I stood outside the high school, waiting for the shuttle bus to bring my son back from his trip.
It was sunny and on the warmer side for early spring.
The excitement of seeing my son after a week apart was bubbling inside me.
My obsession with being early had me there 30 minutes before his arrival time. But I was able to see the location of the earlier shuttle bus as it pulled in. I had prime parking for when my son would arrive. As the minutes ticked by, the sky grew darker. I fished for my phone at the bottom of my pocketbook to see if any storms were lurking. Before I could open my phone, the winds kicked up, and hail pounded the pavement, creating an echoing sound throughout the parking lot.
Parents ran to take cover. The hail quickly turned over to a downpour of rain. I tried to wait it out, but the storm intensified so I made my way back to the car. I prayed the bus would be delayed a bit in order to give time for the storm to pass.
No such luck.
A text from my son alerted me of his arrival. But there was no sign of the bus. The bus was not in the same spot as the earlier bus. I looked around and realized his bus was parked in the lot next to where I had parked. My son would have to endure a few extra steps to reach my car which he might not be happy with after his long journey back home. Such was life. It was a hassle to leave my lot and enter the other. It was faster to walk.
The rain softened enough for me to exit my car and walk toward the bus. I wasn’t the only parent who parked in the wrong spot.
I could see my son rummaging for his luggage and stopping to say his goodbyes to his fellow classmates. I waited and made small talk with the other parents. The woman standing next to me was there to pick up her daughter and husband who accompanied her on the trip.
Her husband made his way over with his no-nonsense manner and asked where she had parked. No “hello.” No “I’ve missed you.” No hug or kiss. She began to ramble, stumbling over her words. She stuttered a bit, trying to explain the situation. His already grumpy face turned to disgust. I could see the anger erupting in his eyes.
This overwhelming sick feeling increased from the pit of my soul. I knew this feeling. I knew what was about to happen. Through clenched teeth, his voice was low and stern. He was mean and nasty. He was angry. He wanted answers. When she tried to respond, he cut her off so he could continue his rant. He belittled her. He chastised her. The more he went on, the volume of his voice increased. His condescending tone. His critical facial expression.
I stood there in disbelief as I slowly turned my attention to her. Her eyes were terrified. Her demeanor deflated.
I didn’t know this woman, but I knew how she felt. I’ve felt this before. My eyes began to burn. I wanted to throw my arms around her and tell her everything would be okay. But the fact was…I didn’t know if it would be.
Yelling is something all of us have been guilty of in our lives.
Some people do it more than others. It’s sort of a coping mechanism when we are angry. Feeling angry is a human emotion. It’s completely normal to feel anger.
Yelling can give us relief from our anger. Yelling releases stress. It is how some people vent. Some people yell when they are scared. Yelling is a sign of frustration and a desire to be heard.
It might be directed at the rude DMV employee who refuses to listen to our plea for help when completing forms. It could be directed at the pushy salesman who doesn’t understand we need a minute to make our decision. Or it could even be directed at a situation when we just want to figure out why water is coming into the basement.
These are all normal behaviors that are short-lived once the situation is over.
But what happens when yelling spills into our romantic relationship? With the person we are in love with?
The excessive yelling. Over and over again.
Not just the yelling but what it represents. The meaning behind it. The way they present it. Their tone. The look of utter disappointment. The look of disgust.
It is not okay to yell at me. Your anger hurts my soul.
Being yelled at by someone feels like they are attempting to control the situation and dominate the other person. It’s almost as if we don’t comply with what they want, there will be consequences.
This person is the one we choose to be with. The person who is supposed to lift us up, not push us down.
Dear Lover, this is what the yelling did to me and our relationship:
Yelling was not healthy for our relationship.
Raising our voices was perfectly normal when we were disagreeing. Emotions increased and our voices may have been loud. But we were speaking loud together. We were communicating. This was completely acceptable. Arguing was communicating with passion.
But when you yelled at me, it was only you in that conversation. It was demeaning. We were not having an open discussion or disagreement. You were flat out coming at me. This was not healthy for any relationship, let alone a romantic one.
It didn’t feel good to be yelled at as a kid, and it sure as hell doesn’t feel good as an adult. I wasn’t perfect and neither were you. I may have done a lot of dumb things. You might not have always agreed with me. But pointing out all my flaws, especially flaws I already struggled with, was heartbreaking.
Yelling caused me pain.
Yelling caused me physical, emotional, and mental pain. Each time you yelled, I got an awful pain in the pit of my soul. It felt as though I had taken a blow.
Walking around on eggshells so as not to upset you was mentally exhausting. I didn’t know what I could or couldn’t do. I didn’t know what I could or couldn’t say. I was afraid to be myself around you.
I woke up early every morning in a state of emotional turmoil. Do I stay? Do I go? We made a promise to be together forever. But how can I live like this?
Your yelling was disrespectful.
I would never think about speaking to you let alone yelling at you in such a way that it caused you pain. I loved you too much to hurt you. So, each time you yelled, it was like you were telling me you didn’t care that it hurt me.
Yelling created fear.
Fear slowly took up space in my head each time you came at me with your voice. I had a hard time thinking around the fear that now lived within me full time.
Yelling created negative vibes.
The yelling and harsh words created anxiety, depression, and stress within me. It changed how I thought and felt about myself.
It made me hate things about myself because I felt I couldn’t do anything right in your eyes. And then one day I somehow found the courage to stand up for myself. I wasn’t afraid anymore. I was willing to lose you in order to feel whole again.
Please don’t yell.
We all prosper when we feel safe. We all thrive when we are consistently loved. We all flourish when we are treated with respect.