Question: Dear Luise: I am in my late twenties, single and employed. I live alone and have a great boyfriend. I trip over my temper a lot. I’m always expecting the worst and probably overreacting to it. (It’s hard to tell because I make sense to me.) This used to cause me a lot of problems in school, and now it’s at work and in relationships. I have my happy times but not enough of them, and I am seldom on middle ground and just at peace with my self and my life. Well, to be honest, I’m never like that. I thought when I grew up and left home and had more to say about my life that this would change, but I’m the same ole/same ole. Is there any way I can find another self that I’d like better and that others would, too? I’d appreciate some direction on this. Thanks, Lydia
Answer: Dear Lydia: That’s a giant step…knowing that it’s you, not your circumstances or the people around you. Something set this in motion a long, long time ago. Probably even before you can remember. The pattern is set, the die is cast and no, it’s not carved in stone…( but when you try to change it, it will feel like it is.)
We all have techniques for coping. And often when our circumstances change and we’re no longer at risk or in survival mode our behaviors just run on automatic pilot. “Shielding” can continue and conflict then becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Fortunately there are anger-management clinics and therapists. That’s where you need to be headed. You probably already know that turning over a new leaf, and making New Year’s Resolutions don’t work. That’s because this whole thing is not on a conscious level. You’d never deliberately choose to act the way you do. You just find yourself at the effect of it…a lot.
Get yourself a great coach and start the often long, and difficult way back to where you can’t ever remember being, which is in charge. No matter how hard it is your gains will make it worthwhile. Hit the web and find out what you can read on the subject. Talk about this with those near and dear. We all need to know how to feel anger and express it. When we don’t, that isn’t healthy, either. As you learn and grow you will find what’s appropriate for you. Congratulations for knowing it’s time to address this. Blessings, Luise