I want to write but my thoughts are scattered and my arms burn like fire. This hotel room table is at a bad height for me ergonomically and I never let that slow me down. I’m kinda dumb.
I’m over reacting to a lot of things. I’m having trouble not screaming over little, stupid things. It doesn’t help that the kids truly are being irritating. What is happening is: I’m pushing them away because I need space and time to calm down in my body. When I push them away they feel freaked out, rejected, and needy so they cling harder and whine the whole fucking time they are grabbing at me in ways that hurt and piss me off.
Next week the kids have scheduled child care. They asked. I feel a little guilty because Eldest Child flat said, “Mom can we arrange a bunch of childcare next week? I know it will be expensive but I’m pretty sure it will be good for all of us.”
Holy crap. How did I get a child this wonderful? This insightful? This aware?!?!?
My shrink regularly tells me that Eldest Child is preternaturally aware of how people work. “7 year olds just don’t care that much about other people. She’s unusual.”
This because my kid can graphically go through verbally describing why people get upset and which contributing factors are likely to bother which person. “It makes sense that you are angry mom. It is very frustrating when I do _____.”
I don’t know if it is weird. This is all I know. My kid behaves this way because I model it. I don’t really know another way to parent.
My kid understands that in some situations she messed up, sometimes I’m the one who messed up, sometimes Youngest Child messes up… the kid is just good at saying, “Ahhh I think this mistake happened because x person was tired and we haven’t eaten. Let’s fix that.”
I worry about teaching her to take too much responsibility for other peoples stuff, but at the same time she’s quick to not take responsibility when she wasn’t involved so… I don’t know. Maybe it will all work out? Who knows. But she is an amazing person. I am so grateful I get to stand near her.
My Eldest Child is so breathtakingly willing to accept consequences for screwing up that I can’t possibly avoid them for myself when I screw up. When I am inappropriate with the kids we discuss making amends. “What do you think I should do to help make up for this mistake?” Because I talk to them the same way about their behavior. No one is above making amends.
If you screw up you must take responsibility and find a way to solve the problem as best you can. Some problems can’t be fixed and you just have to live with the guilt of knowing you hurt someone/broke something. But you can learn how to not make that mistake again.
Everyone makes mistakes. The best people make mistakes every day and learn from them and make new mistakes tomorrow.
You can’t get through life without mistakes. You will never learn all you need to know. Mistakes teach you about fringe cases and important details. Mistakes teach you about how your awareness needs to spread to more areas.
Mistakes are as mandatory as breathing. You can’t grow without breathing and you can’t grow without making mistakes.
It’s ok. We all mess up. Sometimes the mistakes kinda suck and someone gets mad and maybe there’s screaming or a fight or grounding. But then you pick yourself and you keep going. Because that is what life is.
I check in with the kids after I scream at them. “I was a jerk and I was too loud… but I didn’t go over the line and start insulting you or calling you names, right? Was I in bounds that way?”
Once Eldest Child said, “Actually you slipped and called us brats. Don’t do that again.”
I haven’t done it since.
And my children have never had the experiences I had at their ages. They have never been told that they are stupid, worthless, unworthy, a bitch, a cunt, a whore or that they are too pathetic to deserve life.
I have to tell myself that an occasional errant “brat” isn’t the end of the world. Especially when my children have the self confidence to turn around and tell me that saying “brat” is over the line and I need to knock it off right now.
This trip is causing me to see both of my children in a bunch of different settings so I’m feeling increasingly certain that Eldest Child needs to be evaluated by someone other than me. She has a lot of sensory issues and avoidance behaviors that she is developing to cope. I don’t want her to get locked into avoidance as the only way to cope with sensory overload. I did that with food as a kid and it is part of why I have so many health issues.
I’m really grateful that for all that she is hypersensitive to a lot of things… she doesn’t have the food texture issues I had. Thank goodness.
I’m watching her struggle with the same things I struggled with as a child. The things that made me feel helpless, incompetent, and like I was a failure as a human being. I have enough education and awareness at this point that I recognize that these patterns mean there is something not wired correctly. Help is available in the world. We just have to figure out what kind of help is needed and access it.
She struggles at the same things that used to cause my brothers to laugh at me and tell me if I “couldn’t even throw a ball I was too pathetic to deserve to live.” I’m not really sure why sports are so fucking important.
She doesn’t need to have the years of self-hatred I had. We can find help.
I feel sad and happy at the same time. I know enough that my kids won’t have to suffer like I did. But there is this part of me that can’t stop grieving over the fact that no one gave a shit about me for decades.
I know it isn’t true now. I know that I am loved and cared for now. I know that if I am in need of help now I can find it and/or pay for whatever I need.
But I still hurt. I feel like a pathetic, self-pitying bastard. It doesn’t feel like it is ok for me to keep mourning all these layers of shit from my childhood. But I hurt so much.
I’ve barely cried in months because I don’t like doing it around the kids and I don’t have privacy. I’m sure that is contributing to how backed up I feel emotionally. I don’t have a lot of release available to me when I’m alone with the kids. I really and truly need private space for the ongoing processing of trauma.
I have really big feelings about that. I’m feeling a lot of shame and guilt that I’m sitting here crying and whining like a dog because I can’t stop because I haven’t cried in a while.
The kids and I have been watching a new show, “Call the Midwife”. It’s borderline inappropriate for the kids because it deals with some really harsh truths about life in poverty. But I’m not one to shelter my kids from the fact that other people suffer terribly. They don’t deserve to go through life not knowing that other people have it shitty. No one deserves that, in my opinion, and I kind of hate the parents who bring their children up in a bubble such that the kids can’t understand suffering of other people.
Last night the episode talked about the “Workhouse Howl”. The keening, crying screaming noise that only happens when people suffer horribly for years with absolutely no chance of ever stopping that suffering.
I felt kind of freaked out because when the character started the cry… I knew that I make that sound. My kids kinda looked at me when the crying was explained. Yes, I make that sound sometimes.
It isn’t true that I have no chance to stop the suffering any more. But once your body starts crying like that… stopping it isn’t a voluntary thing. It just happens. Once you have been in that much pain for that long… you can’t always keep it in for the convenience and happiness of everyone around you.
Suffering and pain are really complicated and layered. I would like to believe that some day I will get to the point where I no longer hysterically scream/cry sometimes without volition because I have so many pent up emotions I can’t suppress the noise.
Being rich doesn’t fix these problems. Being rich means you can slowly begin to get help, but getting help is a confusing, horrible process. Even though I can pay for help, I have to know where to go for help, who to ask for help, and what kind of help I need to ask for.
I have to find the solutions and then find people to help me implement the solutions. It’s hard. I understand why people who are struggling with poverty just can’t.
Trauma impacts you forever. I’m kind of tired of people acting like trauma isn’t a big deal and you should just “get over it”. You know what, motherfucker? I am getting over it. I am making progress. It’s still a nightmare. It’s been a nightmare to be in my body for decades. It is slowly improving but I have trouble believing that being inside my body is ever going to be a pleasant experience.
I wish I could stop crying.