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by Lisa
(Charlotte, NC)

A few months ago I was on my way home from the drugstore. I was traveling along a two lane road with a solid yellow line dividing it. The speed limit was 45 and I was probably doing around 50.

That speed wasn’t good enough for the minivan behind me. I kept looking into my rear view mirror because this young woman (maybe a teen but more likely someone in her very early 20’s) was riding my bumper hard. She tapped her horn a couple of times and I pointed to the speed limit sign on the side of the road.

That must have been the last straw for her because she veered sharply over into the oncoming traffic lane, sped up and pulled right in front of me. I had to slam on my brakes not to hit her. I got so mad; I was seeing nothing but this “idiot” in front of me. I followed her and memorized her license plate. That was not enough for me though as I went past my turn off for home and kept my car directly behind her.

I followed all her turns and I took devilish delight in watching her continue to check her rear view. Finally, she pulled into a neighborhood.

I tailed her to a modest home where she quickly ducked into a garage. For the next fifteen minutes I drove back and forth in front of the house she entered.

I was like some like of lunatic. I was so angry I wanted to scare her good. When I did leave I made sure to make one more slow pass in front of the house hoping she was looking out the window. I have not done anything like that since and it scares me I did it that time.

Although I didn’t do anything that resulted in damage or was illegal, it was still foolish, mean and potentially dangerous.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Thanks for your story, Lisa. I respect your willingness to take sober responsibility for your reaction. I can relate to what you're talking about. I did something like that myself, years ago, and felt horrible about it like you did. That's why you probably won't do it again. You shocked yourself into better behavior.

It's also a good idea to look at the "story" behind your anger, which amounts to the many ways you may have been hurt over your life time. This is how you get to where you have healthy anger, and your reactions turn into healthy responses.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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