Perfect French Cafe
I decided one beautiful Saturday morning to have brunch at a nice little french cafe not too far from where I live. I sat at a modern type high table and hung my purse on the back of the chair with the debit card I frequently use in the back pocket. After brunch I proceeded to leave.
Since the cafe was a buffet type I didn't leave a cash tip as there was no service. I was irritated when the staff kept saying "bye" and "have a nice day" when I left...I felt they were being sarcastic or something for my not having left a tip even though I wasn't supposed to.
After I left the cafe I hopped into my SUV (whose color really sticks out in traffic) to head to a local home improvement store to look at crafts, pottery and flowers. I found some holiday ornaments on sale and a bottled water since I was a bit thirsty after brunch....something I ate must have been loaded with salt because I am usually very well hydrated but was now thirsty.
I went to the self-checkout and found the back pocket where I stuck my card was wide open and my card was therefore missing! So i put cash in the machine for my meager purchase but the machine refused to vend stating the amount I needed to enter. I added another dollar in case I missed the tax amount. The dopey blokey "b" manning the assistance booth kept insisting I didn't pay the correct amount. Her manager came and was helping her fix it.
Knowing I would fly off the loose end I got on my cell and proceeded to call the bank about the missing card. After I was done with the bank I thought for sure they would have to refund my money and keep their crap so I could leave, but the bloke said "Oh no, you can go...we fixed it a while back but you were on your phone."
I let the filth from my non-compromised tongue RRRIIIIPPP!! Everyone heard me scream "gd" "f" "b" and "f" the name of the store, followed by a bear Grrooowwwllll!!!! as I grabbed my crap and headed for my car.
I then got serious roadrage with every driver in my way. One guy started messing with me and I almost threw him off the road after we almost slammed into each other.
Then I called the only 2 people still willing to hear me vent in my life. But I spend much time in recluse trying not to be near other people. I am afraid that at some point I will kill someone or be killed.
To conclude the story...after the French Cafe and the home improvement store I FOUND MY CARD in another pocket in my purse. I went to a movie theatre that always makes me happy and saw a 4-hour foreign film there. Then I got some take-out and went home to watch the inspirational "Iron Man" and international sports on TV all by myself. I then texted the people I vented to that I was okay. Needless to say...I started at "0" that morning and flew to an "11" in just under 2 hours and then back to "0" again. I am a woman who just turned 30.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for telling your story on this site. You're a good person, and that's why you don't like the way you're dealing with your anger. It sounds like it is also causing you to be more of a recluse. And I hear you loud and clear that you're afraid of someone being hurt or killed--possibly you--because of your anger. That's why it's so good that you're reaching out--this is your chance to turn things around.
I'm glad you found your card, and that you were able to have a pleasant evening, calming yourself down with a movie and TV. It's also good that you texted your friends that you were okay.
People don't have anger like yours--with the escalation from 0-10 and back again--without a reason. The things that happen in your everyday life like you described at the home improvement store are the "triggers," for your anger, but not the cause--and I think you already know that. So, we need to deal with the causes of your anger, and that's what we're going to do.
Let's take a look at your past experience, which is where we find the causes of anger in the present.
Here's what I want you to do for yourself:
1) Write a detailed account of any abuse, abandonment or neglect you received as a child. Don't hold back or leave anything out. Describe every detail. Write about everything that has ever hurt, frightened or angered you. I know it might take a while, but it will really help. This is for no one's eyes but yours, so don't worry about that. The benefit is how it will help you to revisit these memories from your present position. What's the point of this? It's where your anger comes from--all anger comes from some kind of emotional pain and/or fear.
2) Now that you have brought up those memories, use the guided imagery healing processes you will find on this page to heal emotionally from the abuse. Use these techniques, and keep trying until you get some relief. They are powerful tools, that work very well if you use them.
When you deal with your past experiences this way, it will make the following techniques work much better for you. So be sure and do the above exercises before moving on to the following ones.
1) Use the journaling processes you will find described on this page to begin managing your anger more effectively on a daily basis. This will include a daily journaling process of writing from your anger and then shifting to positive journaling about the good things in yourself, your life and other people.
2) Moment by moment, day by day, shift your focus from what you don't like to what you do like. The things that trigger your anger are all things you don't like or don't want. Train your mind to look at the things you do want and like. Use this to extend the benefit of the positive journaling process above.
3) Practice these anger management techniques over and over again, until you have mastered them.
Believe in yourself. You can do this, if you set your mind to it. You get to choose, moment by moment, what kind of person you're going to be, and these exercises will help you make the right choices.
If you try these techniques and you're still having violent and angry outbursts, please seek professional help in your community.
Never, ever give up on yourself.
My very best to you,