Tag Archives: anger

Top Five: Things that Ground You

This may seem like a froo-froo dingy top five, but something else I took away from my Thanksgiving trip is a burning desire and steely resolve not to be such a stress-case, not to be so high strung, not to so easily fly off the handle, freak out, make a mountain out of a molehill, lose my cool.  I want to be mellow.  You’d think being from California I’d have a head start but no.  Might be too much to ask, but I’m determined.

To this end, I want to be able to bring to mind some things that ground me and make me feel calm, and if you all will share some of your grounding techniques or mental images, that might give me some more ideas…

My Top Five Things that Ground Me

1. upbeat music (not just upbeat rhythm but also lyrics)

2. Beer (I realize this is a total crutch, but it takes the edge off my fretting mind)

3. Cleaning house

4. Eating comfort food (another crutch)

5. ???

And there you have it.  None of these things come in terribly handy when my son has dumped out yet another bowl of cereal and has stomped it into the carpet and I begin the yell from hell.  Stuff my face, get a buzz going and clean while listening to Bob Marley.  Now you see why I have issues…

Please… your Top Five… STAT!

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Jealousy is definitely green

Because it makes me want to puke.

Jealousy feels strong enough to make me weak, big enough to make me small, green enough to make me red with rage.

Jealousy feels like everything I love is speeding away from me, back turned, ears closed to my pathetic cries for attention.  It makes me want to slam the door fast enough to hit them in the ass, since they are obviously leaving anyway.  It makes me want to drop out of the competition I don’t remember signing up for but suddenly find myself struggling to win.

Jealousy makes me simultaneously want to elevate myself to an untouchable height, from which the world can see that I am clearly the greatest human that ever lived, and crawl under a rock, embed my lowly self in the cold mud to hide away my shame and pain.

I cannot see any healthy use for the feeling of jealousy and would love nothing better than to find a way to kill it. Drive the dagger of faith or trust or reason into its nasty little face and banish it from my heart forever.  Drink the antidote to its debilitating poison so that it never again runs icy through my veins.

Never leave that point of view that I can get to sometimes, the one where I relax and feel strong in the midst of an understanding that there is nothing to fear.  Even if the worst things were to happen, I am still in control of my own selfsoul, who retains her value no matter how much evidence is presented that I am not the best, no matter how little attention I might receive from those whose attention I crave, no matter how low I might feel.

Green is such a wonderful color, the color of life and growth and spring.  Heck, the color of money.  But Jealousy is that bile green that comes up when you’ve wretched all day and there’s nothing left, just your insides trying to jump ship.  Useless, painful, self-defeating.  

I hate it and I refuse to go there ever again.

(Wish me luck.)

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Tragic End to a New Life

I read a story online at CNN this morning about a baby who died from being shaken.  Normally I try to avoid these tragic tales because I empathize so deeply that it colors my whole day a dark depressing shade of gloomy.

But in this case I feel the need to give testimony from my own life that I wish would prevent this from happening to anyone else.

I remember among my life lessons with my first baby, stuck at home all day with this little being that depended completely upon my good will, the first time I got violently angry when she wouldn’t stop crying.  I remember there came a point when an clear image popped into my head of me throwing her against a wall.  I was just at the edge of losing control.

I wish I could tell new parents, this is okay.  This moment does not make you a bad human.  You are probably going to feel this angry, these feelings are normal, they happen, don’t freak out.

Somehow I knew to do the right thing.  As soon as I saw that image, I put her down where she was safe and I went in the other room.  She was still crying, but I knew she was safe, so I just sat by myself for a minute and tried not to be scared at how mad I was.  When I felt a little calmer a couple of minutes later, I went back in to her and I tried again to soothe her.  

I don’t feel proud of myself that I’ve never shaken or otherwise injured a baby, I just feel lucky.  I  know how strong the feelings of anger and frustration are, and I know how hard it is to be alone for extended periods with a baby.  To the people who have succumbed to the violent feelings, I feel the deepest sympathy.  I feel like it could have been me.

But no one ever talks about this.  No one ever admits to young parents how there might arise violent feelings, and how to just let them pass, which is not easy.  No one ever talks about how unnatural it is for a parent to be isolated with a young one; we are supposed to live in a tribe, are we not, with people all around to help us when life threatens to be too much to handle?  But too often we are separated in our own little box, expected to be independent and deal with things on our own.  

I am so sorry that this ever happens.  I cannot express that strongly enough.  I don’t feel like an ad campaign by the Department of Social Services is going to do the trick (I’ve seen the posters), though it might get the ball rolling.  I feel like we all have to talk about it, give genuine support to new parents and tell them the truth.  Not laugh and say, “Well, you’ll never get any sleep now!  ha ha” but tell them about the real frustrations, and let them know that we can offer advice and support if they’d like.  

I can’t stand to see this sort of tragedy happen and know in my heart that, if we behaved as if we were all in this together, we might prevent it.

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