Saturday, August 13, 2005

Be the Change.

Anger is rushing up from the pit of my stomach like a volcano about to explode. I can feel my face turn red and I can almost hear the steam rushing out from my ears. Four weeks ago I might have screamed at someone, anyone. It wouldn't have mattered if they were at fault or not. If they were in my way, they may have suffered my wrath. Just for the record, my wrath is not a pretty thing. I have always had a problem with anger and expressing my feelings. I am very temperamental but at least it passes quickly and doesn't happen that often. Sounds horrible though, I know. Yet, I have mellowed so much in the past several years that friends from then say I'm a different person. It normally makes me laugh, my so called mellowing out. I mean, isn't that called growing up? Well, I finally get it. For the first time in my life I completely understand everyone's reaction to my anger. I saw myself through Holly's eyes and stopped.

I've worked with kids for several years now and I've never yelled around a child, so I wasn't worried about yelling at Holly. I figured I just wouldn't. That became harder with each passing day. I have kept my cool and managed to let it go. After all, puppy doesn't know any better until I teach her better. Besides, I've noticed raised voices gets her to excited. So no, I have been good and released my anger through other more constructive outlets, instead of at Holly. What I forgot was anger in general. Anger at my husband, J, for making me worry because he didn't call to tell me he'd be late. Anger with the bank for screwing up a bill. Anger at friends who blow off your plans last minute. We deal with anger every day and some of it starts fights. Sometimes it starts yelling matches. Sometimes we even yell without anger being involved. Examples of yelling without anger: yelling into another room to alert another person to dinner, yelling because you burned yourself on the stove, etc.

The first time I yelled, around Holly, was at J. He had come home late and I'd waited to have dinner. I was exhausted from working with Holly all day. Our roommate, K, had called to say she wasn't coming home. Everyone I called on the telephone seemed to be out. I wanted to speak with another human being; Holly is fun but she isn't the best conversationalist. It was nearing midnight. I was lonely, hungry, tired, bored, and getting extremely worried. When J walked in he hardly said anything before falling asleep on the couch. I started to scream at him about everything he'd put me through and anything else I could think of. He was tired and had his own baggage from the day. He began to yell back. It was then that I noticed Holly and shut my mouth. She looked so small, her ears back and tail down. She was even shaking and huddled in a corner. It didn't matter that we weren't yelling at her. We were fighting and she was taking it all in. From then on we have tried not to fight at all, but to talk to each other. If we do feel the need to fight, we try to remove ourselves from the area.

It's been a little over three weeks since I've last yelled. I feel I'm making huge strides as a "rage-aholic" and feel better as well. I'm noticing that I don't get flustered as easily, remain calmer, and feel a lot happier in general. To show support and pride for what I am trying to do, K presented me with a gift. It's a small silver charm that reads, "Be the change you wish to see in the world". On the top of the quote is a small gold symbol for the world. When I start feeling upset or angry, I touch it and say it. I want to communicate with my world, not abuse it. I want to teach my puppy with love, not fear. I want to focus on the positive in my life, everything else will follow.

I am the change I wish to see. I have learned this of myself because I have final stopped to see myself through other eyes. If I yell at puppy after she has soiled the carpet, she doesn't know why I'm angry with her. If I yell at J, he only hears the yelling. The key to communication's start is by remaining as calm as you can. This is my latest lesson learned from Holly.

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