Anger issues

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Anger issues

I first noticed my teenager was having "mental health" issues around 13-14 years old, more specifically anger management, speaking to me in a derogatory manner and not helping around the house (also property damage). I tried to get help through the school and counselling but as usual no one could see a problem and it progressively got worse and communication between us broke down. It escalated to physical violence and my son temporarily moved out. I maintained contact and we have been slowly building a better relationship and better communication.
My son also has type 1 diabetes and that can also contribute to moodiness. My partner committed suicide last Christmas and I was cleaning out the shed where he passed away and my son decided to yell at me and tell me that I should hang myself where my partner died! Then went inside and woke up the baby by yelling.
I love my son, I have been doing a lot for him, I support him and do so much more than a parent would usually do for an 18 year old.
It actually broke my heart that he could say something so callous and although we have endured a lot as a family I don't understand why he has so much resent directed at me?
I don't know what to do? But I cannot accept this behaviour because I raised him to be better than this. Any suggestions?? I don't want to give up on him, I'm sure we can eventually work this out.
Community Manager

Re: Anger issues

I'm sure you can too @Mum321 

It can be so hard when our kids seem to be full of anger at us and we have no idea where it's coming from. And sometimes they're not sure either.

I think in a situation like this there's not a huge amount you can do more than looking after yourself and being there for your son as much as he lets you be. Sometimes, unfortunately, our kids force us to remove ourselves by making it unsafe to be around them. I think when that happens, the most loving thing you can do is show them what self-care looks like by putting your safety first.

I'm so sorry you lost your partner, what a horrible and tragic experience for you to go through. And I'm sorry that your son said that awful thing to you. You didn't deserve that and I imagine it was incredibly hard to hear.

Are you able to talk to your son about it now that the argument has passed? Are you able to explain to him what it felt like for him to say that?

Prolific scribe

Re: Anger issues

Hi @Mum321,Thanks for sharing your story . It sounds like you have endured an incredibly difficult and life defining experience. My deepest condolences to you and your family . I cannot begin to imagine how awful this has been for you and you have a baby and a troubled son to deal with as well . I am so sorry .  My heart goes out to you . I hope you have found some support for yourself from family and friends ??

Your son :  My theory with anger is that unless there is a diagnosed mental illness then anger towards loved ones is a sign of   emotional  pain , frustration or fear . 

What has been your son's childhood experiences ? Did  he suffer losses?  was he treated badly ? It is imperative to learn what he experienced and how he interpreted these events in his life .  Negative life experiences be interpreted in two ways in my view , they either make us feel determined and challenged or they make us feel less than and hurt deeply .  We internalise the experience as a verification of our uselessness and unworthiness or a verification of our competence and worth  depending on the people around us , how they respond to us and thus the influence of their perspective . 

I would start with : 

Find a time when he is in a good mood and ask him if you have hurt him in anyway in the past . Tell him you will listen without defensiveness and  validate his feelings even if you do not necessarily agree with his view . Perception is reality and whatever he feels is real even if his view does not align with yours or the facts . 

Discuss with him the events of the past and how they impacted him . "What was it like for you when......," 

Tell him how you feel when he says hurtful things to you . 

Ask him how you can help him to  feel happier with his life . 

What  does he want from you to be less angry with you ? 

If he could wake up tomorrow and he had everything in his life to feel good and satisfied, what would that look like for him ? 

If at first he won't engage , don't despair , keep trying at opportune moments . 

Sometimes it takes a while for the penny to drop that Mum means well and wants to make things better . 

Please take care of yourself and let us know how you go . 

 

 

 

 

Active scribe

Re: Anger issues

ThankYou for your contribution

We talk a lot and when my son has had time to reflect we can usually come to some sort of understanding

Just when things are going really well he seems to "flip a switch"

I'm going to assume it's because he is still developing and I will be patient but be clear to him I won't accept those angry outbursts

I think you may have had a good point about feeling useless, he's diabetic and I think he gets very tired and strung out and feels like he can't keep up! I will ask him again about the past (even though I thought we had worked though that part).
Active scribe

Re: Anger issues

ThankYou

I have given my son some space and thus given myself some self care.

We often have meaningful conversations so when he is in a better headspace I will tell him that the suicide comment was extremely hurtful and just not ever acceptable.
I let him get away with some rude and disrespectful comments because he's a "work in progress" but I really need him to understand how hurtful that was
Mod

Re: Anger issues

Hi @Mum321, it sounds like you have been going with some good momentum there.

 

I hope your son hears you, on how hurtful a comment like that was. I want to say I am so sorry for your loss and I know it can be hard when our young people say such things without understanding fully the weight and impact of their words.

I applaud you for allowing some time for both of you, before delving into this. You sound like a very caring and resilient parent. Smiley Happy

Active scribe

Re: Anger issues

Thankyou

I definitely think my son is improving and has showed remorse for what he said (although not to me)

I'm the only parent he has and we don't have any family so I'm it....I'll have to persevere until we get through!