I Got This! No, I Don’t. Wait… Yes, I Do?

Yesterday was a wonderful day for me, from the moment I woke up until I fell hard asleep, I was full of optimism about the direction I had chosen to direct my attention to. With the new found mission to find happiness in myself and build up my self-esteem I was confident about life and honestly felt on top of the world.

Yesterday was a happy day.

Today… Not so much.

My alarm didn’t go off this morning and with the kids having winter break last week I had gotten used to sleeping in and didn’t wake up until 2 hours from the time my alarm was set for. This of course meant that Natalie had missed her bus and I would need to drive her to school. Normally I would get frantic and screamy but this morning I wasn’t.

“No worries,” I told myself.

I reprogrammed my alarm so that I wouldn’t have the same problem again tomorrow, cheerfully woke up my sleeping beauty, got dressed, made my coffee and drove her off to school.

No yelling, no cursing, no bad self-talk. I was in control and feeling positive.

Once I returned home I was feeling capable and decided to take care of a few important things that I had been avoiding doing for quite some time.

First up, check my bank account balance, normally knowing how much money you have is a good thing.

With in moments of logging into my bank account it was discovered that my loan payment that was to be automatically deducted from the account last week was deducted correctly… but then credited back. This is the second time I’ve had an issue like this so while I didn’t really get too upset, I do admit that I was a wee bit annoyed.

I immediately called the bank but because of the holiday no one was able to help me. I have to call them tomorrow. Grrr.

“That’s okay,” I assured myself, “just move on to the next task.”

Grrr. Another closed office. Okay, well try the doctors office… Yup they were closed, too.

My Ears were starting to ring but I was dedicated to not go down that road.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Ahh.

Move on to the next phone call.

Grrr. Really?

Self talk: I should have known that no one would be available. Now, I’ll just have to do this all tomorrow. Don’t get mad, you aren’t dumb.

About an hour later Isaac is out of bed (he has an extended “vacation” because of a suspension for playing superhero and beating another boy up in school) and already cursing because he hurt himself.

Yup, cursing.

Side note: I could write a whole blog about how boys should not behave based on everything he does within the span of an hour, instead though, read on for a few examples.

Any-who, I am doing my breathing, calmly telling him in a quiet voice “Stop cursing.” One. Million. Times.

One. Million. Times. I hear “F&*K!”

Things really begin to escalate when he somehow comes to the conclusion that because he is in pain he is now entitled to do whatever he wants.

Which includes cursing me out to my face, behind my back, and behind doors.

I can feel that I am losing my cool and getting louder with my demands that he stop cursing.

Breathing exercises again.

I distract myself by making him lunch but become furious as I am barked at to get him water.

I yell.

He stomps over to the computer (which he has been banned from using because of the suspension) and refuses to get off. That’s fine, I decided that after me repeating 30 times “get away from the computer” (without screaming at the top of my lungs, despite the ringing in my ears, scary heart pounding and boiling hot blood, thank-you-very-much) that I was taking his cell phone and Ipod.

I (relatively) calmly told him that he would get his things back after he gets away from the computer and apologizes for treating me so terribly.

Naturally, this would cause any normal person to punch a hole in the wall… So that’s exactly what he did.

I FLIPPED. I started screaming, yelling, and throwing his things. I broke his headphones. Not cool, it completely reinforced his actions but I didn’t even think, I just responded.

I found myself in this awful place, it was as if I was looking at myself screaming at the little brat but I recognized it and took a huge step back. I breathed and shut my mouth.

I picked up the phone to distract myself and called Huz. This did not help at all. I was suddenly screaming again.

I had lost control of the situation, regained it and then re-lost it along with my self-esteem from the day before.

Now, I know this may all sound horrible to you. I mean, it is terrible and this is not normal. I know that. Hence, the three days of therapy that we attend each week.

So after I hung up the phone I walked around the house. Breathing, not speaking. Breathing. I grabbed the keys, told Isaac to get his shoes and coat and we went for a ride.

I didn’t yell.

He didn’t yell.

In fact, for 10 minutes, we didn’t make a sound.

Then we talked.

Calmly.

He apologized, on his own, from his heart.

I accepted his apology and returned one. He accepted mine.

Were this a year ago, and Huz was here, we’d all be fighting like maniacs (worse than mentioned above) for days.

While you may take this as insanity, I see it as progress.

And no, no 12 year out should call his mother a b-word and tell her to f-off, and no, it is not acceptable, but I take responsibility for the level my anger climaxed to.

I was already frustrated, I woke up late, had a ton of failure trying to get things done and may have not been as attentive to him as I should have been because of this.

What could I have done differently to avoid this entirely?

I’m not sure. Maybe nothing, maybe something.

What I do know is that I am not going to beat myself up over it, as I would have, were it a year ago.

I have let it go and it made me feel good to do so. But not without nagging questions in my mind.

  • How do I get back to that happy feeling I had yesterday?
  • Was that feeling even real?
  • Is that happy feeling the cause of my frustrations? Did I have such a fear of losing that I became so anxious, I ultimately created the frustration for myself?
  • Is it crazy that, although I am not feeling happy, I do feel oddly confident for regaining control over my anger after a relatively short amount of time?

How would you have handled such a chain of events? Would the waking up late, and/or non-success with the phone calls have frustrated you? Or would you just have accepted that those things are just a part of everyday life? How would you have responsibly handled such an out of control and troubled child?

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8 thoughts on “I Got This! No, I Don’t. Wait… Yes, I Do?

