Struggling With The Struggle

Over this past weekend, I had a situation. This situation, unfortunately, also happened the last time that I got together with Sunshine and all three kids. I think it probably happened the time before that, too.

See…Sunshine and I have VERY different parenting styles. Let me be quick to say that neither style is any better than the other…it’s simply a different view on things. But the problem isn’t the parenting styles themselves…on our own, we each do very well with our children.

No, the problem is trying to find that happy medium where our styles can compliment each other. It has happened on occasion and things worked out quite well. But this past weekend, that wasn’t the case.

Now…it’s not a situation where I’m hollering and screaming or where Sunshine is yelling and waving her arms in the air.  No…it’s nothing that drastic. But it’s real and it’s 99% me.

I tend to have mini-panic attacks in some situations…where I feel overwhelmed and then I react poorly. It’s something that’s affected me for quite awhile and, for the most part, it’s something that I’ve been able to deal with and keep in check over the past few years.

The problem is that when this happens, I tense up and the panic turns to fear turns to anger…and that ends up affecting those around me. And even if I’m fine 5 minutes later…to the point that I don’t even remember why I got upset to begin with…the change in attitude still affects the people I’m around. 

And it hurts me knowing that I’ve affected them that much.

I could go into specifics…but suffice it to say that I struggle with my temper, but that my temper is based upon other issues that go much farther than skin deep. I’ve been struggling with trying to work through these issues since I hit a low point back in 2008 because I needed to find out what was wrong with me and figure out why I react the way I do to certain situations.

So I’m struggling with my struggle.  And it sucks because I don’t want to be that guy. I don’t want to be the guy that makes my family walk on eggshells when around me. I don’t want to be the guy who makes people feel uncomfortable. I don’t want to be the guy that doesn’t realize what’s going on around him.

The positive side of this, I suppose, is that I’m acutely aware of where I’m at mentally and emotionally. I know that my rationale for certain reactions isn’t justified and that I shouldn’t feel the way I feel about certain things. So I suppose that being able to look inward and really analyze the situation is a good thing.

How many men do you know actually want to constantly improve themselves as individuals and will actively work to make that happen?

I’m one of those guys, and I believe that it’s a trait to be proud of. So while there were times this weekend where I didn’t act the way I wanted to act…or I didn’t react the way I wanted to react…being able to recognize that and want to work on improving that aspect of my character is something I should never shy away from.

So I’m struggling with the struggle…but it’s a struggle that I think I can eventually overcome.


5 thoughts on “Struggling With The Struggle

  1. Keep working on it. Stay strong!

    I can relate. Struggling with depression most of my life, I’ve gained a strong ability for introspection. This has helped to deal with my past, and I’ve seen that most of my problems have to deal with my parents and the way I was raised. Some things never go away, but it helps a lot to know the source issues like this. The struggle goes on, but at least now I and my wife have a context to deal with.

  2. Um… have you read my blog? 😉

    I’m always trying to improve too, man, so I totally feel you on this one. Awareness helps. You’ll be fine.

    Good luck!

  3. This may not have much to do with your post, and it may not give you any insight, but it reminded me of a situation I had with my son when he was younger. I was a yeller and screamer most of his young life. (Hanging my head in shame. It’s the only way I knew how to discipline him and it was mostly at “knee jerk” times.) When he was about 10, (now he’s 27), while I was having an episode, he looked up at me with his puppy dog crying eyes and asked me why do you always have to yell at me? It jolted me like I had never been jolted. I gave it a lot of thought and realized that that’s the way I had been parented. I sat him down (with my own crying eyes) and explained to him why I thought I yelled and screamed and I vowed to him that day that I would never scream at him again. I also found a book (I can’t remember the exact title) Talk So Your Kids Will Listen and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk. You see, I had always told him, I will listen to anything you have to say as long as you say it in the correct tone of voice. I had not been listening to my own-self! My life with my son changed that day and now we have a PERFECT relationship.

    You’ll figure it out. Try not to be so hard on yourself and look to Sunshine for guidance.

  4. Agree with T…always on the improvement train too and you know? you are aware of what happens and the struggles you have, and that is sometimes the hardest for ourselves to see, so you have already conquered that. Don’t put this entirely on you, either, I think it obviously is something you collectively are working on anyway, and in time, your parenting styles will begin to gel more. You two are so invested, it’s a no-brainer in my mind!

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