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I just want to help him.

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Things with me and my friends have been kinda weird lately. I understand things are getting different and I've gotten used to most of it. But this. Oh I never expected this.

I have several friends that I consider my "best" friends, two guys, three girls. Now one of my guy friends, I like him. Well. As more than a friend. It hasn't always been that way, but recently. I just sort of fell in that direction before I could help it. He's this great guy, incredibly sweet, funny, smart, caring. He always jokes with teachers, and volunteers to do things to help them. He always makes every second around our friends fabulous. He is everything I ever dreamed of. Well. On Friday night, me and some friends were hanging out with him and he chipped his skateboard. Someone who hadn't been there walked up to say hi and accidently stepped on the board. Angrily, he'd cussed us out and pushed me and my friend really hard and skated away so fast, he lost a shoe. His friend later explained that he'd had some mild anger problems, and not to worry. The next night,  I was staying at my other friend's house with another friend. Since they are some of my best friends too, I confessed that I really liked him. a lot. And they understood completely.

My friend lives in apartments, so it's easy to sneak out. We decided to invite "him" and some of his friends over. So at about midnight, they skated up on their boards, and we all went to this open area, by the laundry rooms and the playground. We hung out for a while and played "fight". It's always a favorite of mine to try to push people to the ground, twist their arms, I dunno. We hurt each other, but not a lot. Just jokingly. Plus, you can get close to people without anyone thinking anything of it.

So after a while, we got really cold and went to the apartment's laundry room to hang out some more. We were all laughing and joking and having a wonderful time, until I stole "his" phone. He wanted it back so I held it up;; and before I knew it, it was flying out of my hands and slamming him in the head. He laughed at first. But then, suddenly. Something changed.

I'd been sitting next to him so as he looked over, I felt my heart stop. His face had completely changed. He looked murderous, and I wondered if he would kill me. He threw his phone across the room and it shattered. Then he slammed a dryer, walked out, walked back in, slammed his fist into the window, shattering THAT too, and hit the dryer shut twice more. After that, he stormed out again. This time, not returning.

I couldn't talk. There was blood from his hand on the dryer and he was furious. I didn't know what to do.

"We have to go!" My friend who lived there told me really fast.

I knew she could get in serious trouble for it,  but my legs were locked.

This was the affect I had on people? Was I THAT awful?

"It's not your fault." One of his friends said. "It's happened to all of us."

"No. It's my fault." I still couldn't move and my friends were getting anxious.

"Well." His friend told me. "Me and him. We almost killed each other once. This isn't that bad."

I was all too shocked. I felt tears running down my face. I hated myself, and I everything around me. What was going on? This deffinetely wasn't like him.

"Yeah." His friend continued. "He was thissss," He made a tiny space between his fingers. "Close to killing me when I turned things around. And then, I barely managed to stop from killing him."

"It's just a window." His other friend explained.

"Yeh, but hurry up." One of my friends said. "We're going to get in trouble. The shatter was loud."

Somehow, I managed feebly to stand up. I wandered outside in the dark and saw him, only a few feet away. He looked somewhat more calm, and his face, his eyes, they were normal again. But I couldn't forget that look.

We almost made it back to my friends apartment before I choked and starting sobbing. I couldn't go inside like this.

"I have to do something." I said. "I have to talk to him."

So I stood up and walked back to the laundry room, where the three guys were.

"I don't think you should go alone." One of my friends said. "He scares me. He might hurt you."

"He won't." It's funny. I'm the type who is scared of bugs and parking garages. Who gets the chills after horror movies, but never screams at them. Who has always feared someone  breaking in, since I'm always home alone. yet, he didn't scare me, not one bit. And still, he doesn't.

So I walked off in the dark. Finally, when I got there, I pulled open the door and walked inside. I locked it behind me.


He was pulling glass out of his hand and cringing in pain. I glanced at the window. Only one layer of glass had shattered. The other remained untouched.


I couldn't talk.


He wouldn't look at me. But the words he said next, I felt like he just might be addressing me. Even though he stared firmly at his friends.

"So. I feel kinda. really bad now."


"They all saw, huh?"


"well. I gotta get this glass out of my hand."


"I really am."


"Sorry. I mean. I really am sorry."

He said nothing and so I stared at his bloody hand.

My friends ran up banging on the door. Quietly, I unlocked it.

"Let's go."

I didn't sleep til seven the next morning. And the next night, a school night, I was up til after three.

So, being tired and all, I felt awful at school. He was weird in that "not weird' way. Like nothing happened, but something did. You know. Distant, yet close. Near, but far. Same, yet different.

He was joking with our math teacher and teaching us how to do problem number 40 when I started crying. I couldn't look at him the same.

Yet. I still love him. No, I don't like him. I love him. So much. And I just want to help him. But. I dunno how.

Today, I stayed home from school to try to regain my sanity. I told my Dad I was sick, which in a way, I am. I keep getting stress headaches and I have no appetite and always feel like I'm going to be sick.

But that's simply stress, I know.

