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So, Screaming Is Okay? Pt. 2
Last post, called, “Defining ‘Normal’: Caroline’s Screaming; Phil is Jealous – Who is Crazy?” told Caroline’s story. She was falsely accused, attacked, actually, and awakened in the middle of the night or more “discussions” until she finally lost it. I contended that under such circumstances, her behavior was not at all crazy, but normal.
"Thank you, so much Dr. Deb," Caroline [I've made up that name] wrote to me. "Now, I feel normal. I was so badly treated, that of course I screamed. Sheesh, anyone would scream."
And I'm sitting here thinking, "Uh-oh, now people think I just gave them a free card to scream when they're provoked." So please allow me to clarify myself.
The fact that part of our wiring is to express emotions and that it is normal for some of those emotions may include outbursts of hysteria or out-of-control behavior does not make any of these behaviors good, right or acceptable. Not only that these behaviors are harmful because they hurt the other person so much, dangerous because they escalate, self-destructive because they always end up shooting the person who exhibited them in the foot.
What I mean is that when you lose it and lash out at someone, it is guaranteed that now you will for sure not get the very thing you wanted. It makes the whole job of straightening out whatever the problem was even harder. That’s because it (1) “proves” to your spouse that the problem is you, not him (or her), (2) makes your spouse angry with you in return, and (let’s have a drum-roll here) (3) it doesn’t even address the problem that you were discussing! In fact, it takes you away from the problem. Please see the verbal abuse section of this blog for more on this.
Next post is going to talk about Phil’s behavior. Again, bear in mind that I am not equating “normal” with “acceptable.”