This is the doll bed I bought for Marley at Ikea.
This is the foot of the doll bed I bought for Marley at Ikea.
This is the imprint on the wall made by the foot of the doll bed I bought for Marley at Ikea.
No, Colin didn't do it.
No, Paul didn't do it.
Yes, I, Mary the calm and temperate, in a fit of rage one day, did it.
Bub and Pie recently wrote about the rage she has sometimes experiences. Writing about it was cathartic for her and she wondered if anyone else had posts brewing about her own rage.
While I did not have a specific post brewing, I did happen to glance over at the chunk I took out of what was, at the time, a freshly painted wall and I knew I could throw together this pictorial fairly quickly. It doesn't do anything other than show the physical result of one episode of rage but this is what I can tell you about that day:
I don't remember what I was so outraged by only that I was very angry and the doll bed was lying in my path. I picked it up and threw it at no particular target. The half-second of satisfaction I felt in my decision to huck the thing was quickly overshadowed by my disgust at myself--not just for throwing it but because we had just painted the walls a lovely shade of blue. I definitely had more than a half-second of remorse about it and was grateful no one was around to witness the spectacle.
Physically, the "wall incident" was me at my most extreme. However, in the past I have spent far too much time indulging my rage. Rage from hormone imbalance. Rage from sleep deprivation. Rage from feeling thwarted. My family was subject to verbal outbursts and my stomping about. When Bub & Pie describes, much more eloquently than I can, her emotion, I remember clearly feeling the same way.
Eventually, I started to see that I was justifying my anger--fueling it with excuses. Yes, I was tired. Yes, I have PMS. Yes, I was raised to respond that way. Yes, Paul should automatically capitulate to my every demand. (Kidding!) The satisfaction I gained, though, by giving in began to be outweighed by my realizations of the harm I was doing emotionally to my family and to myself. I began to fight those impulses and I got better... until this past May when I started feeling in a big way the effects of sleep apnea. I started giving in to my frustrations again... then things got better... again.
Something that helps me deal now with my rage is the awareness that my anger is temporary. It will subside. Like the Santa Ana winds I wrote metaphorically about recently, it will pass. I just need to hold on--hold on to thoughts of my family, hold on to a desire to be obedient to God, hold on to help and sympathy from friends and family, hold on to God. Just hold on.
(Let me clarify that when I say I am better at handling my rage, I am not saying I am perfect at it. I still get frustrated and thwarted and hormonal and raise my voice but I am much less likely to stew in it and more likely to process it in a good way. AND, I do believe it is perfectly okay to express frustration.)
Thanks to Bub & Pie for her post on rage and for her inspiration to write about it myself.
"...but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23 NIV