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I Am Plotting Revenge on Someone I Love

From a woman in the Philippines: I was sexually abused when I was younger and diagnosed with clinical depression almost a year ago. I used to have bad temper problems (snapping out or having a mental breakdown in a split-second) which does not happen as often anymore. I still self cut when in the state of depression.

Fast forward, I am confused with how I am right now. I am plotting revenge on someone I love. This person has hurt me emotionally constantly, and I act like I can handle it. I am taking it day by day and act loving (genuinely) but at the same time able to think of many ways to get back at the person once I have had enough.

This is not DID as I am completely aware of what I am doing and thinking. But I am curious and confused how I am able to act and feel 2 completely different feelings.

My only outlet to control myself is writing in my journal. Which can also be completely different. I can have entries of loving unconditionally and plotting revenge out of anger about the same person. Which is to me both 100% true to my feelings. How is this possible?

A: Thank you for writing. It is not at all unusual for a survivor of abuse to develop an approach to conflict that is marked by two extremes. They never want to be a victim again and develop the unconscious belief that the only way to avoid it is to be a “victimizer”, the person who has the power to hurt someone else. Often a survivor goes back and forth between the two: Victim and controlling victimizer. The challenge is to learn a third alternative: How to take care of yourself without becoming the kind of person who hurts others in an effort to ever be victimized again.

You should not be accepting abuse. But that doesn’t mean that you need “revenge”. You need to learn ways to effectively stop an abuser without becoming one (whether in fantasy or in reality). Therapy can help you with that. I hope you will take care of yourself and make an appointment with a therapist who specializes is trauma.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I Am Plotting Revenge on Someone I Love

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie Hartwell-WalkerDr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I Am Plotting Revenge on Someone I Love. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 27, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/01/16/i-am-plotting-revenge-on-someone-i-love/

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 13 Jan 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Jan 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.