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Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH
Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 251
Experience:  Over 15 years of experience as a substance abuse therapist. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker
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uncontrollable anger outbursts

Resolved Question:

uncontrollable anger outbursts
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH replied 4 years ago.
Hi there,
Thank you for using JustAnswer. Do you have a specific question I can help you with today?
Thanks,
Kym
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Me & my partner have been together for nearly 3 years now. Year after we've met, Ive discovered that he was addicted to online pornography (exchanging porn pics with girls, taking pictures of his genitals and posting it to them etc), he has cheated on me three times. When it came the time to face him I came home after night spent at friends trying to figure out what to do with us and my life, and I asked why he's done it. He denied at the start, then started being very fidgety and nervous, then I tried to comfort him and feel better and said that he can trust me if he wanted to tell me something. I told him to please tell me, that he would feel better if he got it off his chest. I looked over and saw tears just falling down his cheeks - he never cries. He was sexually abused by a friend of a family when he was 12. His parents divorced when he was about 8, since then his mum and his siblings moved around a lot.
Since his affair started at work and we're both working at the same place,I kinda had to take things in my own hands. We called few help-lines and went to see a psychologist to seek help, we managed to get him unfortunately very expensive few sessions with a specialist. We decided it was better if he never went back to his job. I decided I would as I as in a process of a visa application to move back with him to his country. Soon after things started to get out of control. With me. I started feeling very angry on him and on myself that I was causing arguments. We have tried to have sex once or twice, and when he was not doing things 'oral proper', I shouted at him. It lasted for several weeks and my outbursts were becoming very common and he seemed more withdrawn and depressed, we talked about his sessions, but he stopped telling me things as he said that Im not his therapist. One day I simply couldn't stand work and got home earlier only to find a note that he was going to neighboring country to have a break an otherwise something was going to happen. I panicked, checked his email and found out that he actually was on his way to the airport but going o'seas to his mum's home. On that day I had my first counseling session as I could not cope anymore, I still went to the airport trying to talk to him maybe not to stop him but to say goodbye.
Next two weeks I was on my lowest. I lost appetite, was overtired, couldn't sleep, and very depressed. Couldn't connect much with my counsellor, called help line few times when i felt very bad - I was staying on my own. Slowly, things started being less painful, as time went past. I started talking to people more, continued going to the gym and work. We started communicating live online and via emails few weeks later, talked about things millions of times and several weeks later we decided to continue with my visa process and I finally got it 3 months later. I was very lonely, trying to get ends meet, visited my parents who live in another country too.
I flew o'seas 2 months after my visa approval and things seemed to be working out slowly - but we knew we only seen each other online in fact living separately7 months.
When I moved in to his mums place, we were extremely happy to be together. We're living at his mums and tried to get on with our relationship, emotions and the past slowly. Some time after, he was not wanting to have sex as was afraid that his mum would heard us. It was very harsh winter and getting dark early. I dint have much contact online with my family due to time difference. ALso, the move to the new continent was a huge and difficult things for me, much bigger than I ever imagined. We started having arguments again - I felt he should have cared about me more, be more open in emotions, I wanted sex to come back. After 3 months we could not stand it anymore, and we moved to another state when the cold weather was never an issue.
I could not adjust to temperatures, was feeling ill all the time, could not sleep well. I thought finding a job would make things easier, I will get to know people and maybe make friends. He works from home online business, and always has time to relax. I became jealous when he was going out with his friends almost every day for evening tea not inviting me even once. We continued arguing, I felt he's just left me on my own to deal with adjusting, working, forgetting about the past etc..I found a job just after few days, but it happened to a very stressful. I still work there for the remainder of my contract which is 6 more weeks. We argue pretty much every week and its me who starts fights when I feel my anger rising I just explode say things that bother me and then feel much better . He in turn, feels more angry at me now all the time for starting fights and not letting the past go. We went to seek help 2 weeks earlier and had a introduction session separately and were looking forward to our last chance of working things out. And here we are: yesterday we had biggest fight ever, I slapped his laptop and need to pay for its repair. I feel deeply sorry, hurt, angry, depressed and overpowered by my constant outbursts to the point I cannot control when they are going to happen or to stop them. I feel when I get more anxious, but somehow cannot stop the big outburst.

