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Anger :(

Posts: 125
Joined: Mar 2011

My aunt, stage 4 colon cancer, diagnosed in 2011 (February), her son diagnosed with Esophageal cancer in Jan 2011, her husband passed suddenly in May of 2011, her son passed away April 2013. She's so angry at everyone. For the most part my brother and I take care of her (she is still struggling to do her daily things for herself) we try to be there for support and to do household/outside things that she can no longer do. But, she acts like she hates us. Whatever we do is wrong--even if we do it exactly as she says. Everything (and I do mean everything) makes her mad and hateful towards us. She's not happy we are there but if we aren't around she's not happy. If we are sitting she's mad but if we're standing she's mad (that type of angry). NOTHING makes her calm. Sometimes I wonder how she cannot realize that we are giving up our own lives to help her--not that we mind, what I mean by that is: my house stands empty for weeks, my mail is gotten by my daughter, I miss time from work, I've hired a person to do my lawn, and I'm thinking of hiring someone to clean my house too since I'm not there enough to do any of those things anymore. I know she has plenty to be angry about and I understand that, I can even understand taking that anger out on us now and then---but it's all the time. Someone here mentioned that it's like walking on eggshells---THAT is how it is with my aunt. We can't even tie a bag of trash the right way to suit her or sit in a chair the way she thinks we should! Should we just give up and leave her alone? She threw a temper last Sunday saying that she's NEVER alone--in two years she's never been alone (that's what she said) but I left from her home and went to work 10 hour days two of 9 days last week. Due to her anger I've left her home in tears and drove home crying (I live 90 minutes away). I guess I just never expected the screaming, throwing things and just outright verbal abuse I'm getting. I'm starting to dread the times I have to go there---and I don't want to be that way. :'(

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3177
Joined: Jan 2010

Have you or she mentioned any of this to her doctors?  Sounds like she is in a severe depressive state, which with all that has gone one, is understandable.  That does not mean it is ok though.

She needs medical help.  This is not something you or your brother can fix by trying to do things for her.

As hard as it is, please know that it is not willfullness that brings this out in her.  Even if she had some of these traits before all these trials, they have just magnified the situation.

You need to speak with her doctors as soon as possible and get her the help she really needs.  That may be meds, or counseling or both.

You are a wonderful person to take care of her needs, but don't let this drive you to depression as well.

Wishing you all better days,

Marie who loves kitties

MaryCarol5's picture
Posts: 95
Joined: May 2013

This definitely needs to be addressed with her medical team.   It could be medications causing this or the traumas endured over the past few years or both.  I would be willing to bet it is both. 

Your blessings are infinite for sacrificing some of your own life to give unselfishly to your aunt. 

Good luck to you, I hope that you both find peace. 

John23's picture
Posts: 1884
Joined: Jan 2007





“Should we just give up and leave her alone? She threw a temper last Sunday saying that she's NEVER alone--in two years she's never been alone (that's what she said) but I left from her home and went to work 10 hour days two of 9 days last week.”


She doesn’t need pills, she needs some space.


Call once a day, or every other day and ask how she’s doing and –if- she needs some help with something.


It sounds like well meaning people are smothering what they love…… Give her some air.


(that’s my opinion)


Be well.




LivinginNH's picture
Posts: 1428
Joined: Apr 2010


Oh my, this situation needs to change for all involved ASAP!  I agree with John, you need to speak with her doctor about him prescribing an anti-depressant like Zoloft to get her mood swings in check.  I'm sure that she doesn't like being angry all the time either, and then there's the guilt that she's feeling over yelling at you, and she becomes mad at herself.  This is a terrible cycle for both of you to be in.  And as John also mentioned, I too would "give her some space", it's good advice - and it sounds like you all could use a break from each other. 

Best wishes to you and your family, and please get her some assistance.


thingy45's picture
Posts: 619
Joined: Apr 2011

I agree, you all need some space. Your aunt need space and time to mourn her losses, by herself. Anger is a part of mourning, and she has double the anger.

She does not mean to take it out on you, but really she needs to be alone for a bit.

You also need a little time for yourself to load up the batteries again.

My thoughts are with you,

hugs, Marjan

db8ne1's picture
Posts: 114
Joined: Feb 2013

I am so sorry that you find yourself in such an abusive situation.  I can relate after years of verbal abuse.  I went to therapy for anger management on my part and my therapist said something that has stayed with me over the years:  Put yourself in their head and imagine how hard (and sad) it is to be them (with all of their mental issues that apparently they don’t know how to control).  Also, I have come to learn that we are only responsible for how WE feel and cannot control another’s feelings.  (I KNOW –easier said than done…words can really hurt, if we let them)!  It's REALLY hard if it's continuous and consistent...really wears one down.

That said, I agree with the others:  Try to get her some therapy and anti-depressants.  They might really help.  However, it sounds like that may be a real battle for you to get her to even agree, given your post.

