Fragile Reminder

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Driving home today, after having a talk with Josh, I had a realization. I hate yelling now.

Despite growing up in a house of yellers (large 4-bedroom, 10 people, majority kids – we were a loud bunch, and yelling was faster than walking all over the house trying to find someone), I don’t like it anymore. I used to be the most vociferous (my grandmother constantly telling me “If I wanted you to yell, I could have done it myself. Get off your butt and go find [insert name of relative]”).

We used it mainly as a means of communication -- not to belittle, harm emotionally, nor rant without thinking of the consequences. Josh’s first 4 years were in this environment and he’s sort of used to me being a yeller, but not like this weekend.

Sure, I have used yelling in those ways before, who hasn’t? Tim used to complain about my yelling in the house to get Josh and Joy’s attention if they were other areas. Again, as a means of (in my opinion, effective) communication. Didn’t your mother ever tell you that you could go as far as you wanted so long as you came running when she called? BEFORE cell phones? Back when we could play outside all day and half the night? I digress …

This past weekend was hard. The days started with yelling (around 6AM). And it didn’t stop till bedtime (between 9-10PM). And I wasn’t the one yelling. In fact, Josh and I were the only ones not yelling, screaming, crying, or otherwise creating negative energy. It was horrible. Josh called my mom on it, she accused him of yelling and he had to ask her “When do you ever hear me yell?” Because, really, he doesn’t. Except at Joy. But we’re working on that.

Josh opted to leave the house 1.5 hours early for church. I tried napping to block it out. One of my nieces came into my room to snuggle and get away from it. Unfortunately, she was the object of much of the yelling. Not because she’s a bad girl. She drama queen’s as much as Joy does, if not more, and it can be frustrating, but that’s no reason to yell unceasingly at a child.

All this to say that I feel on the edge of breaking. The last time I felt like this was right before I told Tim that I would no longer allow him to take his anger out on me and the kids. I had finally realized and accepted that I was being abused mentally and emotionally and I had had enough. No more making excuses for you. I am not a verbal punching bag. And neither are the kids.

I feel bad for my nieces. They deserve better. I don’t know if she realizes what she’s doing to her kids. It’s different, but as bad as what her father used to do to her. I feel bad for my son. It feels like we just got out of an emotionally toxic environment.

It’s going to be a long week.

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