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I've Had A Bad Temper My Whole Life

by Jen
(Ohio )

I grew up in a pretty loving, normal family. I was the youngest of 4 children and the only girl. As long as I can remember I have had a very bad temper.

As a child, I threw and broke lots of things, I ripped my clothes, I broke my glasses in half, I threw brand new shoes out of the car window, etc. I wasn't behaving this way on a daily basis, but it was obvious I had an anger problem. My mother had her own anger issues, which I witnessed, and my dad had some issues with control.

They didn't punish me for my behavior though and they never really dealt with it. I was also pretty spoiled - not with material things - but they allowed me get away with too much and I think I learned that I could get what I wanted by throwing a fit. I was never taught how to manage my feelings.

Both my parents were pretty heavy drinkers as well. I hated living there and looked forward to moving away one day to be free of all the fighting and drinking and chaos. I think I had anxiety about my life being so out of my control. So besides my angry tendencies, I have always had a deep desire to be in control of everything. When I feel out of control or overly frustrated, I can snap.

Throughout my life, the anger subsided at times and then would surface again. Sometimes I could go many months, maybe even a year, without an outburst. It wasn't until I became a mother that I was really faced with how bad my anger was and how necessary it was for me to get some resolution.

I have 4 young children and I really don't want to pass my issues on to them. I can already see some of my negative qualities coming out in them. I always wish my parents would have done something for themselves or for me when I was younger so maybe my life wouldn't be so hard for me now. But since they didn't, I guess it's now my responsibility.

I don't want my children dealing with my baggage throughout their life. I began counseling last year with some success. My counselor had me keeping track of my emotional temperature so I could be more aware of how I felt during the day. If my temperature was high, I could be cautious and let me husband know too. We also figured out what some of the causes were for my outbursts - feeling overwhelmed, lack of sleep, loss of control, etc.

We then named ways for me to increase my chances for success - exercise, plenty of sleep, healthy eating, hobbies, etc. For the most part, these steps have been very helpful. Just knowing where I am and how I am feeling has really enabled me to keep my cool and believe that it will pass. I have been somewhat successful by merely gaining knowledge and practicing the steps.

Unfortunately, old habits die hard and I still have some bad days. It is still affecting my family negatively, and after a very bad outburst this morning with my 6 year old daughter, I realize that I may need more help.

I am not sure what to do next. Should I start counseling again? Is there more from my past that I need to deal with? Is medication a better option for me? I just don't know what to do. I live with so much guilt after I "lose it" that I am barely able to function. I feel like a monster at times. I love my family too much to put them through this. I have to do something.

Thanks for your website. I look forward to using some of the tools.

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Sep 17, 2015
You Are On Track - Just Stay The Course
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Jen

You already know you can benefit from counseling. That's great. So, my answer is yes...go back to counseling.

With the kind of history you have, you may have to occasionally revisit these issues from time to time, for the rest of your life. will get easier, and you will become more skilled as time passes.

And by the way, I do not recommend medication in your case. It is only helpful in extreme, out of control and highly abusive cases, and then only for a short period. Counseling deals with the cause, while medication only treats symptoms.

The patterns you describe are deeply embedded in your subconscious mind, but it is YOUR subconscious mind. You can work directly with some of your subconscious material by using the tools on this page.

You seem like a very good person, Jen, and that's why you want to break these patterns and save your children from having to deal with them going forward.

You can do this, and as I said, the more you do the work and use the tools, the easier it gets.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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