In 1977, I struggled with out-of-control anger to the point I was physically and verbally abusing my toddler daughter. I was a Christian, yet I believed God didn’t love me and had given up on me. I hated my husband, Larry, and had no hope. No More Anger: Hope for an Out-of-Control Mom tells my story of God’s help and intervention, healing our family, both my relationship with my daughter and our marriage.
My desire in telling my story is to help everyone know there is always hope with God, no matter how overwhelming and hopeless the situation. I hope my story will give you hope for your problem. TWEET THAT!
Here is the first chapter of No More Anger. You can order the book here
Anger Controlled Me
March 1, 1977
Two-year-old, blonde-headed Darcy splashed in the bathtub amid suds and toys.
“Time to wash your hair,” I announced.
“No, no, Mommy. No wash hair. Please.”
“Oh yes. It’s all sticky. It’ll feel good to get it nice and clean,” I coaxed.
Darcy broke into tears as I rubbed the shampoo into her hair. Suddenly she yelled, “It’s in my eyes. It hurts! It hurts!”
“Oh, it is not.” Annoyance began a slow burn within me. Here she goes again! She does this every single time. I just hate it! “There’re no suds near your eyes. Besides, it’s baby shampoo—it doesn’t sting.”
She screamed louder. Without warning, I was engulfed with exhaustion. The pressures mounting throughout the day overwhelmed me and I felt weak. The room seemed to close in on me. The dampness and heat made my clothes stick to my skin. Pushing limp hair away from my forehead and gritting my teeth, I hissed back, “Darcy, there’s no shampoo in your eyes! Now hold still or you’re in big trouble! Hold still, I said!”
Shrieking, she clawed at her eyes. I turned on the faucet and jerked her to it, pushing her whole head under the running water. Soap flowed down over her face into the tub. She sputtered and coughed, but I didn’t care. She was going to get clean whether she liked it or not.
I hurriedly turned off the water. Grabbing her arm, I yanked her out of the tub. Darcy stood shivering and crying. I screamed at her again and again. “The next time you’ll hold still when I tell you. We’ll do it the way I say and that’s that.”
I felt like an erupting volcano of hate. Anger and frustration boiled inside me like hot lava. At that moment I felt like I wanted to get rid of the problem—her.
Spanking her with my hand found an outlet for my tension and exhaustion. But spanking became uncontrolled beating, until Darcy’s hysterical shrieking brought me back to reason. I carried her into her room and dropped her onto the bed. Slamming the door behind me, I bolted down the hall sobbing.
“Oh, Lord Jesus,” I gasped. “I hurt Darcy again. I keep saying I won’t do it anymore, but I can’t control my anger. What’s wrong with me?”
I knelt beside my bed and cried for a long time. Darcy’s muffled cries reached me, suffocating me in a blanket of guilt.
My thoughts hurled through my mind like hailstones in a storm. I’ve been a Christian for ten years; how can I be so angry? I lead a Bible study and other people think I’m a strong Christian; how can I be acting like this?
I wanted to scream, “Help me! Help me!” but I was ashamed and frightened. What if they take my kids away from me? What if everyone knows I abuse my child?
“I’m not a child abuser.” I whispered. “Or am I? I’m still hurting her,” I cried out. “I’m abusing my own child. Oh, God, no.” The word abusing echoed through my mind like a boulder thudding down a canyon wall—strong and final. There was no hope. I had prayed; I had cried; I had begged for deliverance. If only Larry didn’t have to work at night, he could relieve some of the pressure.
I can’t tell him, he’s a cop. He arrests people who do this. Would he arrest me? How long can I continue like this without seriously injuring Darcy or baby Mark?
Darcy’s frightened face flashed before me, wrenching my heart like a tree being uprooted by the wind. I don’t want to hurt them. I love them. I want to be the best mother in the world. But I’m so far from that.
“Oh, Father,” I whimpered. “Help me. You’ve got to. I can’t help myself.”
I turned my attention to Darcy and couldn’t hear her crying anymore. Walking quietly to her room, I opened the door and peeked in. Her naked body huddled by the pillow up against the wall. She saw me and started crying again. Pushing aside my shame, I pulled her pajamas out of her drawer and started to dress her. Her body grew tense at my touch.
“Don’t be afraid, Darcy,” I murmured, trying to push back tears begging to cascade my cheeks from the back of my eyes. “I’m not mad at you anymore. Mommy was wrong to hurt you. I’m sorry. I wish I could promise you I’m never going to get angry with you again but I can’t. Oh, how I wish I could.” My tears finally gushed out and then plopped onto the sheets beside her. I gently tucked her into bed and left the room.
As I put on my nightgown, I wondered, God, do you care? Have you deserted me?
Of course not, Kathy, I chided myself. You know better than that. God is always there.
Then where is the help I need? I wanted to shout. But I pushed the doubt out of my mind as I cried myself to sleep.
No More Anger: Hope for an Out-of-Control Mom
by Kathy Collard Miller
Copyright 2018 All rights reserved. Do not distribute or copy without permission.