15 and Destructive

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Well when I get angry I express it by breaking things,yelling,cussing,and hitting. Little things make me mad like my sister being rude to me for no reason and my mom always taking her side. My sister is 13 by the way. I don’t mean to be destructive but when I’m angry I feel that I have to or I won’t feel good.

When I am at my mom’s house I always seem to find myself in an argument over a little thing such as my sister commanding me to watch the television when I was watching first. I have no idea why it makes me so mad. She always has an attitude with me and then when my mom gets involved I always get yelled at and she let’s my sister just go about her business. Then I just yell back at her and cuss at her and then go into a dark room and cry for a while. Sometimes my step-dad even gets in my face and I yell back at him to and my mom will come out of no where and hit me.

They just all seem to gang up on me. They never listen to me and when they do it’s like what I say doesn’t matter and it makes me even more sad or mad. If I argue with them they always want to call the police or something because apparently I’m a destructive person when I’m angry. I can never have a conversation with them about how I feel about a situation because they won’t listen to me. They just end up yelling.

A:You’re 15 and emotional. Nothing abnormal there. What is abnormal is the level it gets to in your house. People can be angry without cussing, breaking things, and generally getting out of control. It worries me that you get so worked up. It worries me that your folks get as worked up as you are. If you and the family don’t figure this out, the next 5 years will be terrible for all of you and someone could end up seriously hurt.

Ideally the whole family should go into family counseling to learn ways to handle disagreements without resorting to yelling and violence. Scrape together every molecule of maturity that you have and – when you’re not one bit angry – have a talk with your mom about finding a family counselor for all of you. Admit your part in it. That doesn’t mean I think it’s all your fault. I don’t. But people are more willing to listen when the person suggesting counseling owns up to their own part instead of pointing fingers. Ask her to get you a counselor to help you learn how to be angry without losing it and to get everyone a counselor to help you all learn how to get through the teen years (both yours and your sister’s) as a happier household.

You did a smart and mature thing by writing for advice. Now please help your whole family by taking the next step and having that talk.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Mar 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). 15 and Destructive. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/03/05/15-and-destructive/