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Why do I lash out at her, and how can I stop it from happening again?


r0ckox

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I guess this goes here. Originally I was going to put it in the "emotions and feelings" section - but I realized that it's an internal issue and it's something I need to work on.

 

Over the past couple of years, I've had a history of lashing out at a girl I know. I don't do it over the phone or in person, but only through text-message and email. It's not something I'm proud of, but at the time can justify it until the end of the earth - then comes the next day and I feel like a total ass.

Usually my lashing out leads to me wanting to end our "friendship" and never speak to her again. That's never really the case, I just get upset and figure that's the best way to heal from it.

 

I care for this girl a lot. More than I've ever cared for anyone, and it's troubling me deeply that I treat her this way. This isn't how you're supposed to act with someone you care about.

She's made her mistakes and has deserved a few bad words thrown at her, just like everyone else.. but I even do it when she's done nothing wrong. I bring up old issues and issues that she can't possibly know about - so that's how I know that it's within me, not just her actions.

 

I'm trying to find a way I can stop this behavior once and for all - before I lose her for good. I always tell her "it wont happen again, I promise." etc etc - but I always prove that wrong.. so I come to you all seeking help.

 

It happened again last night, at complete random. We were BSing on AIM and when it was time for me to get off, I had told her that I was going leave and I'll talk to her whenever. Her phone is broken so AIM was the only way we could have communicated. She told me to email her my number and she'll call me from home the next day when she's done doing what she's gotta do, and I told her not to worry about that, I'll just talk to her whenever. I've been trying to keep my distance from her, as I have feelings for her that are not returned - so getting my hopes up of talking to her the next day and then it potentially not happening will bother me.

She took that as rude and responded to me turning her down with an "ew" - I asked her what was wrong and she hit me with the "nothing, dont worry about it" and then she started taking forever to answer. Now I know better, when a woman says "nothing, dont worry about it" - it's usually not really the case, so I just wanted her to explain what I did wrong, as I wasn't getting it at the time.

Eventually, I got pissed and made a comment about trying to talk to her is like talking to a wall, and signed off.

 

Woke up in the middle of the night because I'm sick, and I hopped online to kill some time. I noticed that she had not responded to my last comment, and for some reason I got all pissed off that she didn't reply. I don't even know why I was mad at her! - but I started lashing out at her on AIM telling her that she doesn't really care about me, that she can't even respond, that I don't want to waste my time with people who don't care, etc.... and went on this long rant. It's like subconsciously I wanted her to respond to me being upset at her, and since she didn't it upset me more and made me think she didn't care.

There are a lot of times over the last few years I've had the thought "she doesn't care" - and I'm very stubborn. Once that thought enters my head, it stays there until it's proven wrong.

 

Now, I know that she does care about me, as she wouldn't have put up with me for as many years as we've known eachother, but for some reason - just about every single day in the last couple of years, I have that "why bother? what does she care" thought, and I'm so tired of feeling this way. I want that to stop, and i want to say "this girl cares, and here's how I know it!" and believe it. I think it stems from the fact that I look for the little things, and she doesn't do them. I'm unsure.

 

Like on occasion she'll tell me "i'll call you back in a few minutes" and then I don't hear from her for days, so then the thoughts start building up again - yet if it was the other way around, I'd make sure I returned her phone call if I said I would. Or if we'll try and make plans, she has to cancel at the last minute for whatever reason, and then never tries to make up for it.

It's stupid little crap like that, that makes these feelings build up and then I lash them out, and I don't want to do that anymore.

 

It also stems from the fact that there were several times a couple years ago when we had relationship potential, that I was feeling like I was more into it than her, and asked her on a few occasions if "we could talk" - and she never made the effort to listen to what I had to say and understand how I was feeling, so now I feel closed out from just saying "hey, this bothered me."

 

The sad part is, this isn't who I am. I don't do this to ANYONE but her. Whenever I'm mad at or upset with anyone else, I just let it go and brush it off - yet with her, it builds and builds and builds and finally comes out in a mean and cold way..

 

I made sure that the first thing I did this morning was send her an email and let her know what I had done, (because the IMs I sent her from AIM are "offline" IMs and she won't read them until she signs back on. I'm hoping she reads the email first.) and explained to her that I was just venting and I was sorry. She's heard all this before, so this is why it kills me. I told her over a year ago it would never happen again and I fail to deliver.

