* We start to see how our resentments allow the world and its people to dominate and harm us; how as a result, their wrong-doing can kill us even when it is only imagined.

“Start to” — do you begin to see a pattern here? 😉

I too have nearly made terrible mistakes while “driving angry” — or made terrible mistakes that I was lucky didn’t result in accidents! I still owe an ex amends because I used to “drive angry” in very concrete ways — resentfully agreeing to drive them somewhere, or getting in a fight in the car, and expressing my anger passive-aggressively by repeatedly slamming on the brakes instead of coming to a gentle stop, driving too fast, jerking the steering wheel, et cetera. Endangering everyone’s life, and also being a jerk by insisting that I wasn’t angry and wasn’t driving dangerously!

That ex was emotionally abusive, sexually anorexic (but only with me — you all know that pattern!) and had violated my sexual boundaries in the past before becoming sexually anorexic. (Which was quite a trick, given that I barely had any boundaries to begin with.) I had plenty of reason to be angry — and no coping mechanisms for it whatsoever. But I had plenty of anger issues from past abuse, and could just as easily have gotten triggered and angry over some imagined fault, or projected past behavior onto my partner when nothing was currently happening, or just spun out into resentment over a past harm  that was recurring inside my head, and started “driving angry”. Same potentially lethal result, “even when it is [currently] only imagined.”

I also really like the reminder here that wrong-doing can be only imagined. Because I cannot tell you how many times I have resented and feared somebody who, eventually, I realized had no beef with me at all and was doing nothing wrong. This happens a lot to me at work — in fact, it just happened recently!

I started a temp job about three weeks ago. My supervisor and her boss (the head of the office) seemed to be very different people than the rest of us — very quiet and reserved, where the rest of the office is goofy and funny. They didn’t praise me for things I did right, or thank me effusively for temping for them as some places do. They hardly ever made eye contact with me — particularly the big boss. Even though I know perfectly well — being on the autistic spectrum myself — that there are people who just do not do eye contact, I became convinced that they did not like me. (Especially because they had a few corrections for me after the first day! How dare they!! The horror!!!)  And then, of course, I resented them for disliking me when I had done nothing wrong!

But I worked my steps on it, let it go (sometimes repeatedly, lol), and kept being friendly and nice to them. Once I figured out that they were not eye contact types, I stopped trying to make eye contact with them. And you know what? After a couple of weeks of just joking with them and being friendly, they started laughing at my jokes, and joking with me themselves. And to my great surprise, once the big boss warmed up to me, she turned out to be the type that is fine with eye contact with people she knows are safe, and is just as friendly and eyebally and chatty as can be now. (My supervisor is the sporadic-eye-contact type, which I’m much more familiar with and which is also peachy keen.)
In the past, I would never have discovered any of that, because I would have stayed mad at them. I would have kept lovingly taking my resentments out and polishing them like precious stones. And as a result, I would have been professional but cold and awkward with them, because I was mad and didn’t want to make friends with people who hated me! And I would have had a much worse time at work, continuously doubted myself and feared I was doing things wrong and making them dislike me more, and just generally suffered. I know, because I have done this A LOT in the past. All because of the junk rattling around in my head!