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I was in a very emotionally abusive relationship for 2 years. My ex-boyfriend seemed like a very nice person-- gentle and sweet. But later on I found out that he had a very bad temper and was verbally abusive.
The attacks would come at the very worst times; it seemed like he always putting me down more when I was already down.
I had problems with adjusting to College life, and I got depressed and overwhelmed at times. I would disclose all my insecurities, and depression to him. He used them against me and made fun of my being depressed.
He would get angry over things, and would be unable to express his anger properly. Instead of communicating about the issue, he would verbally abuse me instead. Sometimes it seemed that all his anger towards the world would be displaced and directed towards me. When I told him a guy was being aggressive with me and I felt uncomfortable, instead of confronting that guy, he just directed his anger at me and told me that I'm ugly and I just think guys like me, but they don't.
He called me a lot of bad names, like "piece of ____", "good for nothing" etc.
He called me fat and ugly, and made fun of my skin ailments. He would make me feel bad about myself, and tell me I'm a bad person. He told me no one cared about me; no one wanted me. He told me I ruined everything.
He would yell and scream at me. At first I tried to get him to change; being a student of Psychology I knew it wasn't really him-- he couldn't help it. But over time I just got used to it. I would keep quiet during the episodes and just let it pass. I would just be happy when he returned to normal.
My wake up call came when I confronted him about his hurtful words, and he hurt me physically. He pushed me, and kept pushing until I fell prone on a bench. After that I never spoke to him again.
I would get panic attacks whenever I saw him, and saw a guidance counselor for that.
It's been two years since that incident, and I am now in another relationship. Yesterday I just realized that I have become verbally abusive, almost to the same extent as my abuser was.
I would get these fits of rage and wouldn't know what to do with the anger. My heart would palpitate and I would get the impulse to throw things around and hurt someone.
On several occasions I have hit my boyfriend, punched and slapped him. Also, I put him down emotionally a great deal now.
I make fun of his looks, his being poor (his family and friends too), the fact that I'm smarter than him, etc.
It scares me that I'm turning into an abusive person.
I never meant to be like this. In fact, I never was like this before I was verbally abused. I am surrounded by nice, gentle people who don't have a problem with anger, and so it is my conclusion that it stems from being verbally abused myself.
I'm not aware while I'm doing it-- it feels like I just have to do it to get rid of the pain in my chest, the mounting anger making my heart beat so fast.
I don't want to be like this anymore; I want to be a person who is NOT abusive.
Also, I want to let go of the hurt and the pain that my ex-boyfriend caused.
How do I let go of this anger and pain towards my ex?
How do I change my habit of verbally (and physically) abusing my current boyfriend?
How do I handle my pain and anger better?
I'm very anxious about what I'm turning into, and the fact that I can't let go of past hurts and anger for my ex.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Angel, and thanks for telling your story here. I'm glad you reached out for help, and I respect how you're taking responsibility for your actions.
I think that if you do all of the exercises on this FAQ page It will help you to heal your own emotional wounds underlying and causing your anger.
I also strongly encourage you to read the following page on relationships:
how to deal with abusive relationships
You can heal this problem, Angel. Read all of this carefully, and follow the recommendations.
You are a good person, and that's why you don't like your destructive anger and abusive behavior. These exercises will help you to connect with the goodness inside you.
My very best to you,
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