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  1. #1

    Determined to eliminate anger & rage from my life

    Greetings to you all-
    I am a 41 year old father of two (13 & 16) and husband of 19 years. I am a career military person (23 years) stationed on a ship that deploys for 60-90 days at a time. My wife has recently informed me that she is filing for a divorce due to my inabillity to control my anger. She said that she still loves me but cannot continue subjecting herself and the kids to my behavior. She recognized an increasing period of stress for me at work and said that she could not/ would not deal any longer with the effect it had on me and how I behave at home during periods of stress. I display my anger by yelling, sometimes using harsh words and inappropriate names towards the kids (a**hole, selfish bitch). These outbursts occur infrequently and are not always predictable to others, causing my family to be on edge for the next "blow up". I do not act out physically, only verbally using words tht are mean and many times with sarcassam that can be cruel. I have increased the use of vulgarities (the f-bomb, and other R-rated expressions. We agree that 90% of the time I'm fine, a loving supportive husband and dad, but the undercurrent of the unknown, what will set me off next causes tension and stress.
    My wife and her folks (all of whom I love and respect) have asked me in the past to stop this behavior and to seek couseling. At the time I felt everyone else was being overly emotional and that while I saw the line I was crossing, I could control myself. I saw couseling as a waste of time/money and envisioned some sort of group session with an unsavory group of domestic violence types. I did begin to look at myself and my actions and tried to develop stratigies for change. I became more tolerant of other drivers on the road, less curt or short tempered with others and tried to let go of some of the little things that I let bother me. But my plan was too little, too late and went unnoticed because it wasn't readily effective at reducing the undercurrent of stress that my behavior created.

    My wife has granted me a last chance to get myself under control. I have sought treatment via an confidental assistance program at work. We both went to the first two sessions with one pyscologist who concentrated more on mending our marriage than helping me to develop skills for control. We discussed his approach and as much as I want it to all work, the first thing is to get my self in order. The program allows me to switch counselors and in a couple hours I'm on my way to the new counselor, one who focuses more on domestic abuse. I would never have thought of myself as a domestic abuser but after reading more about the subject (esp on this site) I realize that I have those traits. Facing that fact causes me to feel physically ill. It's not the life I wanted for myself or family. I have embraced the idea that I need to change my behavior and have started listing stressors and triggers that I know can set me off. I've started to keep a diary to record my thoughts and feelings. I have started to re-assess the things that I concern myself with, that I make a big deal about in my home (and at work) and realized that much of it is trivial and only causes me to have unrealistic expectations and increased stress. I have stopped drinking coffee (at least a 2 pot a day habit) and stopped my intake of caffine.

    I just wanted to get this out.
    Thanks for reading-
    Arnie

  2. #2

    Determined to eliminate anger & rage from my life

    You have taken a first, important, courageous step toward change, Arnie.

    I have seen this problem in military personnel before - the stress of being away for extended periods of time and the fact that you are in a whole different world with a very different role is often difficult - when you return home, you need to make a very fast adjustment and many people find that hard. In addition, often the returning individual (usually the father where kids are involved) feels like an outsider or intruder in his own home and that exacerbates the issues.

    Good luck. Your strategy of demanding that you find a counselor you can work with and who will work well with you is excellent.

  3. #3

    Determined to eliminate anger & rage from my life

    Thank You, David-
    My first meeting with the new provider went very well. One key point I took away from this morning's session was that stressors don't "make me mad", I make me mad. We also discussed the coganitive triangle, rational thought, emotions/feelings and action/behavior/reaction. Taking time to take a deep breath, assess the situation and apply the appropriate response.
    That's the easy part, now I need to put it into practice.

    Arnie

  4. #4

    Determined to eliminate anger & rage from my life

    I display my anger by yelling, sometimes using harsh words and inappropriate names towards the kids (a**hole, selfish *****). These outbursts occur infrequently and are not always predictable to others, causing my family to be on edge for the next "blow up". I do not act out physically, only verbally using words tht are mean and many times with sarcasm that can be cruel. I have increased the use of vulgarities (the f-bomb, and other R-rated expressions. We agree that 90% of the time I'm fine, a loving supportive husband and dad, but the undercurrent of the unknown, what will set me off next causes tension and stress.
    Arnie,

    Are your outbursts of vulgarities always associated with an anger provoking situation or do you find a need to just blurt out obscenities?

    Do you find your outbursts of rage and anger to be triggered by specific situations or when you are presented by a multitasking situation...if your wife might say" Arnie, get the keys, wash the dishes, pick up your tools and take out the dog".

    Have you had a long time history of this type of behaviour?

    Arnie, I am not a health professional, but do have some experience in providing support for conditions often co morbid to Tourette Syndrome.

    Your behaviour rings a few bells for me, which is why I am interested.

    Your courage in investigating your behaviour is a strong first step to taking control of your life.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Steve

    Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

    Tourette Canada Forum

  5. #5

    Determined to eliminate anger & rage from my life

    Good luck to you, Arnie. You've really taken a big step for yourself and your family. Kudos to you for your courage! :-)

  6. #6

    Determined to eliminate anger & rage from my life

    Steve
    The vulgarities are associated with an anger provoking situation.
    As far as a specific type of situation, the majority of the time it has to do with unfufilled expectations (something hasn't been done to my satisfaction). Historically, I'd say it's worsened (increased in frequency) over the last 10 years. In addition, my wife has reached the point where she will no longer tolerate that either. She was at a point where she was really afraid of when I'd go off next.

    Thatlady
    Thanks for your encouragement.

    Thanks again-
    Arnie

  7. #7

    Determined to eliminate anger & rage from my life

    Arnie,

    One of the co morbid conditions associated with Tourette, which I deal with in my own life, is rage reaction when faced with multi tasking. The situation you describe in your relationship is one I had to deal with several years ago.

    It was suggested I enroll in a series of sessions based on Behavioural modification, which at the time I found helpful. You need to find a psychologist specializing in Behavioural modification.

    I recall it was relatively light duty stuff, but I learned some strategies that help to abort the rage reaction...well..most of the time.
    Steve

    Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

    Tourette Canada Forum

  8. #8

    Determined to eliminate anger & rage from my life

    Thanks Steve-
    I'll check w/ my new psychologist to be sure that he's focusing on behavior modification with me.We haven't used that phrase but that's the general idea, and one of my stated goals at the outset was to develop strategies to recognize and control my reactions to stressors.

    Arnie

  9. #9

    Determined to eliminate anger & rage from my life

    Arnie,

    In your conversation with your therapist, you may wish to present the idea of Behavioral Modification as an inquiry to determine if in his/her professional judgment it is the strategy best suited to meet your therapy goals.

    Good luck and be sure to keep us posted on your progress.

    Your courage and motivation are the fuel that will bring your therapy to a successful conclusion.

    Of course it is hoped that you also find peace in your relationship...if your spouse is willing to become a partner in your therapy, her involvement may just be the catalyst to bring your relationship closer.

    Regards,
    Steve

    Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

    Tourette Canada Forum

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