Last night

14 Aug

Last night I lost it.

After days of whining, screaming, snivelling, acting up and generally making my life a living hell, despite the birthday festivities, I lost it completely.

I screamed. A lot. Loudly. That version of me doesn’t come out often, but when it does, get out of the way.

Vivian got a non PC swat on the butt to reinforce that I am more than sick of her constant refusals to cooperate and her whining and snivelling and flat out fibbing.

With visions of wanting to tear my child limb from limb, I slammed the door and stalked off to sit on the deck as they cried their crocodile tears. (You know the type-start, go one weakly, stop to see if anyone is coming, start again. Rinse. Repeat)

I don’t want to be a mother they’re scared of, but the other version of me seems to be the one they feel free to walk on, to push and push and push. I’m terrified of something happening to me, so I have trouble walking away from them.

Not so last night. Last night I entertained all the ways I could run away or just be done with kids. I didn’t want them anymore at that point, and why would I? Nothing we do seems to have any affect-I don’t know how to parent small children, and I have no parent to ask. (My father can joke, but he worked when I was small, and has no idea what my mother did)

WHY do I feel so alone in all of this, so helpless? Why can I not find my loving sweet caring daughter in all of this? Why is she so driven to driving me mad lately?

While yelling myself hoarse out of frustration and anger and sadness, I blurted out the one thing I didn’t want to. “Do you want Mommy to go away again?!”

I feel so fucking terrible about that the most. A swat on the ass you get over. The fear of being abandoned, not so much. I feel so fucking helpless because most of the advice I hear or see is great for parents other than us-people with one child, or a stay at home parent, or children spaced further, or for parents who are sane, or for people who have help, and lots of it near by. We are NONE of these things.

I hate myself today. I hate who I have to be with my kids, but I don’t see what else to do at this point. I really don’t. 


My post in the same vein up at GNMParents today. Go read it. It’s just as irritated and depressing.

20 Responses to “Last night”

  1. Jennifer August 14, 2007 at 12:43 pm #

    Sometimes when we’re so close to a flower, its hard to see what exactly it is. We have no notion of its peddles, its stem, its leaves or its scent. We cannot see its roots or the nourishment flowing through the cellulose. Sometimes you have to take a step back, and sometimes even let someone else describe what they see to you in order to appreciate and understand its mysteries.

  2. Jennifer August 14, 2007 at 12:44 pm #

    Oh, and I’m sorry you are feeling so out of control. 😦

  3. jen August 14, 2007 at 1:15 pm #

    all we can do is move forward and remember this isn’t the place we want to live in. it’s so hard sometimes, and yet we have this incredible responsibility – and that in and of itself makes it feel harder too.

    am thinking of you.

  4. Gabriel... August 14, 2007 at 1:27 pm #

    I’d suggest starting with the NyQuil, then downloading every episode of Nanny 911 and Supernanny you can find.

    I did the crying and lying thing when I was a kid when my grandfather would take me, literally, out to the woodshed and hold a stick in his hand. I don’t remember him ever using it, but having him looming large with a chunk of wood was enough to get me screaming. Kids remember shit when it’s repetitive, they’re mostly stupid that way. I seriously doubt they’ll remember the occasional off the wall stuff.

  5. daisybones August 14, 2007 at 2:01 pm #

    Agreed; she won’t remember this. Moms are human. Forgive yourself. No one knows how to parent toddlers. They are little demons of chaos sent from hell to teach us lessons in insanity and loss of control. If the kids are still alive at age 6, you win.

    *Love and hugs and other supportive gestures.*

  6. Heather (AmeriMama) August 14, 2007 at 2:09 pm #

    Ohh, ohh, honey.

    I could have written most of your post these past couple of weeks. And nobody understands, do they? No, nobody does. I understand why I’m feeling this way, but can’t understand why you are.

    Still, love and support, winging it’s way to you.

  7. bine August 14, 2007 at 2:55 pm #

    oh my, i’m so sorry. i can imagine you must feel awful.
    she will not hate you for that, thor. your girls love you and will remember what they love about you. even though they drive you insane, they’re your flesh and blood. they will understand you.

  8. thordora August 14, 2007 at 6:48 pm #

    I just have trouble knowing what a mother does with their kids-how to draw the line. My mother was pretty no bullshit from what I remember, but if you crossed her line, it ended in a good spanking, not a light swat or some yelling. You did NOT mess with my mother.

    Now, sitting here, I realize how NOT close I was to my mother-there was always a gulf. I don’t know if that made me a better person or not.

    People with moms-is this shit any easier for you?!?!

  9. Gabriel... August 14, 2007 at 7:14 pm #

    My mom was a screamer. We just started to touch each other a couple of years ago… some of that was my disease, most of it were the threats of foster care. I’ve always been a little… well, terrified of having kids, especially while unmedicated, because my frustration levels spike fast and things around me had a tendency to get really, really broken very fast. Since I’ve been in treatment I’ve lost a lot of that frustration just because I can think clearly. But now that the manic depression is somewhat under control, all that Clinical Depression that never got dealt with — that was hidden by the manic depression — comes with a certain frustration level and renewed hair trigger. I destroyed a fairly high end printer just a few months ago because of a paper jam.

