Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shout, Shout! Let It All Out!

I promised myself in the beginning that I'm going to see this thing through to the end no matter what, but I walked away from this morning's reading slightly annoyed and wondering how in the world I was going to incorporate screaming into my day. Part of me just wanted to quit...

Finding Angela Shelton” – Day Eleven*…

Today’s task is one simple word, “Scream!” Some suggestions from Ms. Shelton on how to accomplish this task are: push all of the clothes in your closet together and stick your head in and yell, drive somewhere and scream all the way there and back, sing along to some really loud rock music, or have a yelling contest with your kids.

Due to growing up in a considerably dysfunctional household, I developed a fear of yelling. It's something I've always viewed as completely negative. I learned to communicate with people in as calm a way as possible because yelling is a major trigger for me. So when I read today's "Finding Angela Shelton" e-mail, I was left wondering if this task was really going to help me on my journey. How was I going to find joy in doing something that scares the living daylights out of me? I decided I had things to do today, so I shoved the whole ordeal into the back of my mind. I really wasn't sure that I would be able to complete the task.

My eight-year-old son is not feeling well today, so we had to take a trip to the doctor’s office this morning. We had a long wait in the lobby and an even longer wait once they called us back to the exam room. After we saw the doctor, we had to run some errands and get prescriptions filled and go to the library to check out books and movies to occupy his sick time at home. By the time we were actually headed home from the day's busyness, we were both exhausted. We needed a pick-me-up.

I figured if there was any hope of completing today's task, now was my chance. There was no way I was going to go home and shove my head in the closet. There was no way I was going to get an opportunity to drive anywhere alone today, and screaming at myself in the car didn't really sound appealing. I didn't have any great rock music to sing along to... but I did have my kid with me. I decided we'd have a yelling contest, just as the e-mail suggested. I recalled Angela Shelton saying that screaming is a great way to purge, so I figured instead of just screaming our brains out we could use it as an opportunity to vent. At a red light, I turned to my son and said, "We're gonna have a yelling contest. You think you can yell louder than I can?"

"A contest? Yelling? You mean I get to yell as loud as I possibly can?" he asked as a grin spread across his little eight-year-old face.

"Yup. But the catch is that every time you yell, you have to yell about something that bugs you. I'll show you. I'll go first."

"You mean you're really gonna do it?" He giggled.

I took a deep breath and hollered, "YES I AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!" We both laughed at my attempt to get the whole thing started. This was totally uncomfortable for me, but hearing him giggling and knowing he was loving every second of having permission to scream his lungs out, I continued. Another deep breath, then, "I DON'T LIKE BEING SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICK!" We giggled for a few seconds, then I told him it was his turn.

He stammered for a moment, trying to think of what to yell, then all of a sudden belted out, "I DON'T LIKE HAVING TOO MUCH HOMEWORK WHEN I MISS A DAY OF SCHOOL AND I HAVE TO MAKE IT UUUUUUUUUUUUUP! YOUR TUUUUURN!"

We spent the next five minutes just yelling at each other. We yelled about bullies and paying bills. We yelled about cold sores and car trouble. We yelled about stepping in dog poop and falling in mud holes. We yelled about everything we could think of.

They say you learn something new every day. Today I learned that I could take something I've always been afraid of and use it in a constructive way. I never would have thought that little ol' non-confrontational me would find joy in opening up and hollering, but I did. My son and I had a blast airing our frustrations, and the topics we yelled about gave us some things to talk about once we got home. It was the best yelling contest ever. Who knows? We might even make yelling contests part of our regular family fun time!

We still don't know who won today's competition. We were too busy having fun to worry about who was actually the loudest... but we do know one thing:


*Note to my readers: I had to take a day off yesterday due to circumstances beyond my control. Once again, the 30 days is being stretched out a bit. Life happens... and that's okay!


Tracie said...

It's amazing how something that you have been so afraid of could provide you with such a great family memory :)

I'm glad that you were able to embrace the screaming in a safe, fun way!

Lori said...

Extraordinary, Megan! What a beautiful moment you shared with your child, out of something that can be so negative and harmful, especially to a child. It was incredible. It's a great example of conquering fears too. I'd love to try it with my sons but I'm afraid we already unnerved our neighbors by recording that spooky music for the video. We don't have a vehicle. We could try it at the park and hope no one calls the police for creating a public disturbance, LOL. Anyway, great great composition, Meggs. And tell your son "Bravo!" for helping his mom heal.

Meggs said...

I seriously did not think this day was going to be a success but you know it ended up being kinda fun and I'm glad I didn't have a panic attack when the yelling commenced. I guess knowing it was a safe environment and intended to be a safe activity really made a difference. I know we both really enjoyed the time together and the task. He also really enjoyed having his picture taken for this blog - haha! =)

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