  1. I don’t have children. I don’t know what it’s like to have someone that you created lash out at you because of their discontent. I do know that, depending on the day; any or one of those things could set me off, and that is absolutely because I too, do not have control over my emotions. I also know that those situations are not limited to children/parents. The key I have learned from therapy is that understanding leads to less frustration. It may have happened, and you just didn’t write it, and you may have tried it, and it never works, but instead of him repeating the same curses, and you repeating the command to stop, take him by the hand, and sit with him, immediately. Ask why he is cursing. Explain that it is not acceptable to curse, but whatever he is reacting to; he is allowed to feel that way, and it is okay. Just look at him, listen to him, and be present for him. I know this sounds like a fairy tale writing it, but, it’s so crazy, it might just work. I know as a child of divorce, most of the time the parents have so much healing to do on their own, and it is adult stuff, and the kids are so confused they just act out to get the parents to pay attention to them; any way they know how- negative attention is still attention. Heck. I still act out as an adult to get attention from my fiance! All I want is his time and attention, and I bet that is all Isaac wants, too. Well, that and a way to get out his frustration with what he feels inside. Look what happened when you just took him in the car. Just do that first next time. I think you already figured it out.
    As for the happy feeling; I think you’ll get it back when this situation happens again, and you handle it the way you want. But, revel in yesterday, because your brain is hard-wired to focus on all of the bad so your defense mechanisms come out, so fight them off with your good memories.

    1. Thanks Beth. I have tried many a times, and so have countless others, to understand why he curses so often. I did try again, just a few moments ago, to talk to him about it again and his responce was that it makes him less mad. Do I believe it? No. I asked him how it could possibly make him less angry when my responce has almost always been yelling, which in turn truly makes him mad.
      Maybe that will sink in.
      I hope.
      Tonight he and I had dinner together and we talked the whole time, just me and him. It was only about “favorites” but it was just one on one and I know I loved the few moments of serious talk. He seemed to like it also.
      As far as my happy feelings go; I think they really were seperate from the whole order and I probably should have written about that in an entirely different post but can’t help but wonder if I wasn’t so worried that they would disapear I would have had a completely different day. I don’t get to many happy days like that and I know I shouldn’t second guess them but because they are so few and far between, I tend to analyze why they are there. I know why I was happy yesterday, but I don’t know if it was a valid reason and ultimately should just not worry so much.
      Thanks for your advice, and though the cursing may not stop, your words did lead me into a wonderful conversation with my son who I practically wanted to never speak with again only a few hours ago.
      Thanks again 🙂

  2. I was going to tell you all these good things about your situation, but you are already there and said so yourself. No one is ecstatically happy every waking moment of every day. If they tell you so, call them a liar (not to their face mind you) and then find another friend you can trust, one whose feet are firmly planted in the realities of life in this world! 😉 Change comes slowly, if at all, and you are already on the road to recovery. Why? How do I know this? Well, simply because you are able to see the problem and keep working on fixing it. You know what to do, your doing it, and you are not Superwoman. Getting out of the house for a bit to unwind was smart… taking your son with you was brilliant! ~ Lynda

    1. Lynda, I understand that people aren’t that happy all of the time and I WOULD call them a liar, perhaps even to their face, or at the very least, feel sorry for them behind their back.

      I just wish I felt happiness like I felt yesterday more frequently.

      The last time I felt that happy was in the summer.

      Both cases were in the form of validation from an outside party though, so I believe my fear of losing the feeling is somewhat valid. I am not certain though and it confuses me so.

      You are correct and thank you for pointing out that change does come slowly. Looking at the big picture I see that it is coming on slowly.

      I am working very hard to understand not only myself and my own feelings but also those of the people around me. I’ve always been pretty good at gauging other people’s emotions, but when it comes to my own I never realized what they even where. I seem to question everything I feel. That is good though, it will allow me to change, right?

      Thank you for saying leaving the house was a good idea. I know that changing the enviroment works now & I should focus on trying spontaneous moves like that in times of crisis going forward. Thank you for your support and for pointing out that I do have some strengths. It’s hard to recognize that you are doing some right things when every thing “feels” so wrong.
      Hugs 🙂

  3. I commend you on handling a really heated situation. The fact that you cooled off, took yourself out of the situation and the two of you talked it out. Kudos, you’re a great mother. I raised two sons on my own and boy, in two seconds of reading your blog, I was right back there. Congrats.

    1. Thank you for saying such nice things. I feel for you.. Two boys, wow, I admire you. This whole single mom role is new to me and it is scary but it is also exciting. I know that I am doing the best for my children. It’s going to take time and a lot of hard work but I know over the next few years I can fill them with all of the confidence, love and acceptance that they should have. It’s so easy for me to beat myself up for not taking control of the situation and leaving Huz sooner, but that is pointless and self-defeating. I am strong and my kids will be too. It’s never to late to make positive changes.
      Happy New Year and thanks again!

  4. My daughter was the fiesty one who would get in my face, but thankfully my son had never spoken to me in that way or really got into any trouble. I think that in the end your both settling down to speak calmly, along with his apology was indeed progress. And that is what you both need to focus on and go from there. It’s so not easy, not for you or the kids but the dramatic outbursts certainly are not a solution. Keep positive Ginger!

    1. Thanks Linda, I am really glad to say that my daughter is the complete opposite of my son, which makes it a lot easier. I do hope that I can get him under control sooner than later. I know I am working on myself, and hopefully that will set a good example for him.

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