I'm Screaming Inside!
I am angry. I know I am angry. I want help with my anger. Today I was in a situation where I felt a great injustice. I am beginning a new visitation schedule with my ex and I feel angry, hurt, and frustrated when I see him.
I have a restraining order against me, from him, and this blocks the communication. Our daughter is 2 years old and he is, now, starting to be a part of her life. I, however, have already seen many red flags.
Since the visitations began, one of his family members fed her apples, which she is allergic to. She was unstrapped in her car seat while driving. She has head to toe rash, and my ex took her to the park with the rash despite doctor's orders.
I worked out my past anger and frustrations and, now, it seems new reasons to be angry at him are arising. I am trying so hard to keep my cool, but it isn't working.
Instead of taking my anger out on him, I am afraid I am taking it out on others. I find myself arguing with the police and even my lawyer. How do I determine if my complaints are valid or out of spite and anger?
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. First I will say that I'm sure you have valid complaints, from what you have described.
Being a single parent, and being out of control of the care of your child is extremely painful and difficult. Feeling that your child is being hurt and/or neglected by your ex has got to be very challenging for you, as it would for anyone.
The question is not whether your complaints are valid. The question is how you are handling your anger and the expression of your anger. You sound like an intelligent woman, and you already know that you have anger issues and need help. I will try to help you.
The most important thing is that you don't do anything to jeopardize your relationship with your daughter. That's where your anger control comes in.
Here is what I suggest. If you have any personal trauma that may be unaddressed, use the journaling processes on this page to review that, and to release your anger in healthy ways. If you have any doubt at all about this, go ahead and write about the experience. It won't hurt, and it very well might help.
If you want more structured guidance, and if you don't think you can discipline yourself to do this, take a look at these online anger management classes. They have 8, 12, 16 and 26 hour classes to choose from.
Above all, believe in yourself and do not give up. Using these recommendations, you can heal your anger and transform it into an ally.
You can do this.
My very best to you,