Do I Have Anger Problems Even Though My Parents Won't Get Help For Me?
(Salt Lake City)
I'm a 13 year old girl. I live with my mom, dad, and little brother and sister.I am constantly getting in fights with my parents, usually my mom. Our fights quickly escalate to an all out screaming match. I get in fights with my brother a lot too. They often become physical. Yesterday we were fighting about something stupid and I lost it. I shoved him backwards into a table and he got a big bruise.
He cried and called my dad who was at work. Another time me and my mom were fighting and I spat on her. I don't know what’s wrong with me. My family is middle class. There is no kind of physical or emotional abuse or anything like it.
My parents rarely drink, they are good people. So where does this anger come from? What’s wrong with me? Often I am too angry to fall asleep. I lay in bed and stare at the ceiling for hours. Sometimes I can’t take it, so I leave the house in the middle of the night, and do stuff.
I have broken windows, damaged property and drank alcohol. I often become angry over stupid things like getting told to do a chore or tripping over something, and take it out on people around me. The only thing that makes me think I don’t have anger issues is that when I’m angry I rarely throw things or punch through walls, or stuff like that.
I have been told that people "walk on eggshells" around me. I have been told that I am "passive aggressive", and that I’m too sarcastic etc etc. I went to 5 different elementary schools. All my teachers hate me. I have shoved people against lockers and gotten in a few fights. My parents would never take me to a shrink. They refuse to believe there is a problem at all. What should I do?
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Oaklee, and thanks for telling your story here. I can tell that you’re a bright girl, and that you really want things to be better. You know as well as I do that if things keep going like they are, your future can’t look very good. So, I will try to help you create a life that works well for you.
Yes, you do have anger issues, but that’s not the important thing. The important thing is that you don’t want to be this way...this is not who you really are. You’re a good person, and, believe it or not, there are reasons for your anger. You don’t know what they are at this point, but if you follow my recommendations, I think you’ll be able to figure it out.
You’ll find a whole list of guidelines on this FAQ page, which includes journaling and imagery. You can do this, Oaklee, and you’re worth the effort. If you do the journaling, I think the reasons behind your anger will start to be evident to you.
One thought that occurs to me as I read your story is that your family may be afraid of your anger. If they have always shied away from your anger, and given you your way when you’re angry, they have basically taught you that your anger is a good way to get what you want and need. If this happened, it’s their fault, but you live with the consequences.
Whether this applies to you or not, doing the exercises I recommend on the FAQ page will help you to understand and heal your anger. These are powerful tools, but like any tools, they only work if you use them. And the more you use them, the better they will work for you.
Believe in yourself, Oaklee. I think you can overcome your anger problems and be more of the person you really are, and the person you want to be.
My very best to you,
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