Confused By Anger
I am the mother of four wonderful children. My eldest son is 32 years old, the next 25 and my twin daughters are 23.
All four children are wonderful loving human beings most of the time, however on occasion the eldest son and youngest daughter seem to wander from the path.
My son has moments of sadness and or anger that he can't seem to find a reason for. He tells me that he has actually sat down and gone through his life step by step in his mind and honestly can't see anything he has to be sad or angry about.
These moments pass but are quite intense and he has been known (when he has been drinking and his barriers are down) to seek a fight for no real reason.
This concerns me greatly as he is a powerful young man who could inadvertently cause great harm and is such a loving person normally that this would destroy him.
My other concern is my youngest twin daughter who is probably the most kind-hearted, loving person in the family. She has frequent bouts of absolute rage where she sometimes ends up breaking things or even on occasion has hit her twin sister who normally she would literally give her life for. When she eventually calms down she denies that her behavior was unwarranted or that her actions were unreasonable.
I have tried talking to her about this and although recently she has begun to admit a little to being unreasonable, I am afraid that she too may harm someone in the meantime. Obviously the biggest harm is the mental trauma to her sister who loves her dearly and is as confused as I am.
We can't see any obvious triggers. We love them both and don't know how to help them. Any suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thank you for asking for help on this site where others can benefit. You obviously are a very caring mother, who wants only the best for her adult sons and daughters. Consider, by the way, that they are not technically your "children" any more. They are adults. You will always be their mother, and they will always be your sons and daughters, but they stopped being children some time ago.
With that in mind, it is not your job to solve these problems for them. The only way they will resolve their anger issues is if they individually decide to do something, and then follow through. No one changes (long term) because someone else wants them to. We only change when we want to, for ourselves, deep inside.
So, your son and your daughter have to decide that they have a problem, and want help. If they don't think they have a problem, there's very little you can do--but let's talk about that.
Here's what I recommend:
1) Believe in them to handle their own issues. Do not help them, just love them and be available if they ask for guidance or help.
2) See them well, happy and emotionally balanced in your mind, every time you think of them. This is far better than worrying about them, and could actually help them, if they're open.
3) If they do express an interest in getting some help, refer them to this site, or whatever other resources you know of--then let go.
4) Focus on yourself and your life. How are you dealing with the "empty nest" now that they are adults? Are they living with you still? If so, you need to nudge them out of the nest as soon as you can.
Consider the possibility that your sons and daughters are strong, healthy and wise, and that they will sort their own problems out in their own way. It's time to let go, and focus on your own individual life purpose.
Feel free to write again, and I will respond.
I wish you all the best,