The Screamer in us All

The_Scream Someone screamed at me today. Yes, literally, screamed at me in the middle of the cubicle farm.

My Mother was a screamer. Sometimes it felt like the house was shaking in her wake. And there was a time when it was normal to hear screaming in the workplace (circa 1980’s). It was normal, but never acceptable.  There have been times in my life when I too, felt a rage of violence so deep inside of me that the only thing I could do was scream it out. I can’t remember the last time I screamed at someone. Although I remember screaming at my great-niece & great-nephew when they visited once in Atlanta. Maybe that was the last time.

Oh wait, I’ve screamed at Paz and Jaxson. Not often, but I’m not sure frequency is a good measure of damage done. Now as I consider today’s experience, I wonder… If I feel violence toward me from someone who is screaming, what is my dog or cat feeling when I scream at them? This thought…this realization….makes me very sad. Very sad.

Whether someone is screaming at me, or I am the one screaming, I feel completely drained of life force; as if all the air inside of me is kicked out. Screaming is violent and abusive. I believe that those who scream have been screamed at. Or worse…

Many screamers can’t acknowledge the violent nature of their scream. “But all I did was raise my voice!” Those are the ones who hold it in tightly, their fear keeps their agony inside until something or someone hits that one last nerve and then they explode.

Today I was reminded how it feels – my co-worker gave Paz and Jaxson a voice. I’m grateful for that. And I’m grateful that I wasn’t afraid to use my voice, “You don’t need to scream.” I’m grateful that I just happened to have a book of prayer at my desk (I took it in today in case someone wanted to borrow it – I guess I took it in for me.)

“Today, Creator, grant me the courage and the will to forgive the people I love the most. Help me to forgive every injustice I feel in my mind, and to love other people unconditionally. I know the only way to heal all the pain in my heart is through forgiveness….Thank you, Creator, for giving me the capacity to love and forgive. Today I open my heart to love and forgiveness, so that I can share my love without fear…” Prayers ~ A Communion With Our Creator ~ Don Miguel Ruiz

This post isn’t about the someone who screamed. It is about me. While I was visibly shaken by the ordeal, I didn’t cower into the little girl, afraid of the adults, afraid that I did something stupid or bad; I did not feel like I owed an apology. I wasn’t embarrassed when I caught the eye of someone who was watching in disbelief. I did what I’ve been trained to do – I documented the incident. And I spoke with someone about the situation. And I prayed. I know today that someone can throw their violence directly toward me, but I do not have to receive. And for this I am very, very grateful. And to Jaxson and Paz I’m also grateful to their loving souls who came into this world simply to be love. I forgive myself – I FORGIVE MYSELF – for violence I’ve turned onto them – and especially for the violence I’ve turned on myself.

Just because we learn those behaviors, it doesn’t mean we have to live with them our whole lives. Walking through the shadows – those things that make us snap – is like riding out the storm…we either die or end up on calm seas. Either way, I am safe.

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