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I'm Ruining My Relationships With Myself And Others

by Kasi
(New York)

I'm a 19 year old girl, and anger management was the last thing I ever thought I would need. But it's come down to it, and this is the only other option I have.

On a daily basis I always find myself getting angry, or aggravated over something, whether the matter is big or small. I am in a relationship and it constantly seems that we are fighting. My abusive habits are ruining us and I need to do something immediately. I tend to over-react when I hear something I don't like.

I also start fights with people around me, and I thinks it's because I focus so much on the negativity and not on the positive aspects. Growing up I was always associated with angry abusive people, in fact it was the people closest to me... my family. Now I'm not saying that I am blaming them for my anger issues, because I feel that everyone controls their own life, but I think being around it so much kind of showed me that was the only was to cope with things.

I often find myself yelling, and hurting the ones I care about most. And I've come to the conclusion that I don't want to be that person anymore. I have taken the tests on the website, and just to give you an idea of where my anger levels are at, I rated a level 10 on the 10 Levels Of Anger Management, which put me at Extreme Anger Issues.

I don't see myself as a bully to people. In my eyes, I often feel that people don't understand where I'm coming from. I have also noticed myself getting mad when I don't have someone's undivided attention.

I just want to learn how to control my anger in healthy ways, and how to better my relationship with someone I love more than anything.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Kasi, and thanks for telling your story here. You are obviously an intelligent young woman, who wants to have a good life and good relationships.

I congratulate you for being willing to take responsibility for your anger and recognizing the importance of that. I agree with everything you said. Your thinking makes perfect sense.

I suggest you start by using the three journaling process on this page to review your past and look closely at the influences you had, process your anger and begin shifting your mental focus.

Then do these imagery processes for emotional healing, which will help you to correct what happened.

Next do this process:

1) Write down all of the ways in which you are like your dad. Look at that list and ask yourself if there's any of those qualities or behaviors you want to keep. In other words, choose what you like from the list, and we're going to help you let go of the part you don't like.

2) Then write down all of the ways you are different from your dad. These are the things that make you unique as an individual. Look at this list, and choose what you like from it.

3) Make a third list, that includes only those things you like from the above two lists.

Now repeat that entire process with your mom, and combine the two lists of the things you like and choose for yourself.

Next, picture both of your parents in front of you. Thank them both for all of the good things they've done for you, leaving nothing out. Then tell them both about the things you didn't like. Get it all out, and write it down--but picture their faces while you're writing. Now tell them, "I'm not your little girl any more. It is time for me to take charge of my life and make my own decisions."

I do not suggest you say these things directly to your parents. This is just for you. You can begin the process of becoming independent emotionally and psychologically right now. And if you aren't already, it would be good if you could get out on your own as soon as possible, and become financially independent.

You are a woman, Kasi. This is your time to step into adulthood and decide the kind of woman you want to be. Write out a full, detailed description of the woman you choose to become, and look at that every day, adding to it when you think of something else.

You are bright and capable, Kasi--I can tell by how you express yourself. Be sure and focus your appreciation on yourself as part of the positive journaling exercise.

You can create the life you choose for yourself. Never give up on that.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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