12.02.2008

Darkness Falls

It ain't easy being me.
~ Andrew McCarthy in "St. Elmo's Fire"

I have just done something of which I am not very proud.

I lost my temper with Will. Yelled at him.

And that's an action I try very hard not to take. It's honestly counterproductive, especially with a little fellow like Will, who's still working on figuring out how to properly communicate his emotions. And I try to model appropriate behavior for him, using calm tones and gentle words.

But today, I just snapped a little. Lost my patience and yelled at him to stop doing something (grabbing my hand off my computer mouse to get my attention.)

It wasn't long until we were both sobbing. Him from being on the receiving end of the diatribe and me from the sheer horror at me losing my shit.

It's been a tough couple of days for both of us, frankly.

Yesterday, upon arriving back at school after the Thanksgiving break, I learned that Will's wonderful, amazing, kind, gentle, fantastic teacher had spent the holiday in the hospital with congenital heart failure and would be out of the classroom for at least two weeks. I cannot begin to express how marvelous this man has been for Will (and for me) -- I count him amongst my greatest blessings as a parent. Not only am I concerned for him and his health, but for how his absence will affect my boy. Will is devoted to Mr. H -- all he could talk about in the car on the way to school yesterday was how much he wanted to see him. He doesn't understand the whole of the situation -- he just knows his Mr. H. isn't there. And that's tough.

We're coupling that with some paternal separation anxiety as well -- the Mister was home all last week and Will got used to having him around. Come yesterday, when he was back out on the road for work, it provided yet another adjustment for the little guy to try and handle.

Needless to say, there's been a lot of tears and tantrums and acting out. And this afternoon, I had maxed out. I hate it, but there you are. He and I are fine now -- his upset was immediately over after some hugs and gentle reassurance; mine remains, directed more at my own self than anything. As usual.

I think my inability to manage the situation is also stemming from my internal fight with my demons -- the blue funk has crept in again, as it does every so often. Maybe it's hormones, maybe it's the season -- who knows. I'm taking better care of myself these days -- remembering to take my Mother's Little Helper and getting plenty of exercise -- but still it comes. The blues.

Just part of who I am, I suppose. And I hate it.

I'm reverting to my reclusive ways -- my safe place when this happens. It's not that I don't like to be around people -- I just figure they don't want to be around me, especially when I'm wrestling with my crap. I've been told that's not true, but I'm not sure... somehow the loneliness seems fitting for me during these times.

I feel odd blogging about this -- the last thing I want to do is come across as pathetic or self-indulgent or pandering. I'm way too proud. But I needed an outlet -- someone to talk it out with. The blank page seemed as good an option as any -- and it won't reject me for being too needy or a weirdo. I may delete this post -- I may not. Perhaps it will help to see it in black and white and to serve as a reminder for me as to what happens when I lose control.

This too shall pass -- it always does. But the residue it leaves behind when it exits stage left lingers longer than I'd like. Especially when I do something as yucky as yell at my baby.

Who knows -- maybe this time will be different. Maybe the exercise and healthy eating can help me to get back to where I want to be sooner. Maybe I can find the strength to work it all out. Maybe my tears will finally dry up.

I can only hope.

14 comments:

TopSurf said...

"Sometimes, when you beat your head against a wall, your heart takes the punishment." Dinah Shore
I am sorry that you have had a couple of really bad days. Your friends will understand how you are feeling and will be here when you decide you are ready to come back. In the meantime if there is anything that you need you know where to find me. I am continuing to pray for you and your family and Will's teacher. I love you very much and hope you feel better soon.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

You're human. That's all this post says.

The healthy eating and exercise WILL help. It does. Been there. Done that. Have to keep doing that all the time. Keep taking care of yourself - no one else will.

Huge hugs.

BTW... I'm LOVING the novel excerpts, but I'm tired tonight and want to savor the excerpt tomorrow.

Miss Attitude said...

