1 New Hug (1 Kroger employee)
See these photos? The first is evidence that I broke one of our kitchen drawers and am currently working on fixing it. The second is a hole I made in my wall. I would love to say that they were accidents, but I shamefully admit I damaged my house out of anger.
A year ago, no a month ago, heck, a few days ago I could never have admitted to having this kind of rage. I mean, even to me it feels so uncharacteristic. So, what have I done? I have ignored it. Passed it off as being hormonal rather than acknowledge that I have a temper. Albeit a rare temper, but a temper that rears its ugly head nonetheless. Rather than try to determine if there are certain factors that trigger this temper I ignore that it ever even happened. I mean acknowledging it makes me feel so bad. Mean, ugly, abnormal. No one else breaks things in their house, do they? Acknowledging it means that maybe there is something wrong with me.
The first step is admitting there is a problem, right? Today I realized, I have a problem. I do not know how to deal with my anger when it escalates beyond a certain point. I realize that I am probably more normal than not, but in the heat of the moment it just feels so bad, wrong, evil. Although you might think there would be, there is absolutely no satisfaction in the actual slamming of the door, drawer or what ever else is being slammed. All I feel is guilt and shame.
Today was different because I recognized that my 3 year old has trouble expressing himself when he has too much energy (say from anger). He often lashes out by hitting, kicking, even biting. How am I supposed to teach him where to express that energy when I have difficulty with that myself?
In these moments I feel as though I don’t deserve love. I don’t deserve the goodness that life has bestowed upon me. The drawer incident happened after putting my 3 year old in time out because he was hitting me. I felt worthless as a mom. I felt like a failure. I saw an open drawer and I kicked it. Apparently hard. Fortunately 3 yr old didn’t see that part, but I am sure he heard it. And still, at the grocery store, he stopped me and said, “Mom, I need a hug. I love you.”
It was just what I needed. Up until that point I had not given anyone a hug. Not even those that I would normally give a hug to. In his 3 yr old innocence he recognized something that at times I still struggle to see is always there in myself. Love. No matter what I do, I always have love. I may feel anger, but beneath that is love. Even at times when it feels as though it has left me, the love remains. He saw it and in that moment I remembered.
When it came time to pay for my groceries I struck a pleasant conversation with the girl that was bagging my groceries. After a few moments I realized that she had the mentality of a sweet, innocent child. Before I walked away I asked her for a hug. She smiled oh so sweetly at me and agreed to give me one. As I left I noticed her keep looking back at me, the smile never leaving her face.
That. That is who I am. But the damage to my house? That is who I am too. Beginning today, I acknowledge it. I accept it. I don’t have to like it, but now I am empowered to do something about it.
Please accept this blog as my virtual hug to you.