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Question
Posted by: Angry | 2010/06/30

How do I let go?

Hi CS

My mom passed away 2 weeks ago 3 months after being diagnosed with cancer. Afer her passing there was some family issues, from her side of the family, but there has always been feuding within her family so that did not come as a huge surprise.

I have a cousin who lived with my parents for a number of months, inlcuding the period that she was ill. He is a recovering addict and basically led everyone to believe that his own mother treats him so badly and everyone felt so sorry for him and so that is how he ended up staying with my folks.

In recent weeks I discovered that he had been slandering me and my family to everyone who would listen. He said the most horrible things, including that no one but him was prepared to take care of my mom during her illness which is a blatant lie. He said my family is dysfunctional and that we turn on each other. CS, you would not find a family with a stronger bond than mine. He went through all my parents personal things when he was alone in the house and bragged to his friends about it.

I have moments of utter rage about this, CS. I know I should just let it go and write him off. I never need to see him again. How do I let go of these feelings of anger and rage? I do not want to waste any more time or energy on him, yet I cannot seem to shake the anger. I do not need the anger on top of the grief of losing my mom. I would appreciate your advice.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

The loss of a loved one can be so difficult to deal with anyway, but isn't i sad how often this is follwed by unpleasant family squabbles ?
From the soun of it your horrible cousin is probably angry that there is nobody now to look after HIM and his bad habits. You're right to notice both the unavoidable sense of rage and outrage about his seedy beghaviour and the need to exclude him from your lives and avoid being consumed by the fire of the anger he has caused.
Counselling is obviously the best setting in which to work on both this and the grief work. Sometimes it helps to write a long lettwer to him, pouring out all the anger and contempt you feel - and then, not giving it to him ( that'd just help him to feel justified in his sneering at you all ) but burning it, and allowing your fury to turn to ashes like the relationship with this rat

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/06/30

The loss of a loved one can be so difficult to deal with anyway, but isn't i sad how often this is follwed by unpleasant family squabbles ?
From the soun of it your horrible cousin is probably angry that there is nobody now to look after HIM and his bad habits. You're right to notice both the unavoidable sense of rage and outrage about his seedy beghaviour and the need to exclude him from your lives and avoid being consumed by the fire of the anger he has caused.
Counselling is obviously the best setting in which to work on both this and the grief work. Sometimes it helps to write a long lettwer to him, pouring out all the anger and contempt you feel - and then, not giving it to him ( that'd just help him to feel justified in his sneering at you all ) but burning it, and allowing your fury to turn to ashes like the relationship with this rat

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