I Can't Control The Things I Say
(Bronx, NY, US)
I've been with my boyfriend off and on for about 2 1/2 years. When we have had arguments over this period of time I have said some of the most hurtful things ever to him. He may have been wrong but I went way over the top, like telling him he has no ambition, and no motivation.
Yesterday I wanted to see him and he told me he was going to take a family member out to Long Island. I tripped out and told him to forget it, and that I would make other plans. But that's not really how I felt. I was just upset, and I guess I was trying to make him angry also.
I love him a lot and I really want to be with him, but my anger is turning an already tough situation worse. When I get angry I say the meanest things. Sometimes I don't even believe the things I say to people and it's not fair. Please help.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Jianise. Thank you for writing on this site, so that others might benefit as well. I truly respect your honesty and integrity about your anger. You see clearly what is going on, and you're taking responsibility for your emotions and your actions. That is excellent, because that gives you the freedom to choose, and to begin to make changes.
When anger feels out of control, and seems to have a mind of its own (like when you say you don't even believe what you're saying), that just means it is operating in your subconscious mind. Our job here is to bring your anger into your conscious awareness so that you can heal it and make better choices.
Here's what I recommend:
1) Review your personal history, going as far back as you can, and write about all of the frightening, painful or shaming experiences you have ever had. This will show you the pain and fear that are behind your current anger bubbling up at your boyfriend.
2) This writing is just for you--unless you want to submit it as another contribution on this site. But while you're writing, rest assured that no one will read it unless you absolutely want them to. You can shred or burn it when you're done if that feels right to you.
3) Use the guided imagery process on this page to work directly with these traumatic memories and bring about your emotional healing.
4) Begin writing daily from your anger. Let it flow out on the page (again, this is only for your eyes), and don't hold back. No matter how foul, vulgar or whatever--just let it out. This gives you an opportunity to look closely at this unconscious part of you, which helps to heal and give you conscious control.
5) Also write daily about what you are grateful for, what you appreciate, and what you are looking forward to in your future. Keep doing this after your anger is winding down--I suggest you do it for the rest of your life.
6) Write about what you appreciate about your boyfriend--all of the little and big things about him that you love, admire, like or appreciate. When you're ready, tell him about these things.
7) Make up your mind to stop all criticism of your boyfriend. (If it keeps coming up in your mind, write it down in your "anger release" journal.) Focus only on his positive aspects as much as possible. This will help you to remember who you are, and why you chose to be with him.
If you do each and every one of the above tasks, consistently, for a six week period, you will find great relief--and you may even find yourself healthy and ready to have a happy, loving relationship. These are tools, and they only work if you use them.
Believe in yourself, Jianise. Never give up on yourself. You're young, and you don't have to live with this kind of anger. Use this web site, its products and services. That's what it's here for.
Feel free to write again if you like, either to ask for more help, or to let me know how you're coming along in your healing process.
My best to you,