I am so angry. I’ve been angry for a long time, about a lot of different things, but lately my anger is always boiling just beneath the surface, ready to explode out of me without a moments warning. I go from 0 to 90 in .25 seconds, and God bless and protect the person I unleash my anger on.
I’m not sharing this because I am proud. I am sharing this because I am ashamed. I’m ashamed of my anger and ashamed at my lack of self control. I’m ashamed every time I lose my temper and yell at my sweet daughter, and I’m ashamed every time I mentally unleash a string of profanity in my head at a complete stranger who is moving too slow or is inadvertently in my way. I am ashamed when I say cutting things to people I love without thought, and instantly regret that I can’t unsay them. I am ashamed that I yell when I am frustrated, setting a terrible example for my daughter.
I was ashamed today when I saw the look of confusion and fear on my daughters face because I was yelling when I couldn’t find something. I wasn’t yelling at her, I was just yelling because I was frustrated and in a hurry and yelling at myself for not being better prepared or whatever I was yelling at myself for.
A voice whispered to me, in the back of my mind, a quote I had seen on Facebook a couple of days previously. “How you talk to your children becomes their inner voice.”
“But I’m not talking to her, I’m talking to myself.” I protested mentally.
But when I thought about it, what I was doing was almost worse…I was letting her see how little I think of myself. I was calling myself nine kinds of stupid and unprepared and ridiculous. I was tearing myself apart, ripping into myself with vicious words, for the most trivial things.
I had just told David the other day, “She’s watching us. She watches us to figure out how the world works, and she’s looking to us for cues on behavior and how to handle different situations.”
So, from me, she is learning impatience, anger, distorted self-image, and that when we are frustrated, we yell and rage and storm around like a tornado.
I know that lately I have been under tremendous stress and have a lot on my plate…but shouldn’t that be taken as an opportunity to show my daughter how to handle stress gracefully? Or, if not gracefully, at least productively and not destructively?
I lashed out at people today who had done nothing wrong. I yelled at myself and frightened my daughter.
I am depressed and stressed and overloaded with responsibility and I am exhausted and worn out both mentally and physically. None of that is an excuse for the way I’ve been acting.
Tomorrow is a new day. I am going to try very hard to let go of that anger that has been holding me back for so long. It’s not just hurting me anymore, it’s boiling over onto innocent bystanders.
Tomorrow is Day 1 of my No Yelling Challenge. And also Day 1 of my Kinder Inner Voice Challenge.
Sorry for the “Not Briana” post, but I was in tears writing this. This isn’t the person I want to be. It’s exhausting being so angry all the time.
The Not Angry Mama