Not Depressed, Just Angry
I am 42 years old and a mother to a wonderful 7 year old daughter. My problem is anger. Everything in life seems to trigger my anger, Annoying sounds, lazy and inconsiderate people. Everything. I yell at my daughter and scream and I know that is considered emotional abuse. I just can't control my anger.
I recently lost my job because for 2 years I tried to do everything right. But even going through the proper management channels at work nothing was ever done about the situation with a co-worker. Out of 75 people not one person could get along with this person. Then I snapped after 2 years. I started screaming at management for not doing anything and for making everyone in the building go through a living hell because of this person. The manager told me to go home or he would call the police. I wasn't leaving until I was heard completely.
Well this person came up behind me and was running her mouth about how I yelled at her for being lazy and stupid. I tried to ignore her because the manager was still yelling in my face. Then he kept telling me that he was going to call the police and I just snapped. I turned around and hit her in the mouth.
I was told I hit her 7 times. I only remember seeing her big mouth moving when I turned around and aimed at it. I guess I blacked the rest out. Anyway we both got fired. I went to jail for a couple of hours and when I went to court they dismissed the case because I and others had complained to management for 2 years and nothing was done.
I think back on it now and I don't regret hitting her. I regret losing my job. But now I try everyday to not get mad but there isn't a day that goes by that I am not angry. I know I need help but all the doctors I see keep putting me on antidepressants. They make my anger worse. I need mood stabilizers or something. The anger management techniques don't work either.
My mom was like this also. She died when I was 12 but she was angry like this too. I am at the end of my rope and I am wanting help for myself and for my daughter. I don't want her to remember me always mad I want to give her some good childhood memories, not nightmares.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Thank you so much for reaching out for help. You are doing something good for yourself and your daughter here. I will give you some counseling here, and I will refer your story to others who will also be able to help you. It is very good that you are trying to get help, and it is very important for your child.
Here is what I recommend:
1) Take some time in the morning, or any time you can, and write about your own past experiences of pain and trauma, especially your relationship with your mother. You have trauma in your own past, or you would not be acting this way with your child. Simply write in detail about the times in your own past when you were yelled at, called names or abused or neglected in any way. Keep writing in detail about these experiences on a daily basis, for at least 15 minutes at a time. This may help you to feel better, and perhaps not take your anger out on your child. You are not your mother, and you don't have to carry her anger any longer.
2) There is a very wise and good part of you, that wrote your story on this web site instead of just continuing to lash out at others and hurt your child. Think about that good person you are inside, and make a decision to be kind and gentle to your daughter. She is an innocent child, and she is very vulnerable and dependent on you. It is your job to provide her with a loving, safe home.
3) Tell yourself (because it is true), that your daughter cannot do anything wrong. She can never be "bad." She is a good, innocent child and everything she does and feels is natural and good, even if it is not what you want. Every time you think of her, picture her smiling and laughing, and remember how beautiful and precious she is. No problem is ever her fault. You are the responsible one.
4) Start writing in a journal every day. There are two kinds of journaling I want you to do: a.) Write from your anger and frustration, just to vent on the paper so that you don't vent on your daughter. Keep writing until you feel some kind of release or relief. b.) Then write all that you like and appreciate about yourself, your daughter, and the world around you. Do this journaling every day, and it will definitely help you.
5) If you are religious or spiritual at all, then pray for patience and kindness with your daughter. If you are a member of a church in which you feel safe and accepted, then go to that church and pray there. That can also help you a lot.
6) I will be sending the link to this page to some people who are very knowledgeable and skilled in this area, and hopefully they will offer help and support for you as well. Watch this page on this web site for comments, which is where others' help and support will come from.
7) I believe that you are a good person, and that is why you wrote your story on this site. You want to do the right thing, and you do not want to hurt your daughter, so you have reached out for help. Do not give up on yourself. Keep writing on this site, or continue to reach out for help in any direction that works for you. You can overcome this problem and be a good mother to your child.
8) Make some time to have fun and relax, for yourself. If possible, get some help with your child so that you can have a little more time to yourself. The better you feel personally, the better mother you will be.
I wish you all the best in your efforts to be the good person and mother you really are, and to create a safe, loving home for your daughter. I see you and your daughter well and happy.