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Well, hello, my friend, and welcome to another episode of the Caregiver Cup podcast. Today I'm bringing back a big topic again, a topic that we've talked about in the past, but it is one that is so important to go ahead and talk about, and that is resentment. Resentment is a complex and negative emotion characterized by bitterness and anger and hostility towards your loved one or towards other people on your team or your situation or your circumstance. It typically arises when you perceive unfairness or injustice or a sense of being treated unfairly, and resentment often develops over time and you notice it as a negative experience or negative experiences that accumulate and lead to deep-seated feelings for yourself of displeasure or discontentment. And I can't tell you how many times I felt resentment, even before caregiving and throughout caregiving, and it just comes up and the feelings are just so nasty that today. That's what I want to break down. This is going to be a longer episode, my friend, so get your earbuds in, you can multitask, grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage, because we're in for a good one, and I'll say it again throughout the podcast this is one that you probably want to save. You want to save this episode and come back to it when you have these feelings of resentment, so you can work through it. This is like a masterclass. This is a big training that we're going to go into. So we're going to break down today why caregivers feel resentment. Then we're going to talk about a step, that we're going to take a step back and unpack the key characteristics of resentment. Then we're going to talk about recognizing it and how to recognize it, and then we're going to get into ways to overcome and release resentment. Most importantly, the very first step that you have to take, because staying resentful can negatively impact your health and your well-being, both emotional, physically, socially and your overall quality of life. I can't tell you how many times people have said to me I am so resentful, or I would mask mine and just say I'm just so angry when anger turned into resentment. And so let's break it down and dig in here now and talk about the common emotions and situations that can lead to resentment, and there's a ton of them here. So the first one is that is a common situation that leads to resentment is unmet expectations, and I want you to think about what are your expectations of yourself, of caregiving? When your expectations are not met met consistently, it can lead to resentment. The example that I have, that's non caregiving related, is you work with somebody on your work team and you have these unmet expectations that they're going to show up on time and they're going to support the team and they're going to be there and when they don't they don't show up on time or you can't find them, or they're taking ungodly amounts of vacation time or PTO time and you're pulling all the weight. That resentment comes in and it's happened to me. It's happened to me and one of the reasons is, or one of the resentment issues is I didn't address it, just drinking my coffee here a minute. The next one is lack of recognition for you. You can feel invisible. Without acknowledgement, we feel unnoticed or underappreciated and it can lead to resentment. You almost feel like, okay, nobody really thinks about all the work that I do behind the scenes, they just assume I'm going to do it, and then that resentment just comes up and I could actually. I could actually get myself into this mindset and go on to a drama show and actually be there in the lack of resentment, lack of recognition, resentment that's how wild I get about that. One Another one is another common emotion and situation that leads to resentment is balancing responsibilities. It's almost like you're seeing a caregiver juggling with other life responsibilities, such as work and family and personal time and volunteer time and trying to manage the house and all that kind of stuff, and they're becoming overwhelmed. The struggle to find balance can create resentment towards the demands of caregiving because we feel it's another thing added to our plate. And I would get this way driving over to my mom's house and her, my mom's apartment, and during times of really stressful overwhelm, when work was heavy, when Dennis was in his midst of his caregiving, if I was in gardening season and I had all of these other things going on, and now I had to stop my day and take care of my mom, and not that I didn't love her, but the resentment for balancing everything was key and I thought it was just me. But when you think about it, think about your resentment going towards the common emotions or situations that I'm going through so unmet expectations, lack of recognition. Balancing responsibilities are three. Another one is loss of independence oh boy, this one is me and caregivers may feel that they've lost their personal freedom or because of the role, or it's leading to resentment towards their changed life style and, yeah, you lose your sense of independence, you lose your your freedom, you lose your ability to drop things and do something fun. You don't have that now. Your life is scheduled and the loss of the independent is common. It's a common situation that leads to resentment. Another one is financial strain. Yeah, the financial burden of caregiving can include