I've Had A Bad Temper My Whole Life
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.