I Lost Control
Over the past few months I have really lost it. I have been drinking excessively which 9 times out of 10 I will lose my temper at something. This last weekend really did it though.
My wife and 3 of my six kids went canoeing with some friends. After we returned from the canoe trip we went to the store and picked up some groceries for dinner. After dinner we laid down for a bit to recoup from the day and I fell asleep. When I woke up no one was in the cabin except for me and my children. I asked where everyone had gone with the responses of "I'm not sure, I have been asleep."
When I found my wife and friends at the mini golf course I playfully held the bottom of my wife's club as she was getting ready to putt (which she and I have both done before). She turned around and asked what my problem was. I told her nothing, I was just trying to be playful and went to give her a hug. She pulled away from me and I became upset.
I put my hand onto the side of her chin and pushed her away from me. Realizing what I had done I tried to pull her back to me and apologize for being rough. She pulled away from me again and I grabbed her arm to pull her back and she hit the wall. At this point we left the course to go back to the cabin. We argued for a while and I wanted to leave and talk somewhere else as there were a lot of people around, while in the meantime telling her I was going to kill myself by driving off of a bridge.
She wouldn't come with me so i grabbed her wrist and pulled her to the car and grabbed pretty tightly as her arm is now swollen. After approx. 10 more minutes of arguing by the car she went back to the cabin and I left.
When I returned she was sitting talking with friends and drinking more wine coolers. I sat down having cooled down and had a beer. We chatted for a bit and everyone went to bed.
After getting home now she won't come near me or speak to me.
I have started AA meetings as of today and need to know what I can do to control my irrational anger and not lose the women I love so dearly. We have been together for 20 years and I cannot stand the thought of her not being at my side. I know I was severely out of line and very hurtful both physically and emotionally. I need help so I can fix whatever is wrong with me. I can't stand the thought of losing her, she is my life and I want to fix what has been broken.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for telling your story on this site. Others have had similar experiences, and can benefit from your contribution.
First of all, congratulations for going to AA. That's a beginning--and it's worthless unless you continue. As they say in AA, "Keep coming back." Your alcoholism must be addressed, or any effort you make to control your anger will fail.
Addiction issues must always be addressed before emotional healing can occur. So, being sober and attending AA is your number one priority.
You're a good man, and you want to do the right thing. Your behavior toward your wife is abusive, and you need to take full responsibility for that. Face it soberly, with total honesty. Better now than after a divorce, or in a hospital, or behind bars. You have to de-activate the abusive part of yourself. Eliminating alcohol is the first step, but they all must be taken.
Here are some more steps to take:
1) Begin practicing these anger management techniques, and keep practicing them until you notice changes in your emotional responses. Like AA, this is just another step.
2) Write from your anger on a daily basis. Get all of those thoughts and feelings out on paper. This is for no one's eyes but yours. You can destroy it after you've written it. You just need to give your anger a "place to be" so that it does not take over your thoughts and actions.
3) Write about all of the times you've been hurt, abandoned, neglected and abused in your past. This is where your anger comes from. Simply writing about these memories will help.
4) After writing about your anger, write about what you're grateful for from your past, what you appreciate about your present, and what you're optimistic about in your future. This positive journaling will activate the good person you truly are. Keep doing this positive journaling every day, no matter what, and you will get great results.
Whatever you do, do not give up on yourself. Ever. You can do whatever you set your mind to. Believe in yourself. You can be the kind of person you want to be.
Feel free to write for more support on this site.
My best to you,