I also went on to tell her that I cant handle being her friend right now, and I think it's best if I just stay away from her for a while until I can be O.K with being her friend. (Like I said above, I have feelings for her and she has not returned them, she said she just wanted to be friends, after a very confusing 2 years)

 

Now, I have a fear that if she doesn't reply to my email (which she won't - she never has) I'm going to start thinking that same way again, and in the future I may lash out at her for it. I want this to be the last time. I never wanted a first time. I want her to be able to trust me and count on me. I want to be a supportive friend, but for some reason I just can't shake these feelings I have and I can't seem to stop my behavior.

 

I don't know what to do. For now I'm just going to give both of us the space we need, but other than that, I'm at a loss. This isn't like me and I can't stand it anymore. I'm not only letting her down, but myself.

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I do this kind of thing too, I do it to several people though, to people who are close to me. I'll think, "They don't care", lash out, and resolve to not speak to them again or for a long time, but I always soften up. I don't know how to exactly change this, but I want to, and I hope others can give you insight that I can use as well. You're not alone in this kind of behavior.

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She's doing a mature thing by not responding to you when u lash out towards her, If she responded it would just escalate the situation and give you more of a chance to lash out at her. I'm guessing that you lashing out at her may be effecting her emotionally as well, It's probably making her life miserable, and you can only give someone so many chances to stop behavior like that. If some one constantly lashed out at you for no reason all the time would you want that kind of person in your life, would you want to talk to them. The best thing I can tell you is don't contact her, let her be. If she is the only one you act like this towards staying no contact with her would solve the problem. If you want to be able to be friends with her in the future (your obviously not ready for that now) go to Counseling find out what is causing you to lash out and resolve it before you contact her again. To contact her before you have this problem solved would be useless, this cycle will just continue in till either she blocks you out of her life forever or you resolve whatever it is that is causing you to lash out at her like this. Even if you do fix this problem it may take quite sometime to build trust back up that you won't do it again.

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I do this kind of thing too, I do it to several people though, to people who are close to me. I'll think, "They don't care", lash out, and resolve to not speak to them again or for a long time, but I always soften up. I don't know how to exactly change this, but I want to, and I hope others can give you insight that I can use as well. You're not alone in this kind of behavior.

 

I think I get it from my father. He does that kind of thing too. He'll do it in person though.

He will lash out in anger, then talk to you calmly later. I didn't realize how bad I had been until he did it to me recently, and I thought about her while I was getting lashed at, and realized "Wow. This is what I do to her.." and it's killed me ever since.

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It's not that I do it all the time, and it's not that it happens for no reason. I have plenty of reasons for past times this has happened, and have since explained them to her and she understands. Last night pretty much came out of left-field, so that's why it's killing me so much... I had no justifiable reason for it.

 

That's what I'm going to do, I'm going to give her space and not contact her.. and in the mean time I need to figure out what's causing this. It's something internal.

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The sad part is, this isn't who I am. I don't do this to ANYONE but her. Whenever I'm mad at or upset with anyone else, I just let it go and brush it off - yet with her, it builds and builds and builds and finally comes out in a mean and cold way..

 

I've been trying to keep my distance from her, as I have feelings for her that are not returned

 

I'd say this is probably a big part of the issue. Even if you've come to terms in your head that you have these feelings, and she's not on the same page - it builds tension, and a bit of sadness, and resentment. And it's all waiting for you to spill it out on her at any provocation, real or perceived.

 

You're fighting yourself. You don't want to get in a position (ie, phone call) where she can let you down. And yet, when she does something like not answering your message, it's the same position you're in, and you still feel the same way.

 

It can happen a lot, even in friendships, when one person has more or appears to have more invested in the relationship. Resentment builds and comes out in overreactionary and inappropriate ways.

 

I'd tell her honestly that you need to take a step back, that it's not her issue to deal with, but yours, and you need the space until your feelings are well and truly resolved.

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I have to give you kudos for taking responsibility and your recognition. I don't see a point in marveling over how you behaved - You already know. Pointless, waste of time.

 

You say this is the only person you're like this with - Interestingly enough, you also have feelings for her, that aren't returned. So it sounds like your rejection button is raised and being triggered by the most innocuous of things - Phone calls not being returned, messages not being responded to, etc. It seems(to me) that you're personalizing these things, taking them as personal rejections, and from there it snowballs and escalates. You're getting caught up in your current emotional state and can't see outside of it, tunnel vision.

