Friday, 27 January 2012

Can't stand the sound of my voice!

So I shouted at Tara this morning. The level of shouting was not in proportion to the deed, which was dressing a bit slower than usual. When I feel the 'shouts' coming on, my level of anger rises alongside an inner voice that immediately tells me to watch out if my level of shouting and target (Tara) are justified. Most days my self correction mechanism works and I stop myself before the 'shouts' come out. Some days however, this mechanism falters. Like this morning.

I remembered a conversation with my Mum when I visited her over the holidays. My mother was telling me off when I reprimanded her precious grand daughter Tara for playing with her food. As a knee jerk reaction I replied to my mother how soon she forgot not only the shouting but also the occasional beating we got as children. Not that it did me any harm physically or emotionally. As a matter of fact I deserved it.

 I will never forget my mother's words. 'I hit you children because I was frustrated.'

I never looked at it that way. My siblings and I were very difficult children and I genuinely believe for the kind of things we did, an occasional wallop was essential. From my mother's point of view, she always carried enormous guilt when she laid her hands on us.

Tara is a wonderful child, who never has done anything remotely similar to me when I was a child. I personally don't believe in beating my child. How much of that is because of how she is? What if she was a monster kid who wasn't reasonable? How would I react then? I have friends who occasionally spank their kids and I have no issues with that.

I love and admire my mother tremendously and I feel for her. I feel the guilt she felt when I raise my voice, sometimes disproportionately, at Tara. I have my own frustrations with some aspects of my life, but these are no where near what my mother went through.  I would hate to think that I was venting my frustration on Tara.

So for now I must control the 'shouts'. Seriously, I can't stand the sound of my voice when these happen. It sets Tara right most of the time and she doesn't even remember them at the end of the day.  But I feel the guilt and its lingers in my chest till I see her smiling at the end of the day and we fall into a giant messy hug all over the floor.

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