Last night was the 6th week out of 9 weeks of a Family Relationship class that Keith and I have been attending. Originally we took it because we thought our children would take it and this way we could learn to communicate with our children and grandchildren better. Unfortunately for their own reasons they chose to not attend and we ended up still taking it. I had signed us up for it so followed through my commitment.
Yesterday's class was on Dealing With Anger; what to do when your children make you angry; what to do instead of saying "you make me so mad!" We talked about the 4 stages of anger. I knew about the 5 stages of grief but I didn't know there were stages of anger. I learned that there was such a thing as Internalizing Anger and as I was listening to that I thought hey she is talking about me. I would have never said I was an angry person. People are always commenting on how stable a person I am, how I never over react, I never let life get me down even under circumstances like my cancer etc but as she was talking about examples I had a HUH moment and realized a lot of what was going on in me. It was a very profound wake up call.
It was like when I had been taking the weight loss program with Dr. Phil's Ultimate Weight Loss Solution. He tells you that it is in your head and if you don't fix your head of why you eat what you eat when and where you eat it, you will continue to do the same thing the next time you are in the same situation. Going through his book I would have never said I was an emotional eater. To me someone that did that would eat every time they were sad or angry or upset etc. As I never really get those stages I had always said I wasn't an emotional eater. But as I learned more I realized I was. I related everything to food. Every family gathering had to revolve around the food. Our children could not come over without my having food for them. Every thing revolved around food. You could not come and visit with me for the afternoon without there being food involved. I did realize I was an emotional Eater. I realized that when I was surrounded with family/friends that made me very happy and if I was happy then out came the food. Does that make sense?
Once I realized that I fixed my head for the most part, lost the 150 pounds 4 odd years ago and have kept it off all those years. And now we come to Internalizing Anger. I realized that a lot of times I do get angry but it remains bottled up inside. It causes me health problems, it causes me so many problems but I let it just simmer inside for very long periods of time and usually at a wrong possible moment it explodes out at usually a very innocent thing. As I mentioned it was a "huh" moment. We were sent home with homework that you watch yourself for signs of the different kinds of anger, how you react or respond to it and what the outcomes were.
Although I work on Thursdays, go to the class right after work, it makes for a very long day. But I learned a lot more with this class. Wish with all my heart it had been around when our children were very young. But I can not change the past but I can certainly use my new skills with my grandchildren to make their lives and their relationships with us better.