My father was a very angry and abrasive person most of the time. He was well known in our neighborhood as the parent who was most likely to angrily overreact to any situation that may arise. I spent many years of my life angrily overreacting to various situations that did not call for such a response; I had always accepted being just that way. Within the past several years, I have come to realize that deep inside I am not angry at all (at least not at the world, and everyone in it). I was angry with my parents, and responding to that anger by lashing out at anyone and everyone. I no longer live my life in a constant state of anger and discontent.
My father was distant and emotionally cold. His actions and words made it clear that he did not desire to connect, on a deep emotional level, with anyone. There were numerous occasions where he indicated that his responsibility for his children ended at high school graduation. He would say “God bless the child that has his own” often throughout my childhood. In addition, he would also make it clear that I should not blame him, when I got older, for any emotional problems I might experience in the future. I am a very emotional person. I am emotionally available to my children, and while God may bless the child that has his own, I am always there to support them in any way that I can. I enjoy open lines of communication with my children.
He was also very aggressive. His form of punishment for any infraction of household rules was physical abuse. Although I spent a great deal of time internally angry while I raised my children, I never hit them for any reason. Instead, I would send them to their room, and walk around the house ranting and raving (until I felt better). In each instance, we would eventually end up talking and resolving the reason why they were in trouble. I was aggressive (to a degree), but never physically abusive.