Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Not in the Genes

An excuse. An excuse I don't accept. No, I just don't get it.

The Loxley temper has been an excuse for way to long. I state here and now that it is not an excuse. So then you put the Loxley temper with the Drake temper. I state here and now that it is still not an excuse.

I grew up with a grandfather and father who had terrible tempers. They sprang up quickly and did a great deal of damage before the intensity faded. Now that I think about it, it is a lot like a tornado. Comes from out of nowhere, wreaks havoc, destroys anything in its wake, then off it dissipates into a cloud. I knew the wrath of that temper. I saw it in my siblings and later in my children. I saw it in me. Children learn by what they witness.

When my children were young, I had a terrible temper. No one ever told me that there was another way to handle things, such as talking, giving myself some space, finding ways to diffuse this thing that had control over me. My divorce and life thereafter taught me a great deal about survival and change. For most of my life, I had heard that the temper explodes, because it was a family trait. I was sure I came by it naturally. What a cop out! What a lame excuse for something that does nothing but cause pain. It reigns right up there with 'poor me'. Well, folks there is such a thing as change. An opportunity to grow up and learn.

My granddaughter was battling this same type of anger. She would go off on a tangent fighting anyone who tried to talk to her. She and I had a long talk about anger. We talked about ways to handle it. It didn't mean it would go away, that feeling of losing control, but she had a choice of either giving in to it or walking away from it. Sometimes it meant walking away from the source of the anger in order to be healthy. As Sydney learned to gain control, she learned to go off and find her cool in her room. She learned that she needed time to find her space and that it wasn't always easy to walk into a room of people once she had gone away to 'cool down'. Her sister learned from her sister's experience. She learned that words hurt even sometimes when it felt good to say them. It was a lesson for all of us in working together to understand anger. We learned a bit more about communicating.

We can change. I don't get angry any more. I choose to walk away from a battle for, in truth, no one wins those types of battles. I know that I have a choice to stay in a situation that infuriates me, or I can walk away from the irritation. Sometimes we walk away for good.

Anger is not in the genes. Anger is a selfish choice. It is the child still saying, "I want my way." I for one think it is a waste of good energy that can be placed elsewhere. Nah, it's not in the genes.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. We may inherit the tendency toward a certain type of behavior, but we are still in control.