Friday, September 22, 2006

What are you yelling about?

I am a marriage coach which is a lot different than being a marriage counselor. Coaches can coach which means we often direct and advise - not so common among counselors. The couple I will tell you about is not fictional so I will change identifiable characteristics to protect their dignity and privacy. You will not be able to identify them from this blog even if you had a list of every couple I've worked with over the past 25 years.

Stan and Dee called to get some help. I happened to pick up the phone and got them "live." In the background I could hear children screaming and Stan was saying, no, yelling, "give me a little space!" When he got to a quieter part of the house he was crying. "We're a mess" he said. "Everyone is yelling and now it's getting physical. I don't know what to do!"

We started with basic information. What's going on. How did this begin? Tell me a little about who is in the most pain. Who is the most frightened? Stan said, "frightened? No one is frightened. Everyone is mad as hell. My son came home and changed the TV to a program he wanted to see and all hell broke loose. My daughter hit him. My wife hit my daughter and this just as I came in from work. I started yelling for everyone to calm down, but it only got worse. Dee pushed me and told me I had no business yelling, that I was always yelling and that's why nobody respected anyone in this family. Then she started yelling at all the children to go to their rooms. No TV tonight! My son threw his backpack at the TV as he went by it to go up the
stairs." He started crying again. "I think we're falling apart."