Julie Bogart

--- In [email protected], "Andrea"
<aburlingame@c...> wrote:

I already know
> how to vent into a pillow or bang the wall, or even, more
> productively to wash the dishes with a vengeance <g>. What I really
> want help with is remembering to breathe. In fact, today, I told my
> children that I have been struggling to be a calmer Mommy who
> doesn't yell at them, and I told them that I don't want to make them
> suffer anymore, because their suffering makes me suffer too because
> I love them. I asked them to help me by reminding me to breathe
> when I seem about to lose control of my temper. They happily agreed
> and we have a deal!

I taught a class several years ago to help angry mothers deal with "the
moment" of anger. One of the things we did was to sit quietly with eyes
closed and re-examine the most recent blow-up. I would walk them
through the images, the body sensations, the words and events, alert to
the trigger points that bubbled over into the outburst of anger.
Usually most of us feel a "point of no return" with anger where it
simply seems to "take us over." And yet, had a girlfriend been in the
room at the time of the event, usually we would be magically able to
hold back from spilling over. So it is possible to do something besides
the pattern of anger - we just need some kind of witness or thwarting
mechanism at the trigger point.

The goal of the closed eye process is to help yourself develop a
witness - an internal voice that pops up to say "warning - you are
about to be angry." That's the time to breathe or schedule a mommy time
out (just change rooms for fifteen seconds instead of blowing up).
Usually one change in the pattern is enough to buy you time so that you
won't blow up and can stop yourself. But self-awareness is key and that
takes a little practice.