Facing my own demons

adoption, adoption loss, life,

Yelling or Silence?

One of my favorite bloggers that I visit whenever I need a lift, is Crazy Aunt Purl. She’s an amazing writer, who sometimes knits.. As her blog is classified as a knitting blog. Her post are not always happy and upbeat. She’s been through some pretty tough stuff with her faithful blog readers along for the read. But her style and wit in writing will surely bring a smile or a tear to your face each time you give her a visit. She gets pretty deep sometimes too.

As in this post. Where she talks about her neighbor who is, it seems always yelling at the people in her house. Her husband, her kids, sometimes one can not even be sure who this woman is yelling at. But she is yelling and loudly enough to be heard by the neighbors. In the under current of “Aunt Purl’s” post you tell that she has sympathy for this woman. As she knows that there must be something in this woman’s life that is pretty bad to cause her to use yelling as her form of communication.

And I agree. I think most of the time when a person is yelling, the words they are using are not the words that would give knowledge to the “real” problem in their lives.

Ok, yelling isn’t always some sign of a deeper problem. Probably not for the occasional “yeller”

As in, you’ve worked all day. You come home and have to work some more. You are tired and hot and think you feel a cold coming on. Then your child brings in the wet dog, after a half bath, on to your freshly mopped kitchen: And you yell, “Get that wet stinky dog out of here!” What does that mean? Well, it probably means get that dog out of here. 

We are not talking about the occasional yeller here. We are talking about the ones who are full blown, “We’ll she ever stop yelling?” people who go into loud rants on a daily, even hourly basis. I used to be one of these people.

I didn’t like it, I couldn’t control it. Sometimes I didn’t even know it. I would just get so overwhelmed with what ever emotional outburst that I was having at the moment that it would just all come pouring out of me in that loud, insane tone reserved only for the most out of control.

What goes on behind the scenes of a compulsive “yeller”? When the woman yells for thirty minutes at her husband because he didn’t put his socks in the hamper, what is she really thinking? Is she so overwhelmed with her job and the house work and wondering why her husband stopped helping her. Does she feel lonely in her marriage because it seems that her husband is suddenly taking her for granted and not taking time to be with her as he used to do. Is she wondering why it seems that her husband is suddenly so un attracted to her?

Or when a husband is yelling, again, at his wife for buying yet another pair of shoes. Is it that she owns too many shoes or that he doesn’t think she deserves to have some nice things if she wants them? Or is it that he really wants her to be more involved with the family’s household budget, but he doesn’t know how to involve her because his father never involved his mother in such things as money. And he’s really upset that he didn’t have a better role model to teach him how to be a good husband…

Maybe it is nothing that you could possibly think of that is making this person yell so much. As in my case (and so many others I’m sure). I would fly into a rage over the smallest of things and at the drop of a hat, I would be yelling at the top of my voice until my lungs would completely run out of air and my face would be red from the effort. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU FORGOT TO BUY SOME COKE FOR ME ON THE WAY HOME FROM WORK?!… YOU KNOW THAT COKE IS THE ONLY THING I HAVE TO DRINK… I ASK FOR ONE THING…. BLA BLA BLA”

Until finally the effort of the yelling over came me and I would slump into the nearest chair panting for air. My head would be spinning. I’d feel dizzy and sick from the lack of oxygen. In this example, if you used simple logic, perhaps you might draw the conclusion that I was hurt because the person I was yelling at was being inattentive of my needs. That I was feeling that I did oh so much for this person but he couldn’t ever seem to do anything for me in return. It seems all very logical to draw this conclusion doesn’t it.

If that’s what you would think would be in the under currents of this tirade, you’d be wrong. Back in those days, “my yelling days” there was only ever one thing in the “under current” during my rants. It didn’t matter if I was yelling about forgotten drinks or the lack of money to pay the bills. The only one thing that was really going on inside me was the loss of my children.

I’m not even sure that I knew that then, but I do know it now. If I was yelling, screaming at the top of my lungs because there was dog hair on the couch, what I really wanted to say was: “THEY TOOK MY KIDS AND I CAN’T GET THEM BACK AND I MISS THEM AND I HURT SO BAD THAT I DON’T THINK I CAN LIVE ANY MORE!” But I couldn’t talk about that so instead I said, “Where’s my coke?!”

