Bad Temper

Source of photo: Calm Sage

I come from a long line of folks with truly awful tempers. I’m not sure if it’s a genetic thing, a hormonal thing, generational trauma or simply really bad karma, but on every side of my family tree, a number of my family members are known for flying off the handle.

The members of my Mom’s family have a particularly well-known reputation for occasionally going ape-s**t ballistic. But Mom met her match – and then some – when she married my Dad.

It’s scary for a kid when their parents lose control, because every little kid thinks they are the centre of the universe. It’s therefore only logical that they would draw the conclusion that they are the cause of the outburst.

As a little kid, I always blamed myself. And then practically did back-flips trying to ‘undo’ whatever I imagined I had ‘done’.

I have always been one of those people who doesn’t make waves, who doesn’t speak up for herself and who appeases everyone in almost every situation. I never say things in anger that I will regret when I have calmed down. I don’t throw things, or break things. I don’t yell. I don’t stomp out the door.

Except once every ten years or so, when I uncharacteristically blow my stack. No one who has witnessed my rare but volcanic temper ever forgets it. Just ask my husband.

In one area of my life, I was determined not to allow my temper to ever take over: I did not want my brokenness to affect my children. I did not want to lose it in front of them. And I tried really hard to emulate better patterns for releasing rage, such as talking things out, expressing one’s feelings or hitting a pillow if it really got bad. Time outs were not only used as a punishment in our home: we all got to take one – Mommy included – when we needed to go off by ourselves to cool down for a bit.

I was also really honest with the kids on my cranky, bad-hormone days: “This happens to lots of women,” I explained to them: “It’s not you; it’s nothing you did; but I’m premenstrual and I sure am grouchy. Just give Mommy a bit of a wide berth today, okay?”

I remember as if it were yesterday, the kids aged about 7 and 9, coming hesitantly around the corner as I prepared supper in my little kitchen. My son had clearly been designated the spokesperson and his quiet little sister stood huddled interestedly behind him, big brown eyes wide and curious.

“Mom, are you having your period?” my son asked.

I took a moment to think about it and to do a quick count of the days in my head. “Well yes,” I answered, surprised, “I must be just about due to start. How did you know??”

“YES!!!” exclaimed my boy, as he double fist-pumped in the air “I KNEW that was why you were so grouchy today!”

I still consider that one of my proudest moments as a Mom.

Patti Moore Wilson/©




Author: Patti Moore Wilson, wednesdayschild2

I write what I feel. And I rarely know exactly what I feel until I write. I have lived long enough to have known many joys and many sorrows. I have made many mistakes; I have forgiven myself for a few… I have learned that there are lessons in every step of this journey, if we only take the time to pay attention… I hope you will feel free to pick and choose the stories that resonate for you…

20 thoughts on “Bad Temper”

  1. I think bad temperament can be acquired from how one grew up. For me, I think I developed a bit of a temper from my childhood. Over the years it has faded as more life experience has been acquired, but I still have my moments. In those moments, I find just stepping away from everything and meditating for a few helps to get things back under control. Life is just too short to be angry.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m actually so (outwardly) calm most of the time that it isn’t healthy. I am only now learning to express my (rightful) anger before it’s become a runaway freight train with 10 years of unexpressed resentment fuelling it. It feels SO much better but oh, it’s hard to undo 60 years of people-pleasing silence 😬😬😬 SO glad you have discovered meditation, and that it brings you back to a good place 🙏🙏🙏

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  2. I will admit that it annoys me to no end when my husband asks if I’m getting my period–his code for “why are you so bitchy” (and he always knows!)–but I also have let my boys know the truth about hormones and periods. Heck they are 12 and are also going through a pretty hormonal time. Communication is key, and can help avoid some of the blowups. (Once in a blue moon though that feels pretty good!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so glad we live in a time when we can be more open with our kids (AND our partners 🤓) about body functions. When I see how open my OWN grown kids are with their partners, it pleases me so much… And yes, husbands sure do know our cycles. Better that, though, if they understand that all they really need to do is give you a wide (and hopefully loving) berth 🙂

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  3. My parents never ever raised their voices or fought. I was raised in an extremely quiet, polite house. So when I married into my husband’s clan of loud screamers I was woefully unprepared. I’m used to it now, but still don’t participate. I may brood silently but you’ll never hear me raise my voice in anger.
    That being said, good job laying the groundwork mom.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting testimony of a subject with which I have not had much experience. Now, when autumn already painted my head, I realized that my character has been very conciliatory in my family and with my friends. As a very imaginative child, as a young man very dreamy and as an adult a hopeless romantic. So your experience is very significant and you narrate it in such a personal and convincing way that it remains an example to follow. Greetings Patti.

    Liked by 1 person

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