“We were often depressed and dissatisfied with our lives; we were resentful and blamed others for our unhappiness.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 7
Funny thing about my resentments: I treasured them because they made me feel powerful, and I denied them because I was ashamed to have anyone know I harbored them. I loved them and felt guilty about them at the same time. So I disguised them behind a fake smile, fake warmth, and by manipulating and ignoring people.
I veiled my resentments with sarcasm, teasing, gossip, mocking, and “constructive criticism.” I hid them behind non-verbal actions like crossing my arms, rolling my eyes, and sighing. I even tried to soften resentments by relabeling them as grudges, hurts, or disappointments. These are only a few of the ways I kept from facing how deeply resentful I was.
When it came time to inventory my resentments in Step Four, I had to face the disguises, veils, hiding places, and misleading labels. I had to give up feeling powerful for being truthful. Gently and honestly, I started to face all the anger, pain, and jealously that I had been trying to avoid. My resentments had been a cover for these more personal and vulnerable emotions.
For perhaps the first time in my adult life, I was consciously trying to be emotionally honest with myself and others. As I worked through my resentments and related feelings, another funny thing happened. A more genuine person came out. The true me started to emerge.
My resentments hide the real me. As I work through them, my best self can appear.