I have to add my family history to it too. I was oldest of 3 girls. My father was very strict and used belt as a 'way of power'. His father was the same. When I got older, we started arguing an dI stopped feeling scared of him - I did not care what he would do to me. Thats when my bulimia started and lasted for few years. My mum and younger sister noticed a smell of vomits in the toilet after I was there but instead of help I got criticized for doing that. I also once cut myself slightly, and then tried to inject a bubble air in my veins. I stopped and realized what I was doing when I saw myself crying in a mirror. I said I was not a lost cause and will get through - I started educating myself on bulimia, then gradually it stopped. When my parents read my diary without my knowledge and read a letter addressed to me I said to my mum that she had no right and that she's a bitch. My father punched me really hard in a face. Few years later I moved out to my boyfriends and they would not talk to me for a year for doing this. Then I got pregnant when I was 20, we decided that I have a termination, I did not feel I could raise a child then. Me & my b'friend split up after 4 years. Then I embarked on a relationship with a partner 12 years older than me, which was not an issue for me at all as I was 24 - my parents disapproved but I as out of their reach. We managed to be 6 years together, and decided to split up when my anger outbursts were very bad. Few months later I have met my current partner.
I feel so sorry everyday for my anger is causing to my partner. I seem to to let go the past issues, but I feel there is more in my anger than just feeling disappointed with his infidelity. I want to prove to myself that I can have a loving relationship even when I am 32 and have successful loving life and a family. We have booked out first session together in few days. I need to know how I can get thru days without anger. Thank you so much for listening.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
HI Kim,
Thanks. I am waiting for your reply.
Expert:  Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH replied 4 years ago.
HelloCustomer
Thank you for all of this information. Anger can come from a number of different places. It seems that your childhood and strict upbringing would definitely contribute to the way you express emotions now that you are an adult. The good news is you really do want to change and you are willing to seek help to do that.
I am going to give you a number of tips to help with your anger but before that, it is important to know that you have to get your feelings out before you explode. This means taking a look at what your feelings are way before you get to the explosion point. Once you identify your feelings you will be able to use communication skills such as I feel statements. for example, I feel ________________ when you ___________, I would prefer it if you would _____________. And then you listen to the other person's response and you both come to a compromise about the problem.

For anger management: You should always stop and take about 30 minutes to clear your head before saying anything and review your feelings under the anger.
Next, ask yourself questions like, Will this matter in ten years. Have I ever acted the same way. Next, you can work on adjusting your expectations of people. Then you can change the way you think about the situation. If you change your expectations, usually the problem will seem less anger provoking.

Lastly, I'm glad you both are going to see a therapist. A good therapist will be able to help you develop the communication skills so you can talk before you get to the explosion phase.

I hope this answer helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Take care,
Kym
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Kim,
thank you. I feel so deeply sorry for what distress I am causing to my partner. He does love me an dI love him too very much, but I feel I need more support from him - this is the way where I have to adjust my expectations. It does not seem very possible at the moment.
I want to recognize the situation before it is too late, but I am having huge trouble with it. It suddenly just comes out in such a terrible way. My work an childhood seems to contribute to it a lot.
I try not feeling too depressed at the moment, but I know I do feel extreme low mood. What can I ask my partner to do when I am having an outburst if it happens again? Why does he feel so angry and why he cannot be closer to me psychically ie hugs and reassurance more often?
Expert:  Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for these questions as well.
What can I ask my partner to do when I am having an outburst if it happens again?
The problem is that he can't be responsible for helping you with your anger outbursts. This might be where expectation changing could come in handy. If he were to ask how to handle your anger, I would tell him he can't. When a person is angry there is little anyone can do, it has to be you that controls the anger and you will be able too once you learn how to discuss your feelings before it all builds up. You may even want to get an evaluation by a psychiatrist to make sure it's not a problem like bipolar and a physician to make sure everything is alright medically.

Why does he feel so angry
Your partner probably feels angry because you are expressing anger towards him. Anger feeds other people's anger. If you were to approach things before the explosion you might find that he becomes less angry as well.

Why he cannot be closer to me psychically ie hugs and reassurance more often?
I think if he sees that you are going to be less angry, which takes time to prove. He will be more likely to show you more affection.

Lastly, you may want to consider getting an anger workbook to help you.
I hope these answers helps as well.

I wish you the best with this.

Take care,
Kym
Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 251
Experience: Over 15 years of experience as a substance abuse therapist. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker
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