Please Note: Due to the length of this chapter; it is divided into two blog posts. Click here to read Part 2.
Why do we blow up the way we do? Barnhill describes some of the Underground Issues that may influence us in chapter four.
1. Down Deep: Like a volcano we all have a “mantle” (“where the heat and pressure are strong enough to bring rock to the melting point”). Issues include “what we were born with and what has happened to us in the past.” On top of that we have every day stressors: schedules, finances, relationships, and our roles as women, mothers, wives, & workers. Then we have trigger points which for most moms can include our children (who either intentionally or unintentionally find our weak spots).
2. Pressures From The Past: In the beginning of this section, Julie Ann describes painful memories (and lack of memories) of her pre-adoption life as well as a confrontation that occurred after she was adopted that forced her to face the past. “Chances are, your anger toward your children has its deepest roots in underground issues from your past. Any traumas you experience in your early years–a divorce, a sibling’s illness or death, or just painful misunderstandings–are sure to play a significant role in your own family further down the road of life. And if you were abused, the stakes get even higher.”
3. Pressures From Within: These include our physical makeup, our temperament, and our thought processes. Some of these are natural and others are learned. Being a woman adds other pressures such as PMS, pregnancy, & menopause which all “have the ability to affect the way she responds to her children” or husband. These pressures should not be excuses for bad behavior and angry blow ups. But, “the more we can understand ourselves and make adjustments in the area of our weaknesses, the more effective we will be as mothers” and wives.
I was raised in a Christian but very dysfunctional family. As the oldest of 4 kids I had to grow up way too quickly while we dealt with severe illnesses, divorce, remarriages, constant moves, financial insecurity, and a whole lot more. Both of my parents were constantly angry and yelled a lot; either at each other or at us kids. I swore that I would not be angry like them with my children but I am. My mom was very good at encouraging us to pray and read scripture. She often posted scripture around the house which is something that I do as well. I continually turn to prayer after I have an angry blow up.
I tend to react according to the amount of sleep I get. I am a light sleeper so almost anything will wake me up in the middle of the night. I do my best work at night (after the kids go to bed) so I tend to stay up late. I get my best sleep in the morning hours. Unfortunately, when Shane goes to work I have to get up with the girls and end up loosing my prime sleeping time. When Shane is home in the mornings I try to catch up on sleep. I also try not to make my schedule super busy throughout the day so that I don’t add to my fatigue.
Barnhill asks the question: “Do you have any anger about the way God made you?” In a way I think that I do. I don’t understand why he has not healed me from this. I know that he wants me to conquer my anger but it is hard for me to see how he is helping me change (with the exception of making me aware of how bad it is). This has been a continual battle for me.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find links to all posts in this series on the Anger Series Index page.