Stuck On Little Things
I'm young, only 19. But since I was a little girl, I have always had very bad anger problems. I used to beat up my sister so bad I hurt thinking back on it to this day. I know that many years of my life have been wasted in drug use, yelling, unhappiness and fighting. My parents divorced when I was about seven. My dad and mom verbally and physically abused me at times where I just felt hopeless and alone.
I escaped this anger once I fell in love but I selfishly (while addicted to drugs), brought the person who saved me from all this hurt and guilt by doing drugs with him and harming the trust. We had a strong trust because of the things we said to each other. It messed with my head.
Another thing...he was in a four year relationship, and he says the last two years with her were hell. But they were using drugs as well. It stumps me because he was only single for 5 or 6 monthes when he met me. I know it takes awhile to get over someone you were with for so long but I give him the benefit of the doubt by believing there is nothing there for that girl. I am so insecure at times and take it out on him by being short and defensive most of the time. It's destroying our relationship and tearing me apart.
We don't use drugs anymore, but when we fight now it's always about trust. It's hard for me to trust because I don't even trust most of my own family. But it hurts so bad when we fight, and he says he hates me and doesn't want to be with me, or just says mean things because he is angry. I understand we both have anger problems, but I want a solution.
I'm sick and tired of anger controlling my life and the lives of others around me.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for writing your story on this site. You are obviously a good person, and that's why you don't like the drug use in your past and the anger in your life.
I want to support you on some very important points you made:
1) You were smart enough to reach out for help by writing on this site.
2) You stopped doing drugs. That was priority one, meaning you can't do anything about the anger until you stop the drugs. So that's great.
3) You recognize how your anger is hurting your relationship, and you want to do something about it.
Now, let's look at some things you can do that will help you in dealing with your anger:
1) Write down all of the times you have been hurt, scared or angry, going back as far as you possibly can in your memory. Write about the abuse in your family. Those stories are the triggers for your anger. Also write about your memories of hurting your sister. This will really help you.
2) Write in total and complete detail, leaving nothing out. Keep writing, every day for 15-20 minutes at a time, until you start to feel some relief, and feel you've gotten the story out.
3) Use the guided imagery process on this page to work directly with these traumatic memories and bring about your emotional healing.
4) Also, start writing from your anger every day. This gives it somewhere to go, instead of letting it just rattle around in your head or explode out of your mouth at your boyfriend. Don't hold back in your writing. When you start to feel some release and relief from this, take a look at what you've written. You can see that your anger is not coming from the smartest part of your brain.
5) Then, when you're feeling more calm from writing from the anger, write about what you feel grateful for from your past, what you appreciate in your present, and what you look forward to in the future. This will help you to shift your mood and your focus off of the things you regret like your drug use. Do this every day, as a way of "setting the tone" for your day. Writing the positive stuff also reminds you of who you really are--a good person.
6) Write about the positive aspects of all of the people in your life, including your girlfriend and your best friend. Write about all of the things you like about them. This will help you re-focus on what is the most important.
By the way, this writing is for your eyes only, so no need to worry about what anybody else might think about what you've written.
By all means, write again if you like. Follow the above recommendations, and you will most likely start seeing some progress in your anger control.
I wish you all the best in your journey of healing,