medical expenses, modification to your home, reduced work hours, and it can lead to frustration and resentment. My big one for me, when my husband was going through his third round of chemotherapy. He probably only worked one hour out of the entire first nine months of the year and we had to realize that we couldn't afford the car payment and so we went down to one car and I had to let go of my fun little blue Malibu that I absolutely loved and it was my baby and I had to say goodbye to it. Oh, my gosh, was I upset and resentful and mad and loss of independence and all of that leaded into it, but it was. It was what we had to do. Another thing that leads to resentment and this one is common it's emotional toll, the emotional strain of of witnessing your loved ones decline or feeling helpless or dealing with mood changes from your loved one or yourself can contribute to resentment. Think about it If your, your loved one, is continuing to decline a big one, I feel most caregivers feel and see and they fear life without their loved one it does lead to resentment and that resentment we'll talk about it in the as we go through this episode. But resentment comes out in anger, it comes out in depression, whatever it would be, and you're just seeing that emotional toll that it's taking on yourself. Watching that or another one is unequal sharing of responsibilities. When caregiving responsibilities are not shared equally amongst your family members or your loved ones, the primary care may may feel unfairly burdened on you, and this is this happened to me. This can, this can be the hard reality. Seeing other family members go on vacation oh my gosh, that was hard for me to see and I was so resentful as I sat there with my mom. Not that it wasn't a privilege to take care of my mom, it just really hurt to be able to see that they could go ahead and take a break and I couldn't. And that feeling of resentment, oh my gosh. Yeah, don't get me started. I've had way too much coffee already this morning. But another one is unrealistic guilt. I want you to think about yourself often experiencing guilt for taking time for yourself or pursuing other interests. This guilt can breed resentment if you don't take care of it, and it shouldn't breed it resentment, but it does, okay. Another one is lack of self care. If you're neglecting your self care due to caregiving responsibilities, you're going to start feeling resentment because you're not feeling well yourself. You're looking in the mirror, for example, and seeing you haven't had a haircut in three months. Or you're looking in the mirror and you you can see that you're you're putting on weight, or you can see the wrinkles on your face or the fatigue in your face, and now you're becoming resentful because you're not taking care of yourself. It's like a catch 22. Another one is loss of your personal time. And the lack of time for your personal activities or your hobbies or socialization in general with your friends can lead to resentment. And you're seeing your friends maybe you see them on Facebook or Instagram and they're out there having dinner with, with their rest of your friend group, or they're they went to a concert or a play, and you're looking at that and now you're jealous, you're angry, you're crying. Those are all feelings that lead to resentment. Another one and the last, one of the the common emotions and situation that lead to resentment is I just scrolled my computer here once oh, here we go is communication breakdown. Poor communication with your loved one or family members can lead to misunderstanding and unmet needs, contributing to your, your loved one, or contributing to resentment of your the whole situation. I would get mad in angry when my family members would say I can't, I can't contribute. We would have calendar in front of us and saying, okay, mom needs to be here and here and here let's sit down and see who can cover these appointments because mom couldn't drive anymore. And if somebody would said, well, I can't do that, I have an appointment that day, or I can't do that because I have to watch the, the grandchildren today, I would get so angry inside of me and then bottle it all up and think to myself well, I would just figure it out and would take mom no matter what, and I would get resentful because I dropped everything and figured it out, which wasn't healthy either. We'll talk about that too. But that can really lead to resentment and it can lead to unhealthy behaviors of you not asking anymore. So those are the pieces there. It's important to address these emotions which ones were you? And address the situation so that you recognize and can prevent resentment from taking root, because empowering caregivers like you with effective communication strategies, self-care practices and realistic expectations can help manage these challenges and navigate this caregiving journey with more positivity. So now that we have recognized the emotions and the situations, I want to move in further. I'm sure you can hear that this is a big topic and a complex negative emotion, and so we're going to talk about some key characteristics. But first I want to just talk about a statement here that I wrote down. All of resentment is characterized by feelings of bitterness, anger, hostility, and it's towards a person, a situation or a circumstance. It typically arises when you feel something is unfair, unjust or a sense of being treated unfairly Either you're