Sometimes, keeping the past, present via anger is a negative, keeping me from truly enjoying the present and becoming an obstacle to relationships. With the women from a small group Bible study, I let go of something I was holding onto one sunny fall morning as we each released a colorful balloon into the sky. My "something" is anger-related. I need to guard against that kind of keeping the past, present. Anger has been an unwelcome visitor since one of my children regressed into autism. Some of it is destructive - thank you, Dr Cloud, for speaking that sentence aloud while I was tuning in. I needed to hear that for many reasons.
But sometimes, keeping the past, present in anger is necessary. to facilitate change. I think of my daughter's regression into autism as an example. The CDC announced today a 57% increase in autism between 2002 and 2006. Nine-and-a-half years ago, my daughter's typical development suddenly went off track. Why? What happened? We are no closer to the answer today than we were at the time of the regression. I'm angry that the numbers continue to increase. Numbers should be decreasing. Fewer parents should be waking the path, not more. (Where is the research that matters? This is not a genetic epidemic!) The anger of thousands of parents will eventually take us to an answer, a cause, or causes, and bring a wider range of treatment to individuals who need it and to, some day, keep other children from regressing. It's anger that keeps me repeating, "Hear our cries so that this does not happen to another family" and "Do something now!"