different parties involved, I asked Shirley to just name all the different people she’d felt resentment toward as a child: half-sister, little brothers, step-sisters, step-brothers, cousins.  Here are some of our setup phrases:

Even though I felt resentment toward all these kids…

Even though I felt all this resentment toward these kids from my childhood, I love and forgive myself.

Even though I felt resentment as a child, I was just trying to feel safe, and I love and forgive myself.

Tapping reminder phrases: Note how I start with the basic resentment and then lead into what she really wanted as a child:

This resentment … All this resentment … Resenting my half-sister … Resenting my little brothers … My step sisters … My cousins … My step brothers … Trying to be good …  If I did anything wrong, they’d send me away to someone else … Always trying so hard … Always being careful in everything I did … Wanting to feel secure … Wanting a family of my own…

When I asked Shirley for her intensity level after several rounds of tapping, Shirley said her resentment toward all those children from her past had really lightened up.  I suggested that, just like her, they were only children and it was really the adults in the situation who were giving more love and attention to their own children than to her.  This is sad, but probably human nature.  This was a real “aha” for her; she’d always blamed the children and never the adults.

Even though I’ve felt all this resentment, I love and accept myself and all my feelings.

Even though I’ve resented these kids from my past, I forgive myself and them, we were just being kids doing the best we could.

Even though I’ve had all this resentment for so long, I love and forgive myself and these kids and choose to drop these resentments. 

We used appropriate reminder phrases alternating resentment phrases and forgiveness phrases.  After this Shirley’s intensity was down to 0 regarding childhood resentments.

Before we closed our session, I wanted to come back to present day and the resentment she feels when she does something she wants to do for her step-grandchildren.  It seemed that Shirley felt that she didn’t really belong to this family because she’s not a blood relative (just like it was for her as a child).  I suspected she kept trying hard, wanting and needing to be liked and included.  I suggested we do a few reversals:

Even though it isn’t safe for me to let go of trying so hard…

Even though I don’t deserve to let go of all this efforting…

Even though for whatever reason I might need to keep trying really really hard…

Even though I’m not perfect, I love and accept who I am.

Even though I’m not a blood relative, they love me anyway (she had said this was true), and I love myself.

Even though I’m not perfect, I accept all of me and appreciate how I’ve been handling my life.

Tapping reminder phrases:

I’m imperfect …  I’m just human … I make mistakes … Just like everyone else … It’s OK to be imperfect … They like me anyway …  They’re imperfect and I love them …  I’m not a blood relative …  So what? Lots of people hate their relatives (laughter) … I’m imperfect and I love myself … I’m a lovable imperfect human being…

Three weeks later Shirley reported that she no longer felt her resentment.  She said she was even surprised that in situations where she expects the feeling to arise, she sits there and waits for it, and it just doesn’t come!  She said this, “A whole pipeline of creativity has opened up that used to be filled with resentments.  It feels great.”

Warm hugs to you Gary,

Nancy Morris, EFT-ADV

 

 

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