She’s Gonna Blow: Volcanos 101 (Ch.2)

In the second chapter Volcano 101, Barnhill describes several types of natural volcanic eruptions and relates them to anger.

  1. The Strombolian: “It spits out volcanic materials such as cinders and thick, pasty lava bombs… Eruptions are relatively short and happen at predictable intervals”
    • “Verbal cinders of sarcasm… and cinders of regret… Repeated small eruptions and cinder showers can eventually bring about as much damage as any other kind of eruption.”
  2. The Hawaiian: “Characterized by lakes and rivers of constantly boiling lava… doing little damage… But sooner or later the fiery lava will… overflow the sides… From a distance, the slow-moving streams of lava don’t look that dangerous… [But when they] leave behind acres of desolate black rock in place of green country side–then their destructive nature becomes clear.”
    • “If you simmer and seethe long enough… sooner or later the anger and negativity inside you is going to break out… Caustic criticism, negative assessments, unfavorable comparisons, sarcastic barbs, teasing that carries and edge, or just pessimistic pronouncements about life in general… This kind of mom doesn’t just blow and get it over with; she just keeps picking and harping.”
  3. The Vulcanian: “Loud, scary, and dangerous!… The solid fragments violently ejected from the mountain are hot and deadly and will annihilate anything or anyone they come in contact with. The gases are usually poisonous.”
    • “Verbal, physical, emotional… She lets loose with poisonous words and actions… Her wrath is unpredictable, and she doesn’t get over it quickly.”
  4. The Pliaian: “The most violent of volcanic eruptions. Everything about such an explosion is big and bad… [Characterized by] the sheer volume of material ejected… and the sheer power of the explosion that throws it out.” (Mount SaintHelens on May 18, 1980).
    • “We’re talking about really loosing it–screaming until you’re hoarse, rampaging through the house, perhaps even beating a child or saying the kinds of things that wither your heart when you think about them later… Angry explosions that cause your children to hide from you or leave the house (physically and emotionally)–explosions that leave you wondering what kind of monster you’ve become.”

Most consistently I am a combination of The Hawaiian & The Vulcanian with my girls and Shane. I tend to keep record of everything and live in a boiling state and eventually I explode. In public I can generally control my temper even though I am boiling inside. You would probably be able to see my frustration and irritation on my face. In private it is easier for me to let loose and yell my demands. There are times when I have gotten so angry with Shane that I couldn’t stop screaming and yelling until I completely lost all emotional control. That scenario usually ends with me crying and going in to a depression state.

My greatest fear is that my girls will become like me. I do what I saw my mom and dad do my whole childhood. And from what I understand there are people from several generations above  me who have had anger problems too. I know that my relationship with my mom was broken because of her and my anger problems (we have repaired a lot of our relationship over the past several years). I desperately want to have a good relationship with my girls–now and when they are older. And I want to break the anger cycle so that they (and their children) don’t have anger problems in the future.

Barnhill points out that volcanic eruptions are dangerous and can damage “your children’s sense of security, your spouse’s trust, and your relationship with God.” She also pleas with moms to start understanding their type of anger and learn what their triggers are.

The good news for those of us who have blown our tops (no matter what the type) is that God is a forgiving father who is able to help us change. I sing the following Keith Green song as a prayer, which remembers the words of David, almost daily:

Create in me a clean heart oh God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Create in me a clean heart oh God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence oh, Lord. Take not thy Holy Spirit from me.

Restore unto me, the joy of thy salvation; and renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10-12 (KJV)


Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

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She’s Gonna Blow: Real Help for Moms Dealing with Anger

By Julie Ann Barnhill / Harvest House Publishers


I would love to hear your thoughts and stories if you have ever dealt with anger in your life!

Please feel free to comment on my posts and/or e-mail me at:


You can find links to all posts in this series on the Anger Series Index page.


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