    My doctor’s pretty much convinced that a lot of the Clinical stuff comes from issues with Ma, mostly because of how I was raised and not having a daddy and all that shit, but the threats and screaming and yelling and word games and manipulations… again, do it often enough and they’ll remember. Including the apologies… which is not necessarily a good thing, because when they’re older and they remember apology after apology they’ll eventually realize there had to be something done to be sorry for…

  10. allyo August 14, 2007 at 7:14 pm #

    I think you’d have to reword that: People with healthy relationships with their moms – is this shit any easier for you.

    When I do something that I know isn’t acceptable, I think the best way to go at it is to come up with a strategy to avoid it happening again. Do you need to walk out of the room sooner? Do you need to explain when you’re calm that sometimes Mommy gets mad and needs to take a time out herself (if you use timeouts, otherwise, use whatever language will make sense). And then when you feel yourself losing it, tell them you’re getting upset and you need a few minutes. I’ve been known to leave the room and set the timer for myself instead of Jamie.

    I think you draw the line when you realize you’re treating your kid worse than you treat your husband. Or your coworker, or a stranger on the street.

    And I’m going to be frank with you – they may remember this. They may not remember the particulars, but they may very well remember being afraid of you. I say this from experience. But I do agree that it’s the continuum of behavior that often counts the most – but again, that isn’t always true.

  11. allyo August 14, 2007 at 7:15 pm #

    Sorry, that last part is ambiguous. I know people who had to live with some really shitty parents, parents who meant well but couldn’t pull themselves together. And in the same household you might have a sibling who understands and is able to look past it, and then you’ll have another that can’t.

  12. allyo August 14, 2007 at 7:16 pm #

    Damn. Not saying you’re a shitty parent. Ok, shutting up now. I hope you know I say all this with the best of intentions.

  13. Lala August 14, 2007 at 7:35 pm #

    I so remember that feeling and that inability to cope. I thought four was hell. I’d warn people but i don’t think it would do any good. I now have a sin who flinches when I get mad and has asked in public if I’m going to hit him. There was no winning for me, there still isn’t.

  14. Lala August 14, 2007 at 7:37 pm #

    son, of course I meant son

  15. Heather August 14, 2007 at 7:45 pm #

    I have a mom, and no, it doesn’t make it any easier. She just insists that I wasn’t “that naughty” when I was that age.

  16. Marcy August 14, 2007 at 8:02 pm #

    No, apologies aren’t magic. But when there IS something to apologize for, better to do so than try to fudge or deny or anything.

    I like the idea of treating it as your problem — letting the kids know that just because your upset is triggered by their behavior (not them, their behavior) doesn’t mean it’s their fault.

    And, although I haven’t had to walk this line yet, I lean towards the no b.s. line — set firm boundaries and keep them; calmly but firmly.

    And yes, I have a mom, but we haven’t talked much comparing childrearing or anything; we did talk some during my PPD and a little here and there. I listen to other people just as much as to her, sometimes more if the other people’s values and beliefs are more similar to mine.

  17. Magdalena August 14, 2007 at 8:53 pm #

    Mmmm. I have been here. I don’t know why we need to feel all apologetic for the human parts of parenting; as if it isn’t okay to let the realistic emotions of living with people from day to day seep through just because they are your children.
    I say, give me a fucking break, literallly and figuratively. Truly, sometimes they are flowers with the petals and all of that, and other times they are stinking little turds I want to hold at arms length wondering what the fuck to do next with them before I lose my marbles. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them or that I’m not a good mother. To the contrary, maybe I am so immersed in their lives that perhaps I just need a fucking moment to myself before I hurt someone. I used to wonder why my hamsters would eat their babies. Now I wonder if it’s because they couldn’t get out of their glass cage for a drive once in a while.
    Awash in guilt, are we all.

  18. Magdalena August 14, 2007 at 9:08 pm #

    And, I meant to address the thing about threatening to go away. I don’t think it’s right, but at this point it’s valid and they need to realize that mommy needs them to have some sort of cooperation. It doesn’t mean abandonment to them, even though on many levels that is what it means to you. If you get to a point where you are so frustrated that you feel like their behavior is going to push you towards a breakdown then they need to be aware that it could happen.
    Sometimes kids have to grow up with adult themes. I’m a firm beliver that it doesn’t fuck them up; it makes them aware of the exterior. I think the sooner they realize their actions have reactions the better. I’m not saying that it’s okay to place blame, but I am saying it’s okay to let them know they are frustrating you. It is okay to let them know that they are contributing towards making a situation worse if they continue to disrespect you.
    If you were laying in bed feeling physically ill it wouldn’t be okay to come jump on your bed and scream, so the same should go for when you aren’t feeling mentally well. Why in the world should it be any different on your quest to heal yourself?

  19. Mogo August 14, 2007 at 10:29 pm #

    +1 Magdalena, for both posts. that is everything I tried – but failed miserably – to convey in the aftermath of the episode in question.

  20. thordora August 15, 2007 at 8:46 am #

    Thank you, everyone. Feeling a tad guilty for what happened, even if it needed to.

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