Yes, it might be easy to see that someone who yells “all the time” Is really hurting deep inside. But it is not always easy to know what is causing their pain. But at least it is a sign that something is wrong. If only the people around them would know that it is a sign and take action to find out what the true problem is. The other type of person, on the opposite end of the spectrum is another problem indeed. This is the type of person I am now. The person that never yells.

I don’t know when I became this person. I don’t know why the yelling stopped, or how. I just did. I stopped yelling about anything. In fact, I stopped talking. I don’t mean that I never speak. I just mean that I never speak about anything that bothers me to the person that has done the thing that bothers me. How do you know that something is wrong with someone, if that person never complains about anything?

So this is where I am in my self analyzes. I sit here crying alone in the dark because my husband can’t see that I’m in pain… Feeling so alone, that soon it isn’t about being depressed any more, it is about hurt feelings that my husband doesn’t see my pain. My focus shifts from the original cause of my depression to my feelings that I have an insensitive, unfeeling husband who doesn’t care if I am in pain as long as I wash his socks.  When the truth is, how could he even know? (a friend helped me ask this question. {thanks OW}

I’m so busy trying to hide my depression from the outside world, such as the people at work, that I have learned to put on a pretty good face to everyone. Including my husband. And even yet, while writing this, I realize that my husband has noticed…. He just didn’t know what he was seeing and confused my expression with another expression that I have. He calls it my “bed face” (which is how my face looks when I am really tired or sick)

I didn’t think about it then. But now I recall it. I was deep into thinking about how sad I felt. I was feeling so alone and tiny. When I went through the hall toward the bathroom, I met my husband coming to the kitchen. He looked at me, paused, kissed me and said “you have bed face.” I thought how strange that he would think I was going to bed that early. But I didn’t think he can see “it”! And I waved off his comment by saying, no, we haven’t even had dinner. And with that we went back to our respective locations in the house, doing each our own “thing”. Hubby working, and me back to my sadness  in silence.

So while I would not like to go back to those yelling days of yesteryear. I would like to break this habit of silence.

“Silence is Golden” …. Except in silence, we suffer the pain that we do not share…


July 31, 2006 - Posted by | if only


  1. Your husband may not know what to do. That is what happened to me in 2000. I was stuck in the same town of the relinquishment, and going to the hospital was like going to a funeral home. Things like that, everything was reminding me about the relinquishment, everything. And like you, I shut down. Totally. Quit going to work, almost got fired, tried all kinds of antidepressants, etc. It got worst but I won’t elaborate here.
    The thing is that my hubby didn’t want to face and didn’t know what to do when I shut down. I too yelled about everything. It got to the point to where taking my son to school was a major accomplishment for the day.
    Please, someone needs to know how you are feeling. Men are not so good at reading our feelings. In fact, most are clueless. Not that they don’t care, they just aren’t as perceptive as we are. Like I can see that you are really really hurting, and writing helps you. But you also need to be held, to cry and to let it out.
    As always, we are here to help you through this.
    Please take care of yourself.

    Comment by Leanna Burt | July 31, 2006 | Reply

  2. Sheri,

    You and I have emailed back and forth a few times now, so you know how I feel. I don’t think you should be facing this alone and I think you should reach out to your husband and ask for his comfort…not his attempts at fixing your problems…just his comfort.

    I hope that you find the courage to break the silence soon. I hate to see you in such pain and feeling so isolated.

    As Leanna stated, we’re here to help you through this, but unfortunately we’re not close enough to reach out and offer you the hug that you need!

    You’re in my prayers!


    Comment by Overwhelmed! | August 1, 2006 | Reply

  3. My sister was and probably still is a yeller. She yelled at her husband and at my nephew, she got angry about things that aren’t things to get angry about. Her tone of voice to me was usually hate or anger when we were growing up.

    I haven’t heard her voice for perhaps three years or more, I don’t know if she yells anymore.

    I used to yell. I used to stand in the middle of nightclubs and yell in character to make people laugh but I was yelling out my pain. I was being silly and play acting and playing the clown and yelling but I was yelling out my pain.

    I don’t yell anymore, I sometimes sing loud songs in that hard voice where you can belt it all out, that helps get the pain out. Anything is better than having that lump in your throat or that feeling that you have knots inside your solar plexus.

    It’s so utterly despairing and painful to lose a child, it’s just so utterly devastating.

    Comment by kimkim | August 1, 2006 | Reply

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