Tuesday, November 12, 2013


This may be a recycled post, I don't remember. But even if it is. It's important. 

I follow a forum that posts articles that I find interesting. To be honest, I started following the site, because Jezebel just happens to be one of my most favorite names. But... out of that follow, I have read many articles that have caused me to stop and think about who I am and the choices I make. One such article can be found here

If you are too lazy to read the article, it essentially says find another way to deal with your children, because yelling is bad. If that article isn't enough for you to change your ways, keep reading... 

I am a recovering yeller. I was raised in a home where my mother yelled and it was pretty much her only form of communication. When I got married and had babies, I knew no other way to get my point across, but to yell. And I was good at it. Now, I knew better than to yell demeaning things to my child... having a mother that yelled had shown me that. But I yelled when I was upset and yelling was the only form of communication between my ex and I.  

One day, when my oldest was a toddler, I looked into her eyes and saw terror. It was at that moment that I realized that there had to be another way to get my point across. I tried to convince my husband to quit yelling... even did a lit review in grad school and wanted to do my thesis over the consequences of yelling in the home. And although I couldn't stop his yelling, I did my damnedest to quit yelling at the girls and to only yell at my ex if he started it. (Real mature, I know.) Eventually, I escaped that marriage and have since remarried. There is little yelling in my home now. But the consequences of the yelling that happened so many years ago are great. 

My 16 yo has PTSD. No, I haven't taken her to be officially diagnosed, but I've read enough to know. If anyone even comes close to sounding like they are yelling her face turns red, her eyes widen and she starts to sweat. If the yelling continues for any length of time (you know, 30 seconds or more), she begins to tear up and breathe quickly. Generally the end result of all of this is her hiding in a bathroom and having a panic attack. Now here's the thing.... I did this to her. Or rather, her father and I did this to her. We had a house that was so ridiculously toxic that it was like living in a war zone  And even though I quit yelling many moons ago... the consequences are still there. I cannot undo it. I cannot change it. I cannot fix this for her. I did it. And it breaks my heart when I pick up my phone and see that it's her (during school hours) and know that I have to talk her out of a panic attack. 

My 12 yo doesn't have PTSD. In fact, for the most part, she fared pretty well for someone raised in such a toxic environment, but what my child has is a yelling problem of her own. Many, many times over the last few weeks I have had to point out to her that I left a home where people communicated by yelling and I will not live there again. I have talked to her about tone of voice and how very wrong yelling is. But you know... she is communicating exactly how she saw her parents communicate (and still sees her father communicate). She uses her angry voice to get her way and to intimidate those around her. I did that to her. I taught that to her. I did it. 

To sum up this post: I did it. I yelled. I can make excuses all day long about how I didn't know any better and how I changed as soon as I did. BUTTTT it doesn't change the fact that I didn't stop in time and my children are paying the consequences for that. So people... stop yelling at your kids. Learn another way. BTW, I'm not perfect. That yelling tween of mine can get me going, but for the most part, I rarely yell. And of that... I am proud. 

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