Rage Addicted And Losing My Grip
I just took your assessment. I have had counseling in the past as a result of angry outbursts. I truly believe I have rage addiction as described.
I was adopted, and raised in a very strict environment. My father was abusive emotionally and often physically. I married at 18, divorced at 28 and stayed single for almost 10yrs.
I am now 41, remarried with a beautiful family life. My kids all get along except for one...my husband's 17 yr. old daughter. This is where I feel my "issues" with anger are now being directed. Her personality is difficult to for me to be around. Most of the time I am loving, kind and fair. This young lady has literally been abandoned, rejected and scorned by her mother.
When we married 5 yrs ago she was doing okay. Well, as time has went on, she has expressed everything from wanting to move back with her mom to calling her mom everything bad she could think of. We do not allow cursing or negative talk or reference to absent parents in our home. I think this perhaps suppresses her ability to "tell it like it is."
Possibly her grief from rejection from her mom has landed on me as a target, since I am the one here now. I am often the peace maker between the kids.
I often find her being unnecessarily harsh/mean-spirited towards the other children. And when I "discuss" these things with her, I start out attempting to rationalize with her, then it quickly turns into an argument/battle. This is due to the fact that she will deny/lie/manipulate the situation until I am off the chart mad. My father was a liar, I married a liar and I have not dealt well with manipulators at all throughout my life.
I think this might be a trigger? Anyway, besides /recognizing/accepting that I must have anger/rage addiction, I truly have issues with this young woman's personality. I fear that I "don't like her" much of the time and it scares me. I am not jealous or insecure. There is not the stereotypical competition thing with her dad here at home. I just genuinely have a hard time with her personality.
She is very abrasive, and I am mellow and ladylike. My husband has asked many times that I "help" her in the areas of femininity etc. She resents it and me. Often my efforts to teach her turns to her accusing me of making fun of her. This turns to an argument and the cycle starts again etc etc.
I can see it clearly now, but what I cannot see is, once I begin the process of healing and thinking better etc. what do I do about the discord between us girls? It is awful, I feel horrible, I am a good mother, a good person and loving to all. And yet this one young person can push my buttons like no other.
I have made calls for counseling here locally. I want to get beyond this, as it has started to come between my husband and me. I truly desire to have a good relationship with my daughter, I know that I love her. I know that a "personality difference" seems so petty on paper, but the reality is I feel so much animosity toward her a lot of the time. And because my husband knows my struggle with my outbursts, he coddles her and defends her so much that I find myself turning away from situations that really need to be addressed, such as hurts directed towards the other kids and myself.
I can recognize now my need/urgency to seek help. The reality of the situation has paralyzed me with fear...fear of hurting her, my husband, myself, or this family. Any feedback would be appreciated.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks so much for telling your story here. Your story touches me. I believe that as you say, you are a good person, and it sounds like you've worked very hard to create a good life for yourself. You are worthy of this good life, and you are worthy of a good relationship with your daughter.
You stated that you were adopted. I suggest we start there. Although your memory of it is unconscious, your bond with your mother was broken after your birth. This created a deep emotional trauma, which is probably being triggered in your current relationship with your daughter who has been abandoned by her mother.
Here is what I suggest:
1) Visualize your birth. Create the scene in your mind, filling in details with your imagination. It doesn't matter if you don't know any of those details. Just make it up.
2) Imagine the moment of your birth, but this time you are there, as the woman you are today.
3) You receive the child, not the doctor. You deal with the umbilical cord, the afterbirth, and all of the nurturing and care. Warm water would be good.
4) As you receive and care for this precious child--that is you at the moment of your birth--say these words, "Welcome, little one. I am so glad you're here. This is the right place and the right time for you to be born. I am so glad that you're a girl. I love everything about you."
5) As you say those words, hold your infant self in your arms, and carry her to a place that is sacred in your heart and mind.
6) Then, for at least a month following, spend some time each day "raising" your inner child the way she is/was worthy of being raised.
And, regarding your adult life, look back over your life experience, and use the journaling exercises on this page focus on the positive aspects of your accomplishments.
To manage and heal your anger, follow the steps on this FAQ page.
There is great goodness inside you, and these processes will help you to heal the pain and anger, and more fully activate your goodness.
Believe in yourself.
My very best to you,