the overall situation or your loved one. Resentment often develops over time as negative experiences accumulate. It leads to deep-seated feelings of displeasure and discontent. So I want to really reinstate, when we go through, the key characteristics. You're going to feel these feelings, but they're going to build over time and they're going to develop. So some of the key characteristics here and I'd like you to just mentally recognize them or, if you're, you can take notes saying, yep, I feel this one, I feel this one, or whatever it would be so. But the key characteristics, the most obvious one is anger and frustration. You're going to notice yourself angry and frustrated even more and you're going to it's going to be towards something or someone, and these emotions can become intense and persistent if left unaddressed. Now, my biggest advice for you is do not leave the stew inside of you. But there's two ways to do it. You either leave them stew inside of you or you have to recognize if you blurt them out and you're not a nice person to be around. So how does your anger and frustration come out? That's more or less what I want you to think about, because obviously you don't want to let them stew over time and you don't want to let them, you know, just be this bad person all the time, and so you have to understand that you have one or the other, or both, both. I tend to leave them stew inside. That's just my reaction. I will get quiet and not say anything, and then eventually I have to process it. Another characteristic is perceived injustice. Resentment often stems from a perceived injustice or unfair treatment. This can you can feel neglected, taken advantage of or disregarded. Okay, so there's going to be many opportunities where, like my mom, would just assume that I am going to do everything and it's like, where were you, you're supposed to pick this up for me? And that resentment would stew over time. Or people would ask me, how is Dennis doing? And they would never ask me how I was doing, and that would that stemmed and stewed over time on me and it built up to just total resentment for the whole situation. Another another characteristic is long term nature, meaning resentment tends to build up over time and it holds on to your negative emotions and grievances. It becomes a chronic emotional state if not effectively managed, and it can lead to health problems. I think about mine. I didn't address a lot of my resentment because, first of all, I said to myself I don't have time for this. Second of all, I said, what would it matter anyway? And it led to I've shared this with you in the past, but it led to stomach issues, digestive issues, depression, excessive weight gain and it just affected me physically and mentally. Another characteristic is negative impacts on your relationships. It can resentment can strain relationships, creating distance and barriers between you and that individual. It can lead to communication breakdowns and hinder constructive communication and interaction. It can. I was so resentful that it affected my job. It affected my job. I was snappy, I was not engaged sometimes in conference calls. I just was not a nice person to be around, I just wasn't. It affected me so so very much and it really did affect me from a job performance perspective and I was passed up on a few opportunities during my initial caregiving stages because I didn't want to talk about it. I didn't want to address the issues. Another characteristic is physical and mental. We already talked about the effects of that and the implications that it can have on your physical and mental health. It can cause. It can cause elite distress, which we know I'm rolling my eyes if you can't see me through the microphone. It can cause anxiety, depression and really life-threatening overall well-being. I've had clients that have had serious medical condition because of it. So you want to go ahead and not let that resentment stew or you don't want that to hide that resentment. Another one is rumination Often ruminates on the source of their resentment. You can often ruminate on the source of your resentment, replaying negative events in your mind over and over and over again and this rumination can reinforce and become part of your belief system. In your brain, you're just reinforcing the negative thoughts and sooner or later, you just convince yourself that this is the situation. Nobody cares, nobody, you know, blah, blah, blah and you just go ahead and do it. You're not a fun person to be around and you're going to notice things that you're going to go ahead and respond more negatively or you're going to be that person that is going to ask questions, but not good questions. So what you're saying is this is happening again and we have to live through it again instead of being positive about it. Pay attention to caregivers in a doctor's office once. You can see when, potentially, there are characteristics or resentment feelings happening and they're just checked out. Yes, another characteristic is unresolved conflict, if resentment is often associated with unresolved conflict on unaddressed issues. So open communication and conflict resolution are key to managing and alleviating resentment. And where I find the biggest crutch or the biggest conflict is amongst siblings or family members or your team that's helping your loved one is when one person is pulling all the weight or one person is doing a lot more and