So tell me. How can such a wonderful guy, be such an awful guy?

I'm trying to figure out what exactly his problem is and how to help. Because, well. It sucks.

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I'm going to move this to the relationship forum, because friendships are relationships, too.

You sound like you are in high school, yeah?  If so, that's good, because you can get a head start on learning what is, to me, the hardest goddamn lesson in the entire universe.

And that is that ultimately you can't change people.  They have to change themselves. 

This guy sounds like he has a lot of problems.  Which doesn't make him a bad guy.  My best friend is a guy who has his fair share of problems, but he means well and I love him and I won't apologize for it.  I don't have to, and you don't either.  But it sounds like he has problems bigger than you can handle. 

I understand, I really do- I'm insanely attracted (like many of us are, I would imagine) to the lost ones, people I think I can save.  And it never works, and it never will work, and the goal is to change my approach.

You can, and should, encourage him to seek help of his own (talking to a school counselor could be a good first step, maybe?).  But you can't save him.

I know I kind of sound like a jackass.  But it's because I struggle with this same thing and need people to give me reality checks, too. 

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RUN for the hills, don't walk, RUN! I knew a guy like this, so funny, everyone loved him, I heard rumours that he was troubled and had anger problems....it wasn't until I had got with him and we'd been together for seven months with not a glitch at all, he treated me so well... that I experienced it for myself. I was bruised and slapped and raped and hideous stuff that I won't even post here. That guy wasn't an evil monster. He was troubled, he did have serious issues, and me and my love couldn't change it. A men who will smash a phone in rage will smash you in rage one day, even if he does cry and claim to love you right afterwards.

So don't waste anymore time fantasising and hoping that this guy is worth it underneath and all he needs is a girl like you to help him, it's a nice head trip but a bad route to go down, trust me!

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I think I'll go ahead and agree with the two posts on here, and second (third?) it. It's really easy to think you can change someone. And you can even play-act at it...I'm sure he'll change, if you beg him, ask him, just a little. BUT he has to WANT to change.

But now I'm going to put a slightly different spin on it, and throw in a couple of quick personal stories, if you'll bear with me.

If he WANTS to change, there's the fact that, with help (NOT JUST YOURS!! Not even primarily yours), he can change. But he has to REALLY want to, and not just because of you. I know this, because of my stories:

Girlfriend A: Met her online, in an attempt to be cool and different and figure out what the hell I was doing. She had anger issues. Dated her six months. Many promises to change; she'd quit drugs (those'll compound anger issues, BTW), take care of me, be good, not do bad things. Finally left her, but a bit worse for the wear. Have scars to prove it, both from her and from me from emotional drama wrought upon me during that time.

Girlfriend B: Met online, too, but as a re-group from an earlier era (we'd played soccer versus one another as little ones) and met in a very safe scenario...I was already dating GF A, and we met up to play soccer on a team composed of mutual friends. Bad anger issues. Hooked up; lots of drama. She never hit me, only pushed or "hit around" me. She wanted, badly, to change. For me. For herself. For her brothers. Because she hated who she was. A bit of therapy later (and a divorce and all kinds of family stuff and a suicide attempt), she's the sweetest person I know and we've been living together for like 5 years now? Maybe more...can't keep track of these things and everything else, too :> Been together over 7 years. And she'd never think to hit me or yell at me or ever, ever be cruel. Though she was THEN.

So, was a combination: wanting to change, and not just for me. And the right scenario in place. You can't change everyone. You can't even really change anyone. Sometimes, you might act as the catalyst for change, as I was, inadvertently. And you can help someone in their journey to non-anger by being supportive. But not by putting yourself in danger!! Even if you're not afraid, it won't help him change if you're "giving him excuses." Still his fault, of course, if bad things happen...but why risk injury and his excuses?

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Speaking as the guy that had serious anger issues in high school, I never did any of the horrible stuff to the few girls (Ok. The 2. =P) I actually dated in HS.

The problem isn't always what they'll do to you, but what they'll do to other people.

I was way overprotective. A guy shoved my girlfriend pretty hard and actually knocked her down and I very nearly killed him. It took over a dozen people to get me off him, blood was everywhere, I'd hurt quite a lot of people that were trying to break us up. The poor guy had to be taught to walk again, kind of hurt.

Then I refused to go anywhere or talk to anyone including her for over a week.

I'm pretty ashamed of that. I thought I was going to kick his ass, but it escalated so fast I couldn't stop it.

Many many many years later it feels like a different person did that, but when I remember it was me I feel really godawful about it.

I just want you to understand that even if he's nice to *you* doesn't necessarily mean it'll be nice. :/

Anger problems are like a lot of other things...You're the only person that can make you better. Other people can help, but not if you're not trying to get better.

Sorry if this is a wee bit depressing, but at least one of the angry people had to say something.

Edited to add:

I'm forced to cast my lot with karuna and wifezilla. Run for the hills.

Well, not run for the hills maybe, but definitely keep your distance.

And make sure another friend is with you at all times.

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