I Don’t Raise My Voice

I drafted this post on October 19, 2014, but never published it. I remember writing it and running out of time to finish the final sentence…and then I didn’t login to WordPress again until today (January 1, 2015). This is, by no means, a cheerful, happy, sugar-coated New Year’s post. But, it is an honest, thoughtful, genuine post that I hope will help me to make changes to this part of my life. (And for those looking for cheerful, happy, saccharine sweetness… coming soon!)

I was deeply moved by today’s sermon at church…the promise that God provides an escape from our temptations.  And, I don’t just mean, “wow, good sermon.”  I mean wanting to dart my eyes back and forth as I walked out of worship to gather my kids from nursery and blast my 10-year-old for not listening to me yet again because I just knew that lightening bolt would most assuredly strike me before I could get to my children.

We are all tempted.  This, I know.  And, we all have different temptations.  Alcohol doesn’t tempt me, but I know dear family and friends who are haunted by it daily.  What really got to me was the “duh” moment about temptations…we hide them.  We try desperately to keep them hidden.  We don’t want people to know about those pesky things.  Ever.

Funny thing…once you take the hard step to share your temptations and get them out in the open…it is that much easier to escape them with God’s help.

I don’t raise my voice…I yell.  When I become beyond frustrated with my oldest, I yell.  Ugly yell.  The kind of yelling that would cause heads to turn in public.  Y’all, I don’t do that in the middle of Target!  People would see/hear that.  In Target, I whisper yell and make it known that once we are in the car, all bets are off and yelling will commence.  I absolutely hate that about myself.  Yes, hate.  There is no excuse.  None.  It hurts my daughter.  It hurts my relationship with her.  And now it hurts her brother and sister too.  The yelling, while not directed at them, affects them.  When your angelic toddler says, “Mommy, you’re too loud.  Please don’t yell at my sister,” you know you have a real problem.

And, I can’t say, “that’s the only thing that gets through to her,” because it isn’t true.  Quite honestly, yelling doesn’t have any more impact than bribery, kindness, rewards, consequences, dismissal, etc.  Trust me, I’ve tried everything short of forcing her to camp out in the backyard.  In ten years, I’ve found nothing that leads to a reduction in the lies, the disrespect, the rudeness, the disobedience, the destruction or the total disregard for anyone or anything else.  Nothing.  In my mind, in the moment, I resort to yelling because I have this misguided thought (again, in the moment) that maybe if I yell just one more time about just one more thing, she’ll finally get it.  She’ll finally understand what a big deal this is.  Instead, I’ve basically ensured that my own child will be a yeller too.  (I’ve been told you don’t just “become a yeller.”  It is a learned response.)

There are very few people that know I’m a yeller and to what degree I will yell.  My husband, for obvious reasons.  My parents, but they truly have no idea to the lengths my yelling can go.  And a few very close friends.  I remember admitting my yelling to a friend once and she laughed at me.  Not because I yelled, but because she yelled too.  Almost the same ugly way that I do.  I couldn’t imagine her doing that.  But alas…we all have our dirty little secrets, right?

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One thought on “I Don’t Raise My Voice

  1. I AM A ROARING YELLER, TOO!!! And it’s…frustrating(?) b/c *NO ONE* but my kids, JB, & my mom believe the insane degree to which my screaming anger can escalate. “Frustrating” is a weird word to use, b/c I guess it’s a blessed compliment that people “just cannot imagine Sweet Susie Sunshine” as a psycho shrieking banshee. But I am. And only my immediate family sees it. B/c I can control myself in public. But not in private.

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