Following letter cut down to protect the innocent. And everyone in the story seems to be innocent.
Dear Auntie Seraphic,
Thank you for the work you do for us Single girls.
I hear you about being rooted in reality and accepting that a guy is just not that into you, but what about when you hate his new girlfriend so much you can't seem them together without wanting to kill her? People tell me how placid and calm I always look, but they have no idea what is going on under the surface. I am actually very emotional but I was brought up not to show it.
Meanwhile, like I say, I am working hard to be rooted and reality and I know he obviously was just never that into me, but I keep thinking "Why her? Anybody but her!" And I really mean that. Anybody. My roommate. His housemate. My little sister. And by the way you are wrong about guys not going for the girls who go after them because, believe me, I was there and she went after him.
Did I mention we're all in the same Catholic [X]? So I don't think I can avoid them completely without seriously disrupting my life. Please tell me what you think!
First of all, I'm really sorry. That really hurts, and I know how much it can hurt because it has happened to me.
Second, I have always found the most effective way of getting rid of strong, crippling feelings of any kind is to ask God to take them away. Actually, it isn't when I ask God to take them away in a sort of nice inner voice that He does it. It is when I demand it in a I-Don't-Care-If-You-Smite-Me kind of way. Maybe He knows that's a lot more honest, and if I end up crying, that's even better. There's nothing like a good, solitary cry to get emotional poison out.
If you're stuck for words, "Help me not to care," is good.
Third, I am of two minds about your mask of perpetual placid calm. On the one hand, it probably makes you a restful, soothing woman to be around. On the other hand, all those seething emotions have to go somewhere. If you are creatively inclined, I suggest channeling them into some artistic endeavor. If you have been thinking about becoming more fit, I suggesting working them off in some high-intensity sport. And then there is rock therapy.
Actually, it doesn't have to be rock. It could be opera. Or Mozart's Requiem Mass. At any rate, it should be something cathartic. When I first read your email, Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend" came to mind. In your shoes, I would alternate prayer with listening to "Girlfriend" on repeat. When I got bored of that, I would up the noise/anger factor with Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff."
Fourth, I congratulate you on looking placid and calm in trying circumstances. Although this means that you actually have to tell people how your are feeling, when that is necessary---e.g. "I find that very offensive. Please go away."---it maintains your dignity. When what happened to you happened to me at your age, I threw myself down on the carpet before the guy's feet and wept. Not good.
(I hasten to add that I was in my early 20s, and I have enormous compassion for anyone in their early 20s, including my overwrought former self.)
Fifth, if you can, you may want to avoid seeing them, at least for a while. Don't think of this as them "running you out of town" or whatever; think of this as you taking care of yourself during a spiritual illness. Feeling murderous rage is indeed a spiritual illness, and if you had a physical illness, you would stay at home, wouldn't you? Try to get the benefits you have been getting from [X] elsewhere, and make sure you don't cut yourself off from your real friends.
I very much hope this is helpful. Here is the Avril Lavigne song. (Actually watching the video is optional.) There is a bit of rude language, but not as much as in Limp Bizkit. I hope it is obvious that I am not suggesting the situation Avril describes is anything like your situation; it's the basic emotions--and catharsis--we're after here.
I'll remember to pray for you in particular when I pray for all my readers on Sunday.
Grace and peace,
Note to everybody: I have just had a listen to "Break Stuff" and it occurs to me that many NCGs, particularly those in orthodox but perhaps, hmm, stifling communities like Charming Disarray describes here, might profit from rocking out outrageously to very bad language. And it's nervous giggles bad, poppets. At least, it was the first time I heard it. Now "Break Stuff" is my own personal emotional Lemsip; before I moved to Edinburgh I went to Goth clubs a lot.