No Kidding Resolution: Victoria

Seething Sister
"I come from a family of six siblings. We all have issues with our one sister, Victoria, because her anger is out of control," says Nyasha. "For the last three years, I've had dreams that Victoria takes a knife and stabs me." 

Victoria admits that she has a bad temper, and her New Year's resolution is to stop being angry all the time. "Sometimes I slam doors. Sometimes I slam them so hard they break," she shares. "I've gotten into physical fights with my sisters. It's just an angry reaction. I just want to hurt them sometimes."

"Victoria's anger is tearing our family apart," says another sister, Simone. "She has kicked in doors, threatened family members, threatened to do harm to herself, driven erratically, thrown stuff, damaged her own property, threatened to kill a family member, tried to stab my brother, tried to drive off the road, and she even hit a person's car."

Victoria has been accused of stealing money, clothes and purses. "She locked me and my sister, Simone, in the basement because she was stealing from Simone, and we caught her. I was nine months pregnant," Nyasha reveals.

Simone worries that Victoria's twin daughters are learning her bad behavior. "Any time someone catches Victoria doing something wrong, instead of feeling sorry or remorseful, she gets angry," she says. "I feel hopeless because I don't know what we can do to help her."

"My New Year's ultimatum for Victoria is that she has to start to work on her anger problems. If she doesn't, she's out of my and my daughter's life," Nyasha vows.

"Are they telling the truth?" Dr. Phil asks Victoria.

"Yes, they're telling the truth," she replies.

"You lie, cheat, steal, attack, cuss, call names, kick doors, throw things? You do it all?" Dr. Phil probes.

"Yes, I have."

"What are you so mad about?" Dr. Phil asks Victoria.

"I'm not exactly sure. It's not one thing in particular, so I think that's the problem. It's just built up anger that comes out whenever it gets ready to," she answers.

Dr. Phil addresses Simone. "What do you think she's so upset about?" he asks.

"I'm not sure what she's so upset about. It just kind of escalates as the years go on. It's not just one thing I can point out," she replies.


Nyasha shares her thoughts. "We grew up together. We all have the same childhood. We had a hard childhood, but she just takes her anger out differently than the rest of us," she says. 

Dr. Phil tells Victoria that she's in for a rude awakening. "One of two things is going to happen. You're going to wind up seriously hurting somebody and wind up in jail, or you're going to run into somebody who's just as mad and a whole lot bigger, and they're going to whup your ass," he warns. "You've got to stop this. Do you agree?"

"I do," Victoria replies.

Dr. Phil explains that defining a problem is half of the solution. "I strongly believe that anger is not the issue here," he tells Victoria. "When I see anger, I always look past the anger to see what's behind it, and it's always hurt, fear or frustration, or some combination of those three. What is it for you?"

"I believe it's all three," Victoria responds through tears. "I think I'm hurt about my past and the way it's affected my life, and I'm frustrated with the way things are now because of my past, and it makes me sad."

"Anything that can happen to a child has happened to you. The point is, when you're a child, you can't fight back," Dr. Phil commiserates.

He turns to Victoria's sisters. "You know what she said causes her the most pain out of everything? She said that you two isolate her " for good reason. I totally understand why you do," he says.

 
"I think what you're doing now is saying, ‘Nobody is going to hurt me anymore, and I'll get them before they get me.' As a result, I think you go through life with a huge chip on your shoulder," Dr. Phil tells Victoria. "That pain is causing you to create what you fear the most, because what you fear the most is being hurt more."

Dr. Phil advises Victoria to change her lifestyle and values, and create a step-by-step plan for coping with her anger. She needs to define her New Year's resolution by saying, "I am going to find out what is going on inside me that's causing me to alienate everybody I love."

Dr. Phil offers to provide counseling for Victoria. "It's not about your family; it's about you. If you were never going to see them again, I would tell you that you need to do this," he says.


Victoria agrees to accept the help.