Dealing with anger – and maybe an upper limit problem

Hi Brooke,
I’m very excited to be moving forward on some goals I’ve had for a long time, including attending next week’s coaching certification program in Dallas and then moving with my family abroad for a year in September. I’ve been feeling like everything is finally going really well with my marriage, my family, and my upcoming career move, and then over the past month or so I find myself flying off the handle in anger at my husband or my kids without much provocation. I’ve always considered myself to be pretty patient, but lately I have a very short fuse and I’m blowing up over the littlest things. I’m familiar with the “upper limit problem” and have read “The Big Leap” and am trying to be aware my subconsciousness attempting to bring me back down into my old comfort zone, but I’m struggling with controlling my anger.

For example, my husband installed a new “smart” lock on the door that was unlocking automatically instead of remaining locked when I needed to leave the house with the kids. I called him in a rage and told him to fix it and yelled at my kids to say that I needed them to not talk to me in that moment. My anger felt so intense that I felt out of control. And then, as soon as it came, it went away when my husband told me to calm down and that he would take care of it.

Another example is that I made pancakes for my kids over the weekend and my four year old got maple syrup all over the tablecloth and his chair. Instead of taking it in stride as I would have done before, I became really angry and ordered him to wash his hands and stopped touching his food.

This is not the wife/mom/woman that I want to be and I feel awful for having these outbursts. They feel involuntary, as if I can’t even consciously choose how to respond when that intense anger wells up. Please help!

C: New lock on door doesn’t work
T: The lock should work and something is wrong because it isn’t working
F: Anger
A: Yell at husband and kids
R: We all feel terrible; I feel like a horrible person.

C: 4 year-old son gets syrup all over the table
T: He should know by now not to touch his food and spill syrup
F: Irritated
A: Scold him
R: We both feel bad; I feel like a horrible mother.