then there's conflict there, or somebody goes ahead and comments on something that you did and there's oh yeah, it can get really, really, really messy. And then there's resentment because nobody wants to talk about the conflict or it could be amongst your loved one, and my mom would. Towards the end of her last six months she wasn't a happy, nice person to be around and it caused me a lot of resentment and it took me sometimes days or weeks to talk to her and alleviate and manage my resentment and break that conflict that was inside of my head. Okay, the last characteristic is your self-esteem and the impact of your self-esteem, because persistent resentment and I'm just going to come out and say, can he rode self-esteem. That's pretty harsh. But as individuals and caregivers we feel powerless or victimized, sometimes by the circumstances. We only see the glasses half full and I could do another whole episode on this. But caregiving can be your trauma when you look back at it. It can be traumatizing to you or it can be triggering to you and it can't eat away at your self-esteem because you don't feel like you're good enough anymore and you have to work on that piece and you have to see how important of a piece of this big puzzle that you are. And so that's the characteristics there and so kind of to review the characteristic anger and frustration, perceived injustice, long-term nature, negative impacts on relationships, physical and mental effects, rumination on resolve, conflict and impacts of South Fasem. That's why it's important to recognize and address feelings of resentment for your essential well-being and quality of the care for your loved one. Developing healthy coping mechanisms, effective communication skills and strategies to manage negative emotions can help you navigate the challenges that lead to resentment and create a more positive caregiving experience. And that's why I've had my head down for the last two months creating a program called Empowerful Caregiver School, and I'm going to talk about it at the end of the lesson today or at the end of the episode today and really talk about if you are looking for, you know, more skill sets on this and more practices and strategies. This may be something you want to look into. So let's move on. So where are you at resentment you want to think about? Where are you in this resentment journey right now? Can you recognize where you feel resentment and what it looks like and why you're feeling it? Because that's what we just went through. So the first step to overcoming negative thoughts and resentment is acceptance. I know it seems like it's like oh my gosh. But you have to listen to yourself and recognize that you're being resentful and that's a normal human response when you are in this chronic state, in this challenging time. You have to recognize what am I saying. You might be saying it is what it is. Life will never be the same. I just want to get away. Those might be some of the things. You could say others, but those are the things that pop into my head. You also want to reflect on what's your head saying. What are you feeling? What are the emotions coming out? What are the thoughts? Are there more negative thoughts? Are they keeping you up at night? Are they consuming your day? Are they causing added stress? And explore what triggers them. What triggers them? It might be your loved one declining and it might be looking at them today and seeing that they don't recognize you anymore. Now you're even more resentful of cancer. You're more resentful of the doctor and can't figure out why they can't do anything more. You have to figure out what that is and then addressing and accepting resentment requires grace and practice and self-reflection. It's not easy. I'm just being honest and I'm just going to say I'm going to get real here. It requires effort. It requires a lot of effort to go ahead and get rid of that resentment, because resentment built up for you over time and you have to have the desire and the want to get rid of it. You no longer want to feel this way, you no longer want to snap, you no longer want to feel jealous of everybody else, whatever it would be. And then you have to believe that it can happen. It can happen even in this hard time that you think you're just going to wait. Do you really want to wait? Do you really want it to affect your health and well-being? And it's going to take time. So let's talk about overcoming and releasing resentment and how to do that. It can be challenging, but ultimately liberating. I wrote the word ultimately down and I'm thinking to myself Kathy, why did you write that down? You can hardly say it, but it can be such a liberating process. So this part of the episode is truly the masterclass of how to overcome resentment. I would suggest you take this episode or save it and bring it back any time you feel resentment and you can fast forward to the steps halfway through this episode and go through these, or you can go and listen to the entire thing and saying I'm going to go for a walk and I'm going to listen to this again and take something. Now there's a lot of steps here, but I think when you go ahead and look at these you're going to recognize. I repeated some of these again. So the first one I talked about already, it's acceptance, but it's also self compassion. You have to acknowledge that you are experiencing resentment and not judge yourself. It is a human reaction. It's a human