I lurk on Facebook and an acquaintance just posted this quote today – which seemed timely:  “A wise physician said that the best medicine for humans is LOVE.  Someone asked – What if it doesn’t work?  He smiled and answered – Increase the dose.”  Hmmmm….I used to tell my kids when peers were mean to them that they should smile and “kill ‘em with kindness”.  At the minimum, it would likely confuse them and throw them off their game for a bit?  Just a thought.

Best of luck with this difficult situation.  Make sure you get plenty of “me time” so you can take care of yourself first!

thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1283
Joined: Oct 2010

Life is hard enough with cancer.   Losing one's immediate family to illness and cancer makes it much more difficult.


In the stages of dealing with life inequalities, anger is very early. I would tell her the stages of anguish. Get over the anger and concentrate on the positive.  Start researching for the answers to the battle of cancer.  Anger is just a wasted emotion. Else, back off a notch until the anger clears. Why drag down in someone else's misery? (I am not saying it is easy.) I get down also then I try to find the positive, and progress.  I am no body special, just have a positive way of looking at my life.  Yes, it is my life and I can not bring people down or they will not support me. It does seem imple, yet it is easy to ride in the ebb of hurt.


We just had an angry nurse during my last hospital stay.  I asked her to take a few minutes off, and reflect on why she is a nurse.  If it is not to help people, then you are in the wrong profession.   My Doc came in and checked in on me. He asked if everything was OK. I told him I was in pain, but the nurse needed some guidance in being happy. We heard him speak to the nurse out side our room.  She came in very uptight but professional.  An hour or two later she came in my room teary eyed. I asked er what was wrong. She told me not to be nice to her because she was mean to me. I told her the moment has passed and I did not hold anyhting against her.  She broke out in tears.  I asked her what was wrong?  She told me I was to nice to her being mean to me.  I told her look, we all have our moments.  If I was judged by every time I had a bad moment, I would cry.  We all need to forgive and leave the past behind us. It is OK to have a moment, do not let the moment define you.  She was a woderful nurse for the next few days. She would have nice converations with us about her family.  We all need forgiveness.


Tell your aunt to get on the CSN.  If nothing else read other's battle with cancer. 

Best Always,  mike

PS We are sending our thoughts and prayers for your Aunt to find solace.



sharpy102's picture
Posts: 365
Joined: Apr 2009


I have left you PM...not because it's such a secret I sent, peeps, I just didn't want you guys be annoyed by my LLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG message. It's enough if Marianne will be annoyed. :) Sorry Marianne for the long message in advance...

dorookie's picture
Posts: 1731
Joined: Jul 2007

OH MY GOD I'm so sorry to hear this, all that you are going through please don't take it personally. I know it's hard not too, but it's probably nothing you are doing, I can relate to what your aunt is going through, I'm stage four myself and lost my son to sucide two years ago which then tore his mother and I apart last years so I kind of know how angry she is.  It's not fun and its not something she can fix or something you can fix she needs professional help. It took me being in counseling for two years before I could even think straight. Please don't blame yourself or her.  Just try to get her some help...will keep you all in my prayers.



Posts: 125
Joined: Mar 2011

To Marie, Mary, John, Cyn, Marjan, db8ne1, Mike, Sophie and Beth---and anyone else who happens to drop in :)

First and most importantly, thank you ALL for your words of wisdom and your thoughts and prayers and suggestions--I appreciate them all very much. I mentioned to her Dr.s how angry she is, they didn't really say anything and they didn't prescribe anything...I will not give up on that conversation though! As for anger management---haha--no offense but truse me when I tell you that she will not go see anyone, she's stubborn that way and she's always been the one to give care to everyone else. She mentioned several times that she's not used to anyone being nice to her or caring for her and that it's hard for her to accept. We hug her and tell her we love her every time we see her and when we leave. I leave notes for her in the morning since I leave for work at 4a.m. and don't return to her home til about 6 or later (traffic sucks). I have come to realize that even though I worry about her possibly needing us or wanting to go somewhere or maybe her falling that I still need to give her some time alone. The hard part about that is, when I do try to leave she doesn't want me to go--the other day, she hid my car keys and just said that I need to be more careful about where I put them so I don't forget where they are. I will, I promise, try to give her alone time....it's just very hard because I worry so much.

Thank you again for all of the input and information--and Sophie, thank you for your message, you did not bother me at all. I wish you would speak more on here, for being so young you seem very wise and I love the things you had to say. I also LOVE your profile. Thank you.


Posts: 19
Joined: Jan 2013



I just posted about my Dad's anger.  I feel exactly the same way you do.  Thank you for sharing. 



Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2013

I get very angry at everyone who tries to help me.  Reading this post makes me feel like maybe im not alone and this is normal behavoir.  I don't do it because I don't appreciate all the help, but sometimes , its overwhelming and that smothering makes one feel frustrated.  Then one lashes out to make people step back a bit, but only people that are really close.  I guess in the end, you only hurt the ones you care about, which means no matter what is said or done, just know you are cared for.   I suggest stepping back a bit when hints are given and simply understand that its a normal reaction to those one trusts most.  Everyone else, thost that just past by,  get fake smiles and thanks






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