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Mastering Anger/Instead of crying I get mad

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Question
Hi there,

I'm a 28 yr old female. Long past history of emotional abuse from my father until I was about 17-18 yrs old.

He took his anger out on me my whole childhood, yelling for no reason. Later when I was 14-15 yrs old, I tried committing suicide and cutting a lot, they sent me to a psychiatrist and he actually said there was nothing wrong with me and started seeing my dad instead and put him on medication for bi-polar disorder. Anytime I would get yelled at, I would cry. Then after 17-18 yrs old I started cutting and abusing myself physically anytime I would get yelled at. I then got sick of doing that and decided to yell back at him once. Then I had a bf who cheated on me regularly and treated me poorly and I would start yelling at him instead of crying anytime I would get yelled at.

Now the problem is, anytime I feel the slightest bit stressed/threatened (usually in arguments) I start yelling at him, meanly! He doesn't deserved being yelled at, cause I am starting to see he is yelling back (when he's a very calm and passive person) so I feel like my anger is turning his passive nature to evil anger.

Currently (last month) I'm starting to take my anger out on myself physically, again, instead of yelling at him, cause I really don't want to, even if he's making me really mad. Then I get into the vicious cycle of anger, rage, depression because I hate doing both but I'd rather punish myself than him (who doesn't deserve it).

How can I stop the yelling and anger? I NEVER fought with friends or my mom, I was always the passive quiet one.

thnx

Answer
Hi Kris

I can tell you're having a rough time, and that you really don't like your anger. I can also tell that you're a good person, and that's why you don't want to hurt your boyfriend...and I think you asked your question here because you don't like hurting yourself either.

While I'm aware that you may need more help than I can provide here in my answer, I'm going to offer some things you can do which might very well help you to manage your anger better and heal emotionally.

The first priority is for you to work on healing your own emotional pain from a history of abuse. Simultaneously with that, you can begin journaling from and about your anger on a regular basis, which will give it a "safe" place to go, and hopefully keep you from hurting yourself or anyone else with it. Then, when you're starting to feel some relief and healing, you will need to start shifting your mental focus to what is good, right and working about you, your life, and the people around you.

You will find a detailed process outlined for you on this web page, which is perfectly designed to help a good person like you to heal and manage your anger more successfully.

This is not a quick or easy fix, Kris. There aren't any. However, these tools will help you if you use them regularly enough to become skilled with them. You may need professional counseling also, that's for you to decide.

I have a strong feeling that you can do this. In reading your question, I get the sense of a good and intelligent person who wants to live a good, healthy life while treating yourself and others with respect.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

Mastering Anger

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William DeFoore, Ph.D.

Expertise

I can answer questions about: * How to deal with your own anger * How to deal with somebody else's anger * How to help an angry spouse * How to help an angry child or adolescent * How to let go of resentment and forgive * How to keep anger from ruining your life and your relationships * How to let go and get out of abusive relationships

Experience

I have been in practice as a counselor for over 38 years. I have published two books on anger and 10 audio CD programs on anger, health and building healthy relationships. I have helped thousands of people overcome their anger by healing the cause instead of just treating the symptoms. I have a positive approach, and believe in the basic goodness of each person. Anger is basically healthy, but when it is expressed in unhealthy ways it is very destructive, and that's why most people think anger is bad. Learning to understand and accept yourself for who you are is the first step to healing and recovery from anger issues.

Publications
I am the author of: Anger: Deal With It, Heal With It, Stop It From Killing You. Health Communications, Inc. 2004. Anger Among Angels: Shedding Light On The Darkness Of The Human Soul. Health Communications, Inc. 2000. Serai: Bringing The Children Home. Wingspan Press, 2007.

Education/Credentials
B.A. Sociology; M.A. Clinical Psychology; Ph.D. Counselor Education; Licensed Professional Counselor. You can view my full resume here.

Awards and Honors
Adjunct Faculty with the Cooper Wellness Program, of the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas Texas.

Past/Present Clients
All client information is kept confidential.

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