I've never seen myself as an angry person. In fact, I thought of myself as the opposite -- even keeled, controlled, cool headed. I don't know if it's still the hormones or this role of being a parent, but I find myself on the edge of anger more often than I had ever been before. The kind of anger where I clench my teeth and claw my hands. Where I contain the urge to bash my fist into the wall.
The odd thing is I don't know where it comes from -- this anger. Stupid little things set it off. Seeing a stray piece of the dog's fur on my baby's mouth. Coming back to the car and finding the adjacent car parked so closely that I can't fit in my baby's car seat. Discovering that my three year old had again rolled and run around in his poopy diaper, so much so that the poop had oozed through the elastic and caked around his little thighs.
In those moments, I literally seethe. Throw my arms in the air. And clench my fist. And release a little Argh. Or even a God damn it! Even in front of my three year old who is sure to repeat it with his next breath.
It is easy to forget the anger. To pretend it hadn't overcome me as it had. To find my voice of reason and later retell the event to a friend or to Jeff as if it were some humorous or notable episode. To see it as just a fleeting scene that leaves no mark.
But it isn't quite so easy. The other day, I saw my three year old -- after I had refused his request for some sugary snack -- throw his hands up in the air, as I sometimes have, and scream out Argh! They are little video cameras, these little people. But it's not only their witnessing. It is also that they can sometimes be the object of my anger. When I berate a three year old for again failing to announce that he had pooped, how does that information process in his brain? In my reasonable brain, I know that he is three. But in my anger, I rail about the conversation we previously had -- about how he should poop in the potty, how he should tell me when he poops, how he should know better -- expecting him to know better than a three year old could.
Everyone experiences anger, I know that. And it can be a useful emotion -- one that alerts you and others of the gravity of the situation at hand, one that signals that you mean business. An emotion that can be a crutch for when other emotions seem overpowering. But what worries me is that my anger arises over such trivial matters. That my emotions seem out of proportion to the situation at hand. And it makes me suspect that the anger arises from something other than the immediate situation. I'm sure if I read some books on the subject, I could educate myself on this subject. (And if anyone has any recommendations, I'd love to read some.)
It makes me wonder what junk resides in the well of my mind that it should so overpower me. I've been thinking for a few days that I should just write about every past incident that made me angry -- I mean, really angry -- or upset in the past. Maybe that's one way to exorcise some of these demons. I've heard that re-living an emotionally gripping episode from one's past can often take away the power of those events. So I'm going to try to do that -- find some time to write about those unhappy incidents in my past. If this blog seems skewed in portraying an angry Asian girl, that's what's going on.