“You have to speak to someone about this. You need help!”

I ignored my wife’s pleading as I bashed the oak tree with a baseball bat, the impact of the aluminum causing reverberations to carry up my arms and into my shoulders.

“Just stop. Please stop. Talk to me. Talk to a therapist. Talk to someone! Just stop this right now.”

That was Spring of 2018. A conversation with my lawyer went sideways and things, as the kids say, escalated quickly. My attorney, who also happened to be a longtime friend, fired me. We haven’t spoken since.

I wish I could say that was the last time I was that angry. I wish this post was one of those, “Here’s a happy ending to this tumultuous period in my life,” kinda’ stories. It’s not and, unfortunately, I can’t tell you when that will be.

In literature, Aristotle introduced the idea of hamartia, which in Greek means “to err.” We commonly refer to it as a tragic flaw, a literary device used to define a trait in a character leading to her or his downfall. Since I was a kid, you can say my tragic flaw has been my temper. Anything that didn’t go my way or make perfect sense to me lead to an inevitable ‘hulk out’ moment.

I feel my life has been one long work in progress to get this aspect of my personality under control. It’s almost pattern-like: every time I look at the biggest regrets of my life, the fingerprint of my temperament – and my inability to manage it – is all over those memories.

“Just talk to someone.”

For years, my wife has been urging me to get counseling. In stereotypical fashion, I ignored her. I figured relying on my prayer routine and focusing on Scripture is all I need to get over this hurdle. I wasn’t completely incorrect, but I wasn’t right either. Learning to surrender to God those moments that led to angry outbursts helped. It helped me a lot. But I also realized there is a clinical aspect of this that I am not capable of resolving on my own.

Last month I started seeing a counselor. We’ve only had two sessions, but I am very pleased with how our conversations have gone so far. To say they’ve been insightful is an understatement, and I am looking forward to taking these next steps in terms of exploring what is at the root of my anger issues and what I can do to manage it.

All this to say that in a life with its fair share of regrets, I regret not listening to my wife sooner. I am sorry it took me this long to get on a path of emotional wellness. I have no idea where this journey will lead me (and if you know me, you know this falls WAY outside my comfort zone), but I am going to trust the process, trust my doctor’s expertise, and trust God’s providence in all of this.

I’ve been walking the walk all these years. It’s about time I stopped and talked the talk.

4 thoughts on “What Are You Talking About?

  1. I am very happy for you in that you have reached out for help. I can tell you, from experience, that you are on the right path. It has taken me several years to get to my root cause and have found out that, usually, there is more than just one root cause. Be open to the process and be honest with your therapist and more importantly with yourself. Ask God for the clarity and courage to open yourself to those things that are buried inside so that you can recognize the true roots and be able to pull them out of your soul. I regret not share this with you earlier and hope that you can count on me with any guidance or just a sounding board. Trust in the the pathe the Lord is taking you and allow the yourself to be helped by those He puts in your path.

    Your “Big” brother in Christ.

    1. Thank you so much, Lenny. I appreciate the feedback and support. Although this is a new path for me, I am not trepidatious about the journey. I am looking forward to the discovery process in the anticipation of being a better husband, dad, and brother.

  2. Good for you in reaching out for help, Gil. Compassionate Christian counselors have a heart to see folks healed and whole. Your humility will lead you home, and yes, always listen to Lee. You have her heart.

    1. Thank you, CJ. You would think after all this time it wouldn’t be so difficult for me to listen to my wife. 😀

      And yes, there is so much healing to be found by taking the steps to work with a trained professional who envelopes his work in true compassion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s