The words cut me like a knife. My son, my life, my reason for being, right out of the blue. I knew I had a problem, but I also felt as though I was getting a handle on things.
It seemed like something so simple, a car in front of me that was moving too slow for my liking. Didn’t he know I had to get my son to school?! “Move!!!!! F#%k!!!” Then the words that sent me downward.
“Daddy? Why are you mad all the time?”
My buddy, my everything, my son. He just called me out on my bullshit, and it took all the breath out of me. It took a 5 year old to let me know I was living life with blinders. The worst part, now I had to own up to it.
Thankfully, it’s easy to apologize to a 5 year old. He even asked me if I would say sorry for yelling. I said I’m sorry, and I said I would do better. He smiled and it seemed enough for him.
I wish I could say the same for me. His words cut my soul! I was holding back tears over the thought of my son covering his ears every time I would raise my voice, or keeping silent when he knew I was about to blow up again. At 5 years old, this was going to be his memory of me should I die tomorrow.
Now, I already knew that anger was my way of handling my anxiety, and stress. It seemed to come without any warning, large scale blow ups followed by shame and distance. Now I had to own up to all of it. I’m being called out by a five year old!
So what’s my point? The point is, everyone… EVERYONE raises their voice or gets angry from time to time. Anger is normal, everyone experiences it in a normal day! IT’S NORMAL!!!
That’s when it hit me. Getting angry in front of my son wasn’t the problem. The problem was not providing context. Not just to my son, but to myself! When I got angry, I never explained to him why. I never had a rational explanation, and never talked it out. Not to him, not to anyone, and never to myself. Changes had to be made.
Jump ahead to the present. I still get angry, I still yell from time to time, the difference, is after I have the outburst, I recognize it. I calmly make sure that I’m understood as to why the outburst took place, and if it was unnecessary, I own up to it and don’t blame it on my condition.
Bottom line brothers and sisters, not all anger is a step backwards. It’s ok to have emotion, even if it’s not positive. Just make sure that you are accountable to it, admit fault, and apologize when your wrong. Not only to others but especially to yourself. We are only human and we all slip.
As alwaysIf you need to talk I’m here. Let’s take a walk!