View Full Version : Hateful Letters and How to Respond

Jul 3, 2014, 09:24 AM
This seems counter-intuitive, but it helped me. I opened a word processing document, and wrote down everything that was eating away at me. Every time I thought of something new, or some detail to add or refine, I edited. Writing it down and making it is complete and true as possible seemed to keep me from rehashing mentally.

My counselor said that what is unconscious or subconscious has a power over us that the intellect cannot address. We have to bring these things to the logical conscious mind first, to take away the power. Putting it into actual words starts this process.

Another thing that has helped me is "scheduled worrying." When I find myself mentally obsessing over something, I tell myself that I can spend 10 minutes every evening at 1900 thinking about it, and no other time. When the thought comes up "off schedule," I tell myself it is not time. I do much better with "not now" than "never again," even in dieting. And "not now" turns into "not so often" to "rarely" to "almost never." Well with stuff that is no fun. Not nearly so much with ice cream. :)

I did something similar to this when I was dealing with something incredibly stressful and life changing in a bad way. When a thought was persistent, I wrote it down in a notebook, and told myself that I would think about it later on in the evening. This allowed me to let go of the thought in the moment. This thing was taking over my life and I was tired of giving it so much of my energy. Later, I would review my notebook and remake the list. At first I did this daily, but over time I did it less and less. It really helped in that I could use my lists to identify those things I could do something about, those things that were out of my control which I needed to let go of, and those things that were already resolved, which I very much needed to let go of. I noticed themes which I explored further giving me a better understanding of myself. My lists helped me get through that horrible time with my sanity intact.

I understand the need to write that letter even if the ILs are incapable or unwilling to understand your point of view. If the need is overwhelming, do it, but be prepared for the fall out. I would recommend that your DH write the letter, then set it aside for a few days. Open it and ask himself, "What of this is really important for me to say, and what are they capable of actually hearing?" Then revise it. Do this a couple of times. He will find that the letter is a lot smaller than it started out being. Before sending it, figure out what exactly it is that you want to accomplish and what can be realistically accomplished, if anything. If he still wants to send the letter, then send it. He will feel better for having told them how he feels, but I doubt seriously if it will help the situation. He could write the most eloquent letter with every situation laid out perfectly along with evidence of the truth, and they still would not believe it. There have been many stories over the years written about here where there was irrefutable evidence of the truth, but the ILs could not accept that truth, because it was so different from the way they wanted or believed the world to be.