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.
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.
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.
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.
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?