 

I do agree that space would be excellent right now. Also, learn to be more mindful of your...well, mindset and emotions when you feel the thoughts brewing and creeping in. Step away from the situation until you have a better grip on what's going through your head. Yes, you CAN do it, you're not helpless or out of control. You do seem to have poor impulse control, but that's something that absolutely can be worked on. What you want to say at that exact moment does NOT NEED TO BE SAID. It does not need to be dealt with, swiftly, immediately, per whatever mood you're shifting through. The world will not end if you stop and think first. Go listen to some music, watch a show, do anything to get you more stable and balanced, then come back and reassess how you feel, by YOURSELF. If you have to tell a person(her) that you need some time, do it. Take it. It's pertinent in dealing with these sorts of flare ups.

 

Also, examine your expectations. This girl is not returning your feelings. That doesn't change the fact that you still have them for her, and while you may do the 'little things', your motive is likely coming from a different place. She's not thinking that way, therefore, her actions aren't going to be similar to yours. Can you be a friend to someone if on some level, you resent that they don't share your feelings? Not really. So space = good, for the time being.

 

You don't need dramatics to know that someone cares about you. People show their friendly affections in a multitude of ways. One thing, that is so ridiculously simple, but I think it's one we tend to forget(I know I do) is that not everyone is going to do it the way I do it, and that DOESN'T lessen the bond I have with them.

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Yeah. One of the reasons it happens is because my mind thinks that if I don't say whatever is on it at that time, it'll just brew even longer - so I try to get it out as quickly as possible so it doesn't become worse at a later time.

 

I know I don't need dramatics to show that people care. I'm not asking for that. But I tend to try and go out of my way for people when nobody comes even remotely close - so I'm constantly feeling like I'm into a friendship, or potential relationship more than they are.

I usually do tend to forget that people don't do things the same way I do - and I guess I expect them to do it like me anyway. It's clearly something I need to work on.

 

I haven't bothered to sign online last night to see if she replied, I'm taking a step back, have informed her and will begin to work on this... now I just need tips so that next time, this doesn't happen.

 

How can I talk to her the next time I start feeling this way? I tried the "Can we talk?" method and got shut down a lot, so that's half the reason it just comes rushing out of me.

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Overdoing for other people is not healthy. You're trying to improve your self worth by being people's savior. And if they don't reciprocate, or thank you, you feel worse...or angry.

 

I have a great easy book for you to read about this. It will explain a lot of things. It's called The Dance Of Anger, and it's about doing things for others and how to stop the cycle.

 

As for next time...remind yourself that YOU are valuable on your own. You don't need her approval or her interest to still be valuable just as you are.

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I had signed online the other night, not expecting to see a response - and I had a few offline IMs from her. Basically just giving me an "UGH" as if to say "not again!"

 

I also re-read what I wrote to her. I wasn't 'lashing out' like I had previously thought. My words were more of a depressive type. I was telling her that I can't be her friend right now. It wasn't out of anger, but out of realism. (Unfortunately there is no tone when just reading text, so she coulnd't tell what my tone was and thought I was just blowing up)

 

It's true, though. I cannot be her friend. I've had feelings for her for a very long time, I thought she had them for me too - but as it turned out she did not, and instead of letting me go she kept me around and wanted to play the "friends" card - it's been quite a cycle between the two of us. We don't want to let each other go, yet we can't make it to a relationship either. There's also been no happy medium.

 

So i went into a little more detail, explaining to her that it's nothing she's done wrong, it's me and my own way of thinking that I need to change. I explained that I need to start correcting whatever problem's I'm having internally before I can be friends with her. I went on to explain that I bottle things up and I don't know how to communicate properly, so it comes out of left-field from her perspective and seems like I was just blowing up at her.

 

I feel better now that I realize I didn't "lash out" with anger like I thought I did (It was 3am at the time and I was sick and half-asleep) but I still feel bad about it. I DO want to be her friend, and DO want her in my life - but until I'm able to control the way I think about things, this cannot be. Believe it or not, I'm looking out for HER in this. I don't want her to put up with anymore stress from my end - she deserves better than that. I even told her all of this in my explanation.

 

She was offline at the time I had explained this. I had come back online a day or so later and never got a response - even though I saw her online, which is the kind of thing that starts up my negative thinking. I thought I was very open and honest with her and her lack of response makes me say to myself: "Why did I even bother?"

 

I don't know. Guess I'm still kind of bothered by it all.

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