Hi. My name is Daisy. And I am a yeller.
I don’t like to yell. It’s not something I find admirable in myself or anyone else, for that matter. When I hear my friends or family yell, it scrapes against my ears like catching your knuckle on the cheese grater.
But I find it So. Hard. To. Stop.
I’m also a pusher – in the metaphorical sense, not the physical. When I am upset, when I am stressed, I push. And I push. And I push.
This is not something that Pal finds easy to live with. In fact he finds it incredibly difficult. He is completely non-confrontational. He has to be really, absolutely and totally upset by something before he will react. He knows that sometimes, it’s just easier to ride it out rather than react and prolong the inevitable tears. I feel guilty afterwards. So sad that I have treated someone I love this way. I promise myself, every time, that I will try harder next time. That I will not “jump” as Pal calls it. He speaks about my outbursts like I am constantly on the edge of cliff, ready to jump. Not be pushed. I don’t need pushing. I jump. Willingly.
It’s stress relief. It is me fighting against myself. It is everything I don’t like about myself and my world and my situation spewing forth in some kind of “it’s not fair” diatribe, boring to all but me and the people I am frightening. Tiff from Three Ring Circus wrote this post, about her peace ring. And I cried. I cried when she said her ring was for the next time – because there will be a next time. I cried when I read that she had bought nerf guns for her family, as stress relief. I cried because the stresses her family are under are far more weighty than mine. And I cried because some of Tiff’s stresses are all to relatable to my own – albeit more concise – similar experiences with my children. And I cried because she asked the question: “What do you do to alleviate stress?” and I knew my answer immediately.
If I had a nerf gun I’d probably shoot myself. In the foot. Twice.
I’ve been called a verbal and emotional abuser for my efforts. I’ve been told I have crushed my husband’s spirits. That I am responsible for his depression. A very kind friend said to me once: “Did you chain him in the corner, and beat him repeatedly with a whip? No? Then you are NOT responsible for his depression.” But maybe I did. Maybe with words, Pal felt boxed into a corner, having to protect himself from the constant shelling that was my nagging, stressed and upset self in those months leading up to the anticlimactic point where he left. (I’d like to point out here that Pal has his own set of skills that can often manipulate me into an outburst. He hates to be the bad guy, and I like to let him be the good guy. Being the bad guy is my specialty, at times).
I try my best not to yell at the children. I am terrified of them remembering me as the Mum who yelled. The Mum who alienated everyone with her complete lack of shame and inappropriate reactions. Sometimes I feel there is no choice, that there is danger afoot and my high pitched voice, projected loudly and fiercely, might prevent the danger. Sometimes I yell because I am tired. Tired of saying the same things over and over and over again, kindly, patiently, calmly. Parenting is a marathon and some days I struggle against that wall runners talk about. The one that blocks their way, their will and their mental strength. I wouldn’t know about this first hand. I’ve never run more than 100 metres in my life. Nevertheless, the metaphor is appropriate.
I am getting better. Pal said so. He wouldn’t if I weren’t. He’d look at me and say: “Well, you could work on that…” He is often incredibly, unflatteringly honest at times.
I guess once you are conscious of something about yourself that you don’t like, you can go one of two ways:
- You can acknowledge it. Own it. Make it your own problem and no one else’s. And then you can try and make yourself better. Or accept this part of yourself because it hurts no one else.
- You can recognize it. See it and then refuse to acknowledge it is a part of you. Gift the blame elsewhere. Tell yourself that you are in no way responsible for this thing about you that bothers you so much. You can hide behind a screen of what brought you to this place. But it will be sheer. It will probably show your silhouette. Silhouette’s are often more sharp than reality. And I promise, the longer you hide, the harder that little piece of you that you keep burying, that disowned knowledge, it will come back. Harder. Stronger. More painfully.
So. My name is Daisy. And I am a yeller.