and you have a lot on your plate and you're going to feel resentment on occasion, and so you want to accept it and have self compassion and practice self compassion by treating yourself kindly and understanding that your feelings are valid. Yeah, and maybe it requires you to journal them out, talk to a friend, sit with yourself and then you also. Number two is you want to identify the triggers and the causes. Reflect on the situations, events or the people that trigger your feelings of resentment, like when I would walk into my mom's apartment. I had usually carried my laptop with me because I did the bills off of the laptop. I usually carried in groceries for her and I couldn't even get off my jacket and she would pounce at me and saying I got a bill, you got to do this, you got to do this and I just was triggered and so I had to realize that and identify the underlying causes and specific reasons for your resentment. So by identifying your triggers and your causes, you can then start working your mindset and potentially changing the situation. Number three is express your feelings. Find a safe and supportive space to express your feelings. This could be through journaling, it could be through a trusted friend. This could be through me. I could be your caregiver, coach, or you could seek professional license, therapy or counseling. You need to get those expressions out so that they're not bottled up inside of you and boiling and boiling and boiling. Number four is having open communication. If possible, have that open and honest communication with the person or the people involved. Express your feelings calmly, assertively, in a non defensive way. Focus on your emotions rather than placing blame For my mom situation. For example, once I got through everything and we were kind of set during the day, I said to mom I'm like can you do me a favor, mom? I get really upset inside of me and actually a little bit angry. And then I went on to say and she's like oh, I said, I just want you to say hi to me and hug me first and then just wait and be patient. But my mom didn't see anybody for a day or two and so she just like she almost like threw up on me and I'm like, oh, bob, and so I had to go ahead and talk to her about it. It worked sometimes. It didn't work other times, but you know what? At least I was open with her. Number five set boundaries. Establish clear boundaries to protect your own well being. Communicate your needs and limits to others involving your caregiver situation. My brother did that. He was really good at that and it got me angry and resentful that he would say nope, kathy, I can't help on this day because I have a doctor's appointment. I think men are better, but when I had those open communications, he said you have to have healthy boundaries to Kathy, so we need to go ahead and figure out different solutions and strategies and figure that out. Maybe we both need to see each other's calendar so we're not booking things on the same day and have a three way calendar, or we need to tap into the grandchildren, which we did, so you know being able to do that and being okay with your healthy boundaries with no guilt and shame, because you need to be protecting your own well being. The next one is shifting your perspective. Challenge negative thoughts and patterns in your head with a different perspective. Oh my gosh, we're doing this in the unpowerful caregiver school and, as a matter of fact, I can never hold a secret in I'm going to be doing a free podcast series and a free like a four day free training, and so be watching for that. I don't have all the details worked out yet, but I'm going to be talking about some of these ways, these shift perspectives that we're going to be working on, and it might be gratitude, it might be going for a walk and focusing on something, and you have to focus on shifting that perspective with gratitude and wins and positive aspects of the caregiving journey. You have to turn that negative thought pattern off, or else that thought pattern is going to consume more of that brain. Your brain wants to go protect you, and so it's going to tell you yes, taking all those negative thoughts, I got to keep soothing you and protecting you so that you don't get your hopes up that somebody's going to go ahead and help you or your loved ones not going to get better. I have to protect you, but you shouldn't have to feel resentment. The next one is practice forgiveness. Consider forgiving yourself for a mistake or a shortcoming in your role. Practice forgiving others who might have contributed to your feelings and resentment, and really practicing forgiveness and letting it go. And letting it go. Okay, what are the facts? I can't get the help today. What are the facts? I have to work my job today. Mom has an appointment today, so how are we going to take care of mom's appointment today and not pay, not lead into all of the emotion and figure it out? The next one is self-care, and I know self-care is just a word that we all roll our eyes. It eyes at self-love. Maybe. Prioritize your self-care to replenish your emotional and physical energy. You need to have that emotional, physical, emotional and physical energy to go into challenging situations, so you have to engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation and sense of fulfillment. Yeah, that's such an important piece. Also, another one is seek support and that we talked about the professional support. But