“I just wish I wasn’t so angry all the time!”
It was the type of self-reflection you’d expect to hear from a middle-aged man after his third or fourth divorce, but there it was coming from my four-year-old son. His face was down on his bed, his little fists clenched so tightly they’d turned red.
He’d just gotten in trouble for throwing a toy, and been told to go to his room. He’d struggled with the command. We could see the battle inside his mind playing out on his face – on one side, the desire to be a good boy; on the other, a furious sense that all of this was horribly unfair. In the end just he let out an animal scream, threw himself into the ground and broke down, punching and kicking the floor.
Now he was in his room – dragged there – and was stewing in his own fury, staring for the first time as the complexity of his soul and the nature of the beast within.
The question he’d asked was one my wife and I had asked ourselves more than once before, when his emotions overpowered his sensitivity and he burst into these fiery rages. Why was he so angry all the time? Was it our fault? Was it normal? Was it controllable? Or did we have a future serial killer under our roof, building up a fury that would one day explode?