Fits Of Anger Throughout My Entire Life
(St. John's NL, Canada)
I am 72 years old and married for a second time after my first wife passed away. My first wife and I raised three boys but life wasn't easy because of my anger issues. I resented the fact that I had to do much of the housework, even though my wife was home all day.
We stayed together even though we didn't get along very well. I would often say nothing about an issue for days and than lash out in a vicious verbal attack. After a few minutes of this my self esteem would be down to zero and I would sometimes think about suicide although I don't think I would ever do it.
Today in my second marriage, things are no better. I still have those outbursts of anger and become very depressed afterwards. Thinking back, I know that I could also get very angry with my playmates when I was a child, and I believe with my mother. I was raised in a good home but was painfully shy around other children and adults that I didn't know well, though they were friends of my parents or older relatives.
I have been on medication for emotional problems since I was in my 20's and have consulted several doctors but with little help. Today, I've given up on all of them except my family doctor. I just recently had an outbreak and I'm wondering why I'm still in the world as I seem to be only trouble for others.
It will likely take me several days to get over this and I know my wife is also very upset. Was I born this way? A lifetime is a long time to stay angry.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello John, and thanks for telling your story here. I respect the integrity and responsibility reflected in your submission. This is the first step to change, and yet it's only the first step. I will try to help.
I'm going to recommend some exercises and processes for you, and it is quite possible that they will help you if you do them. These are powerful tools I have designed and tweaked over 38 years of professional experience, and I know they will be effective, if you are ready to change, and if you will do the work involved.
You will find an overview of the entire list of exercises on this FAQ page.
You ask, "Was I born this way?" No one has a final answer for your question, but it is clear that many people are born with more tendencies toward volatility than others. This does not mean you're a bad person, and it does not mean you cannot learn to manage your emotions. The resource for healing you need is within you John, and it is who you truly are as an authentic human being.
I think you will also benefit from learning about nurturing your inner child, which is a set of tools designed to help you re-work subconscious processes that underly current emotional patterns.
Do not give up on yourself, John. I feel strongly that you can overcome your anger issues and create a loving relationship with your wife. Anger is always there for a reason, and hopefully using the above referenced tools will help you find out what those reasons are. Then the imagery tools will help you actually begin healing the emotional wounds that are behind your anger.
Believe in yourself, and the goodness in your heart that has motivated you to try to change for all of these years. Your anger does not define you. You are better than that.
My very best to you,