connect with other support groups, online communities, counseling services, sharing your experiences with others, others who understand and contribute and Provide validation and insight what they're trying to get at here, and what I'm trying to get at here is you Don't have to do this alone. There are other people that are experiencing the same thing, and so go out to the Facebook group, our the caregiver cup, private or private community it's in the bottom of the show notes and go ahead and you know if you're feeling something Saying I'm feeling this way, who else is feeling this way, what are you doing? And validate that? Another one is mindfulness and meditation. Practicing staying in the present moment, managing your negative emotions, and meditation can help you observe, absorb your thoughts and absorb and observe your thoughts without judgment and finding inner calm. So many times I hold my hand on my heart and take deep breaths and tell myself Kathy, you are okay, you are safe, you can remain calm, and I would do that. I was closing my eyes, holding my heart, and Then you have to. Another one is release control. Recognize that you can't control everything, except that situations are going to go to bust. Sometimes some situations are beyond your control, and Then my favorite practice that I just really started incorporating in the last year is celebrating your wins. Acknowledge and celebrate every small step that you take to release resentment if you didn't speak up Because you didn't feel it was needed, or if you asked your sibling, hey, can we have a chat quick? And you held you and you shared that that feelings. That's a win. Recognize your own growth and the positive changes that you're making as well. Okay, so those were the oh my gosh umpteen million of them. It's accept and acceptance and self-compassion identifying your triggers, expressing your feelings, open communication, setting boundy boundaries, shifting perspective, providing or practicing forgiveness, self-care, seek support, mindfulness, release control and celebrate your wins. Remember that releasing resentment is a gradual process that requires time and effort. It's a skill set that you have to learn, so you have to be patient with yourself and give yourself permission to heal. It's a journey towards your emotional freedom and a healthier caregiver experience. So I want to close with a few words of advice here, or a few suggestions if you need help with support, strategies or practices to overcome resentment. First of all, we have this Facebook page. It's the caregiver cup online community. It's a private Facebook group that you can go to for free. I Also have I also do one-on-one coaching and the first 30 minutes are free. So I'll go out to Kathy L van com forward slash coaching and we can kind of look at your plan and maybe a look at seeing what's best for you. And then also on September 18, the powerful caregiver school will be starting, and so this week I'm going to be opening up the wait list. So if you are not on the wait list yet, you want to get on the wait list and it's you can go to the wait list at Kathy L van com forward, slash and powerful. You are going to go ahead and learn the strategies and the support and and practices to being an powerful caregiver, and your resentment practices can be used in this program, and so you're going to want to do that. Staying resentful can have significant negative impacts. So this is, kathy, talking about the negative on both your emotional and well-being and your overall quality of life. I didn't even want to include all of it in here because the laundry list of negative impacts is so long and I know you probably recognizes, recognize these. So I want to encourage you to take small steps and start Empowering yourself to go ahead and do it. Maybe it's just accepting it, recognizing it, journaling about it, talking to somebody about it that's your first win, and being able to do that instead of just saying I'm so resentful. You need to understand why you're resentful and start digging into it. Being that private eye for yourself and taking those small steps develop, help develop healthy coping mechanisms. Effective communications and Strategies to manage your negative emotions can help caregivers then navigate the challenges that can lead to resentment. Once you can recognize these and once you know where you're at, then you can start taking baby steps. Maybe it's going for a walk and releasing those negative emotions. Maybe it's going ahead and doing a meditation practice, whatever it is, because your goal is to create a more positive caregiving experience and taking that empowerment of this journey and Realizing that you can live a better caregiver life with less resentment and more joy. So I hope you found this helpful today. Will you do me a favor? I want to hear back from you. Either give me a Review, hopefully a five-star review on your app I know that's sometimes hard to find or drop me a message and let me know what your thoughts are about this episode. Where are you at in your resentment journey? What have you recognized? Are your emotions or your responses, and what are you doing to work? I'll give you a little bit of advice if you do respond back to me. Well, my friend, you have a good rest of the day and we will talk to you again next week. But here's to more joy by recognizing that you are the most important piece in this caregiving journey. Bye for now.