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Afraid For My Family And Afraid For Me

by Adam
(Illinois, USA)

It took me about 20 minutes to start typing this, so please bear with me if I ramble on.

I've always had a small temper, but normally I've also been able to control and release that temper safely. In the past year however that small temper has had some super nova moments. Normally a raving tirade set off at the smallest thing, during those it doesn't matter where I am--store, home or work, I would explode on anyone within range of hearing. It was always verbal anger.

Very recently though it's gone a giant step further, and I'm at the point of being fearful. I'm a bigger than average guy and know if I had no other choice I could easily hurt someone, or worse. The problem is at this point it has nothing to do with choice or not.

The recent outbursts I've had are best described as "barely contained rage". During these instances I keep going and going, kind of like adding wood to a fire before deciding to toss a full gas can into the fire. At the "gas" point it becomes dangerously physical, but luckily (if you can call it that) only physical to myself. I would just need to get it all out the fastest way possible, usually punching a hole into a wall or something of the sort.

I came across this site tonight after the worst blow up I've had took place about 5 hours ago. It was actually a really good day, but then I started arguing with my wife about something insignificant, I can't even remember what it was now. Normally when I blow up my kids are not home, but tonight my youngest son was home and started screaming in response to the argument. I snapped, I don't want to say I "saw red" but it's best described like a gunner locking onto a target.

I charged at him, and it terrifies me to think about it now but I could think of nothing more than to HURT him at that moment.

I thank God that I managed to "change targets" before I did something so terrible, but that barely contained rage wasn't contained anymore. I went berserk on our front door(which is ruined now) and nearby wall (which is broken in many places now). I have swollen, bruised and cut hands and legs and one heck of a cut on my head from actually attacking the door with a headbutt.

I'm feeling really lost and really scared right now. Doubtless my wife and son are terrified of me as well now. The thought that I might not be able to stop the next time terrifies me to the point of crying. I'm praying there is help, any help for me.
In the mean time I've decided to just stay away from everyone as often as possible.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Adam, thanks for telling your story here. It sounds like you're going through a very tough time...and that's an understatement. I will try to help.

First, I want you to consider that you're a good man, and that's why you are so shocked and horrified at your behavior. Your anger has taken on a life of its own, and apparently you are getting "hijacked" by it, where you lose all sense of control. I know that's scary, but there are solutions.

You may need more help than what I can offer here, but I assure you that if you use these tools, you will get some relief. The only way these tools may not work for you is if you're too traumatized by your behavior and you have your emotions too locked away to access them. The tools only work if they can help you get in touch with your emotions, including your anger.

Try the exercises described on this FAQ page. Do each one repeatedly and consistently, once or twice a day, until you start feeling some benefit.

You might want to supplement this written material with one or more of our books or CD/download programs.

Whatever you do, Adam, don't give up on yourself. Believe in the kind and gentle man you are inside. He (that part of you) is far more powerful than the raging out of control part of you. Trust that.

You can do this. I'm pulling for you.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

P.S. If you found this to be helpful, please consider making a donation to this site to support our mission to help you become your own best anger management resource.

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