This is a serious post. Please read it as such.
I don't want anyone to be alarmed when they read this. I'm not constantly yelling and screaming at my family every time I turn around. I'm not hitting anyone, or physically hurting anyone. I have never done those things, and don't plan on it anytime soon. But I have a problem, a very real struggle that I and my family deal with on a daily basis. It might seem small in comparison to some, but it's very big and very real to me. And I believe to God. It's been on my heart for awhile now. I am sharing it with you. Here. Today.
I am confessing to anyone who reads this blog today that I have an issue that I have been struggling with for quite sometime now. I am not trying to put some clever spin on it, teach anyone anything from it, or call attention to myself. I am merely putting this out there to be real with you. I am human. I struggle. More than some of you who know me might realize. I am a beautiful mess.
What I've been struggling with lately is my temper. It is bad. I don't have the type of temper where I am physically violent towards the people that I love, or towards anyone. Mine is the sort that may be even worse the way I see it. It is verbal warfare. When I reach a certain point, I start to raise my voice. My patience goes out the window. I will cut people off while they are in mid-sentence. On a handful of occasions I may even physically take my anger out on SOMETHING (a fan, a thermostat, a pair of shoes sitting in my path at the wrong time).
I do not like this about myself. I recognize that it is an issue that I have. I have tried on my own to put it to a stop, to no avail. I've talked to friends and family about it, and most think it's not a big deal and that everyone struggles with anger of some sort in their daily lives. Maybe there are those with far worse tempers than mine. That I do not disagree with. But what really scares me is when I see the look on the faces of the people that I care about the most in this world when I have one of these episodes. It tears me up inside. I never, ever want my wife or my son to be afraid of me. But it has happened. I can probably count the number of occasions that it has happened on one hand, but that's too many.
What I'm asking from all of you is to hold me accountable. Ask me how I'm doing with it. Know that this is an issue that I have. And most important of all, pray for me about this. I write this with tears in my eyes because it is tearing at me so much inside. I know I'm a good husband and a good father. I know I'm a good person. But that is not what this post is about. It's about stopping the cycle before it cannot be stopped. Taming the beast, so to speak. That's what I want to do. My family does not deserve to have to hear me lose my cool. Nor should they have to. I'm human, yes, but I feel that my temper takes me overboard on occasion and I do not like it. I've seen the way my son looks at me when this happens. I've seen and talked to my wife about the way it makes her feel. The two people I love more than anyone else in this world have been afraid of me on occasion because of the level of my temper, and I cannot have this. I've been asking God to teach me patience. To teach me to walk away from situations before I feel myself getting to 'that place'. I have been asking Him to guide me as a father and a husband in this area. I have spent time literally on my knees crying out to God to help me with these issues. I know He will answer my prayers. In fact, He already has started to. Just last night, Will did not want to go number two on the potty, as is often the case. It took 45 minutes of persuading, Will crying and yelling, sitting on the potty for a few, getting off and sitting on my shoulder, and repeating this cycle. I did not lose my temper once. I stayed calm. We worked through it together. It was hard for him - I don't understand his three-year old thought process at all when it comes to this - but I do know that it was very difficult for him. I believe God was with me last night when this happened (He's always with me, but I was actually listening this time!). Will and I were able to celebrate this 'victory' of him going #2 on the potty and me staying calm and collected simultaneously. It was a good night. But it was only one night.
So here I am, an open book before you, acknowledging that this is something I struggle with on a daily basis. Please keep me in your thoughts or prayers where this is concerned. People used to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I finally figured it out about three and a half years ago. I want to be the best Daddy I can to that little boy. And the best husband I can be to the woman I promised 14 years ago that I would love until death do us part.
I appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Sorry this was so serious. I'll try to inject a bit of humor into the next one.