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Focus Fire

by Ciera
(Boise, ID)

I don't know where to begin. My husband has morphed into an anger monger and he is taking me with him. He is awesome, but there is this anger that "happens" almost on a daily basis with horrible outbursts and temper tantrums. He throws things, and becomes aggressive in body language, with words that cut, and is blinded by everything.

If you do not curtail your answers to his questions to his liking or what he feels is right, you are lying and not giving him the "full" story. Going round and round, which makes everything worse.

Finally, I have named this behavior. I call it his "focus fire" and I am his favorite target. This also extends to family members too.

A few situations to the many:

Things showed up a little before we married. I had seen only a couple of strange outbursts. We used to work together, and some time after we started dating and after I quit, a "focus fire" happened because he thought I was lying about a date I went on with a co-worker (before we were together).

My husband is quick to believe other people or other things over me and what I have to say, even when I have given him no reason to not trust me. After a few months during another "focus fire" he brought it up again. I spent hours being under his scope until I finally broke out in anger and hit him over and over screaming at him while I kicked him off the bed to leave me alone and I can't take it anymore.

He had led me down a path of anger with him and I have become physical, and I actually was untruthful with him because I could not handle his tunnel visioned anger on a subject that I felt he should have trusted my judgment on. I made the situation worse by trying to show him what I was talking about online with our computer and in some weird parallel anger dance that only made things worse for me.

To this day after promising never to bring it up again he mulls over the situation and tries to get "more" out of me in a abusive angry manor that makes me want to either walk off a short pier or make him. There is no more.

The fact is, yes I lied. Why I lied--I live with a tyrant, and I was doing it as an instinctual protective thing that stems from an abusive childhood. To this day he sees the situation only from his view, hears what he wants to hear and won't forgive me or try to understand what really happened. This is even after he says he has.

I have never been so hurt and angry as I have with him, I have gone through some serious muck with people, I think this is the last straw and I seriously have no excuse for my behavior. I just know it is an automatic response. At any hint of conversation brought up about these issues, I get overly defensive and do my best to avoid the mere mention of them. Anger and hurt well up in me and I make myself appear "guilty" by lack of words or the jumbling of words.

I can't explain it. I know I feel like I did when I was a child, wondering when the volcano is going to erupt again, and I don't want it to.

I hope--that is all I can do.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Ciera, and thanks for telling your story here. It is clear that you have problems with your marriage and your anger, and that you're willing to take responsibility for your anger. I also respect your wisdom in recognizing the connection with your childhood.

This is what I recommend:

Start with the journaling processes described on this page, to do a detailed review of your past trauma.

Then use these imagery processes for emotional healing to resolve some or all of that trauma.

It is very important that you begin your own emotional healing, and keep your focus there, rather than letting yourself get caught up in your husband's actions and emotions. If this is impossible for you while you're with him, then you may have to consider alternatives in which you will have the space, time and safety to focus on your own healing.

Believe in yourself and the goodness in your heart, Ciera. That is who you are and how you want to be.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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