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I'm always angry at my family, how can I better control my emotion?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Jane 4 months ago.

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  • #295235

    John
    Participant

    Hello,

    For the longest time, I’ve always been angry at the thought of my family. I’ve noticed this reaction since I was 6 or 7. Everytime that I would be in a good mood, just the thought of my family, the thought of their existence, would instantly bring me down and I could literally feel the energy in my body sinks down to the ground. I would get queasy in my stomach and want to throw up. I know that it sounds over the top for a little kid, but it’s true. I’ve never been the type to look into myself and identify my emotions, so I never really thought more into it. I just went on with life.

    However, I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and I need to figure it out. By no means are my family members bad people. They’re good people, but they disgust me, not because they’re disgusting, but because I don’t want their love and affection. Like a stalker crush that keeps coming after you even though you’re not into them. They way that they show their love disgusts me. The thought of being a “happy family” with them disgusts me. Again, I know that they’re good people, I just don’t understand why it’s so disgusting to me. Some of you might say that “disgusting” is harsh, or misused. I can assure you that it might be harsh, but not misused. I’m always so uncomfortable around them and can never really be myself. I don’t know what my truself is, all I know is that whenever I’m around them, I am constantly saying things that contradict my true feelings at that moment. I hate that they don’t know that they’re disgusting to me. I don’t want to tell them that because I know that I mean a lot to them. I think they deserve better.

    Whenever I confide this in other people, a lot would assume that I’m a sociopath, which I know that I’m not. Would I go out of my way to take care of my family? Yes I would, because they’re good people and because I am grateful for the things that they did for me. On one hand, I see the reality of the situation, and on the other hand, there’s this feeling in me that I can’t shake off. I guess I’m just ranting now. My question is, how can I better manage my emotions? How can I just be neutral around these people like I am around other people? Their presence is a big part of my life and I can’t runaway from it even if I do decide to move to other end of the Earth. I wish that they were dead, or never have existed. And I only wish so because I don’t have the skill to handle my emotions with them still existing in my life.

    #295311

    anita
    Participant

    Dear John:

    This is my understanding at this point: your parents are “good people”, and they want you in their lives.  There is only one problem, they don’t want you in their lives, they want a version of you who is too far from who you truly are.

    “I’m always so uncomfortable around them and can never really be myself”- because they rejected you before you were 6 or 7, and this is why you have been angry at them since that age (“I’ve always been angry at the thought of my family. I’ve noticed this reaction since I was 6 or 7”).

    Because they rejected you, you are “constantly saying things that contradict my true feelings at that moment”, trying to be … someone else.

    I suppose your parents fed you and sheltered you and treated you nicely but a human being is an emotional being who needs more than food and shelter. A child needs someone to ask him what he thinks and what he feels, and then listen attentively, with interest and curiosity, and then give the child the message: I see who you and I like you!

    “The way that they show their love disgusts me. The thought of being a ‘happy family’ with them disgusts me”- I think that this disgust is about the price you have paid for so long to appear happy-family with them, and that price was… you.

    The way they show their love to you disgusts you because their love is lacking the most vital part of love of a person. The way they love you fits loving an object perhaps, or a two dimensional character, but not a human being.

    “I don’t want to tell them that because I know that I mean a lot to them. I think they deserve better”- maybe it is you who deserve better.

    What is it that you mean to them?

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by  anita.
    #295349

    John
    Participant

    @anita

    Hi, thank you for your thought. It’s hard for me to trace this feeling back to a particular incident. However, I’ve always felt like they treated me like I’m too fragile and need to be protected. Yes, I was very sensitive as a kid, I had a hard time making friends and opening up to other people so I understand why they might have felt like I needed protection. I think partly because I grew up in a rich family and I didn’t have the skills to mingle with people who were poorer than me. I look at parents of other kids and they treat each other so..normal and casual, where as to my family, I’m this precious little baby that needed coddling. I was ok with getting things and being pampered but deep down, I always knew that I didn’t have the skills to survive without them. Everytime I’m in a social situation, I tense up and don’t know how to act and I just want to crawl back home and I hate that I feel that way.

    I guess there isn’t really any use in trying to change them or the situation. I just want to know how I can better manage my emotions. I wish that I can just feel normal towards my family like how I would feel towards people that I meet everyday. How can I keep this disgust feeling down so I can function around them without feeling like I want to lash out?

     

    #295357

    anita
    Participant

    Dear John:

    “to my family, I’m this precious little baby that needed coddling”, and they still treat you as if you are “too fragile and need to be protected”-

    – when in reality you were not born more fragile than other children. What happened is that they treated you in such a way that didn’t make it possible for you to get stronger and capable. I think I understand.

    You asked: “How can I keep this disgust feeling down so I can function around them without feeling like I want to lash out?”-

    – from my experience in life, I believe that you already did and still are doing all that anyone in your place can do to not feel that disgust and anger. There is no way for you to eliminate these feelings while you are still exposed to  that coddling that you hate so much!

    If your family is still rich or capable financially, the best thing for you to do, I believe, is to suggest to your parents (and anyone living in the home who coddles you) to attend Family Therapy with you, so that a capable therapist or counselor will make it possible for those who coddle you to hear how you feel about it, to see that your feelings are valid (that is, that it is understandable that a child/ person needs to feel strong and capable in life!), and to change their behaviors.

    When they change their behavior and treat you like the capable person you can be, then your feelings toward them will change, over time.

    anita

     

    #295425

    Jane
    Participant

    Hi  John

    First of all these are brave admissions to make- if only we could all express our feelings about our families in such a free and open way.

    Families can be a nightmare- although I also love my family and appreciate how much they mean to me especially as I get older, I know for a long time I used to get what I called my ‘desert island’ feeling- that all I wanted was to get away and be on my own for a while.

    Families can be so claustrophobic and stifling.

    What I notice about your post is that you see your family as the collective, ‘them,’ and not necessarily as a group of individuals, which is what they are. Are some family members more or less repulsive than others? Are we talking about parents, siblings, aunts, cousins etc?

    One way to get through this is maybe to start identifying individuals as seeing them as people rather than as a group. Maybe they all feel the same as you but don’t want to be the one to flatten the house of cards?

    We all have a right to break away from our families and grow up- do you feel you are being denied that?

    Families, in a perfect world, should allow each other’s characteristics to flourish, but it seems in so many the opposite occurs, because of a sense of needing to be close and protective, they trap each other in a mesh of misplaced love and affection, which is often no more than a prison with cushions.

    I really feel for you, but at some time you have to begin to be your own person and if this means conflict in the family then they have to deal with that in their own way.

    You say you can’t run away, even to the ends of the earth- well you can, and lots of people do reject their families and go their own way- but I suspect this isn’t what you want to do. I think you want to be ‘neutral’ and maybe just see them as people, as you want to be seen as a person, maybe?

    I am going through a similar change in my relationship with my son- so I know how tricky it can be making those changes.

    Maybe you should get some counselling for yourself to begin with, so you can work through those processes of change in dealing with your disgust.

    I hope that at least expressing your feelings has helped- I hope you find your way through this.

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