I’m angry and just a complete mess

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I have come here searching for an answer to my anger and the things that come along with it. My anger has cost me relationships with friends and boyfriends…I’m surprised my parents still stick around with the way I treat my mother specifically. I just completely overreact to things all the time. And I mean to the point that I am screaming and doing anything and everything in my power to make the opposing force feel wrong, stupid, and as inferior as possible. I used to break, punch, throw, slam things. Lately I’ve been able to keep at least that from happening.

Everyone has always told me just to notice when I begin to get angry and to just get away from the situation or to count to ten, but I can’t do it. For some reason I just can’t recognize that I’m about to become that enraged and that it is totally irrational, because I always think I am right. I never realize what has happened until the situation is over, then I feel remorse, but I usually don’t apologize because I feel that maybe I wasn’t wrong, I just went too far. I hardly apologize and usually it’s just to get what I want. I usually just blow things off because what’s done is done and what can I do to fix it now? But that just isn’t working for me. I really thought it would, rather than living in regret…just live for today and to make things the best. But I can’t do that.

I ruin everything. I don’t even know how to make sense of what I’m trying to say. A million thoughts are running through my head right now and I just don’t know where to start. In my past I’ve suffered physical and sexual abuse. And I just feel like my parents just never cared that those things happened, because all I got was a lock on my door and all my step brother got was NOTHING. My mother also went a little crazy while on welbutrin and became violent which resulted in serious shouting and physical fights between us. But she felt better, it made her depression go away. Luckily she listened to my step brother, step father, and myself and stopped taking it.

When I try to talk to her about how I feel (which I do not ever like to talk about how I feel with people that I see on a regular basis) she feels like it is time to tell me about her psycho thoughts as well. Today she told me she saw one of our dogs playing with a shirt sleeve my step dad turned into a dog toy and she imagined about strangling one of the dogs to death. I just can’ deal with her problems and my own. I also have had disturbing thoughts in the past that I can’t recall due to trying to push them from my mind. But they were thoughts that would be harmful to others. And I had to talk myself out of doing them. But I did.

I’m also a recovering drug addict, began at 14, never really did anything habitually until about 18. cocaine addict for about a year and a half, quit for about 2 years. then had a binge resulting in a breakdown the summer of 2008. used very sparsely until fall or winter of 2009, started binging on cocaine again, then got more into meth which I had tried in the past. Then fell into a serious habit with using that intravenous. got clean for like a month and then used the same way sparingly. last time was 2 weeks ago. have been successful in being strong enough not to give in to temptation like I used to. I don’t know if any of this is relevant, I just assume drug usage might be. I don’t even remember what I’ve been talking about. Sometimes I get so distracted I just have no idea what has just happened, what is going on, or sometimes where I am. I plan on seeking counseling immediately. That’s the only options I know of for people in my situation, broke, been unemployed (only for 4 months but I am so impulsive I waste my money on clothes, food, alcohol, drugs, shoes, I just feel like i need new things!), I don’t know what to do.

A: Yes, you do know what to do. You told me. Get into counseling immediately! Girl. You’re only 23 and you are a total mess. Yes, the drug use has lots to do with it. While you were using various drugs, your brain and mind got deprived of the important education in impulse control and judgment that happens during the teen years. Yes, your upbringing has something to do with it. You didn’t get the love, support and protection every child deserves. Trauma has something to do with it. Kids who are abused often need help. There’s no shame in that! And – if that weren’t enough, you may also have inherited a predisposition to mental illness from your mother. All that is a huge burden for any young person to manage.

I’m amazed and impressed that with so big a tangle of issues you could put together such a coherent and well-written letter. You have inner strengths and intelligence that you and a therapist can use to help you recover the 10 years of emotional growth you lost. Stop “planning” to find a therapist and just do it. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be on the road to a more even temper and a better life.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Sep 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). I’m angry and just a complete mess. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/09/13/im-angry-and-just-a-complete-mess/