Sometimes I am lucky enough to get feedback from kids I have assisted or stay in touch with them. I stumbled on this note written by "Michael" for the United Way . It reminded me of the importance of listening to kids and helping them deal with bullying and the resulting anger.

Michael's Story

(Edited from the United Way Web site )

My experience .... started when I was eight years old. My mom brought me…. because I had a temper. I met with a therapist for a few months until she thought I was going to be just fine, and I was, until I turned 14 and started getting bullied at school. I would skip and avoid talking to people and I would keep all my emotions bottled inside, but one day I couldn’t keep it anymore.

I started getting in fights because I got sick of being scared to come to school and I would yell at my mom for no good reason. She thought it was just my temper but I kept blaming my dad for being such a hot head and I thought I was going end up just like him. So, I went back where I started talking to Steve Andrews. He gave me some tips on how to control my anger, which helped a lot, but looking back on it now, my temper wasn’t the main problem, I was depressed and I started hurting myself because of it. I didn’t know who to talk to about it. I didn’t believe at the time that a therapist could actually help me, so I kept it secret until I phased out of it.

Over the years Steve and I have talked every few weeks just to make sure everything’s going smooth, and it’s a good thing because just recently my anger has come back and I was having bursts of rage. I was punching things, not because those things made me angry but because punching those objects caused me physical pain, and I was addicted to adrenalin and the pain. But Steve directed me to an anger management group ……I have taken the seven-week course and I truly believe that I will use the skills I learned … until the day I die.