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I Can't Cope Sometimes

by Britainy
(United Kingdom)

First boyfriend I had controlled me to the point of breaking down every other day. I was only fourteen and so was he, but he was incredibly manipulative and basically had me looking after him day in, day out. I was even paying for his booze and cigarettes.

He declared himself homeless, so for three months, I had to also make sure he had food, water and shelter every night. We had arguments almost every day and though he was never violent, he might as well have been. One time, after a year of being together, we had a huge fight where I ended up slapping his arm. Just his arm, and not that hard. But it felt really good because it shut him up.

Afterwords, he made me feel awful for weeks. Finally, my mum confined me to the house so I couldn't see him any more. Losing him really hurt, but now I realize that if my mum hadn't done it, I would probably still be in the vicious circle.

Second boyfriend I had controlled me too, but more subtly - he got under the skin. Eventually he turned me into a doormat, so much so that when we broke up and he told me he never loved me, we still had sex once or twice a week. I was barely sixteen, he was twenty. After the exhilaration I felt when I hit the first boyfriend, I found my outlet. I slapped this one all the time, round the face, on the arms, the bare stomach. He even had to restrain me one time. And this was all when we were together.

Then I found my current boyfriend. He's a little immature sometimes and likes to have his own way, but he's an amazing person who would never hurt me deliberately. Yet now, I find myself taking offense at the tiniest things he says, jokes and all. And I get so angry that I scream and shout and cry. I flew at him one time, just because we had a minor argument where he called me a name and I flipped. I was punching, screaming, trying to literally jump on him and get to his face. It was absolutely horrifying.

Yet, after I apologized profusely, he never brought it up again. Only now, after he's suffered six months of the constant outbursts, it's really starting to wear on our relationship. He's moved away to university, so I'm not able to hit him any more, but it's made the arguments and verbal abuse worse. I hate doing it but I find it so hard to walk away from an argument, even though I know I'll always end up doing something I'll regret.

My boyfriend is getting tired of "sorry", and I don't blame him. I can't even stand myself, so most of the time I find myself asking why he's still with me. I know I need help, it's out of control. But I'm too scared to go to a psychiatrist.

Plus, I've always thought that my problem isn't quite bad enough to need help. But after taking the test and then writing everything out, I can see that I do need help. So that's why I'm here.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Britainy, and thanks for telling your story here. I'm glad the test and the writing helped you to see yourself and your situation more clearly. Awareness is the first step to change.

You are a good person, and that's why you're horrified at your anger reactions and aggression. I will try to help you.

Start with the exercises on this FAQ page. This is extremely important, and will help you review your past, contain your anger, and begin making a positive shift in your mental focus.

You can do this, Britainy. If these exercises are too difficult, or if you need more structure, you can call for anger management counseling, or sign up for an online anger management class.

Believe in yourself, Britainy, and the goodness in your heart.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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