I know it's easier said than done, but you need to try not to be so hard on yourself. You have a lot on your plate and you handle it all with such dignity and grace, and sometimes we all snap. I'm so sorry you've had such a hard time and wish there was something more I could to help. If you're ever up for heading out of seclusion, just say the word and I'm there!

bronsont said...

Janey you're both human and a parent. Unfortunately the human part lies deeper in the soul than the parent part, and it slips out at times. Decades, not years, are required to master the parenting part (I've had 3 decades and still working on it).

The beauty of parenting is that our children are open, loving, and forgive any transgression we might inflict on them. Will loves you, and I bet he has forgotten the whole thing except that there is a limit to how far he can push mommy.

He is la little boy looking for the limits and you just reacted, as a human, to remind him humans have limits. He knows mommy loves him but needs to recognize that the other humans around him have limits which should not be pushed. It's a learning experience much the same as school.

Forgive yourself as he surely has, move on and just love your little fellow. Believe me when I tell you that you are a much better parent at this point in your parenting life than I was. As you learn to master this phase, new ones come along to test you, but in the end they are mastered, with the help of love, and it is WORTH THE EFFORT.

Enjoy your little fellow and teach him the lessons he needs to be a successful strong man. I'm confident you will both succeed.

Prayers for Mr. H

Manderly-Rose said...

Ah Jane, you're just like most of us. I often crawl into my cave, or under my invisibility cloak (which I knitted myself!). The world may be able to deal with me, but sometimes I just don't need that extra pressure of, you know, other people. You're a good mama, don't beat yourself up. Bad days happen. My cats also like to interrupt my computer time for attention. Not the same, but it is annoying :-) Hugs!!

brandy101 said...

My daughter has some bad habits that she cannot seem to break, and I get upset at myself for screaming like a lunatic over some of these. But I guess since her reaction is usally an *I dont care how mad you get, mom* attitude, it just makes me MORE infuriated, not feeling guilty. Count yourself lucky that your guy respects and loves you enough to cry when you are angry. It just means that you guys have a great relationship!

~Just Jen~ said...

I've been there...hell I've been there recently.

I offer you a hug - because when I go through times like this I wish someone was there to hug me.

You'll get through this, Will is going to be just fine and life WILL normalize (somewhere around January 2nd)

PQNation said...

I can definitely relate to you because I've been there during the days when I figured people wouldn't want to be around me but had to blog it to get it out. You're handling it in the best way because I've found that the friends I've made through blogging are an even bigger support than I could imagine. And no, you do not come across as pathetic or any of the other ridiculous words you used. You come across as human and as a good mother who wants to be strong for the little one.

It'll be OK...just take it one moment at a time. *hugs*

On a limb with Claudia said...

Love you Janey. Just do. You take on the most largest mountains and hold only yourself accountable. You are a warrior at heart - as is Will. You march together through this life.

My suggestion, because you know I'm all about the tricks, is to find an acupuncturist. I think it will help you feel better, keep your workouts going and balance out your moods. I bet it would help Will.

When I was practicing more, this time of year I'd see 40-50 people a week - too many. The only thing that got me through it was acupuncture. Kept me even and available to those who needed me so very much (particularly the holiday after columbine and 9/11)

I think you're wonderful!

Wildhair said...

As you have done for me, I will do for you: prayers and a multitude of love is sent to the heavens on your behalf.
You're an amazing woman and mother. ((hugs))

Why, it's Clark! said...

I would just recommend that you fight the urge to stay in that cave too long. It's possible to get lost in there and honestly, there's really nothing worthwhile in there. Caves are cold and dark and utterly infested with spiders. Big, fat ones with hairy legs, sizable mandibles and several sets of eyeballs. It's also possible to slip on a wet cave floor (because they're typically quite damp) and accidentally impale yourself on a stalagmite. Or is that stalactite? Whichever is the one that comes up from the ground as opposed to the one that hangs from the ceiling. I can never remember which is which. What do they call them when they meet up? Columns, I guess. Or maybe pillars. What were we talking about again?

Madison McGraw said...

Thank you for sharing this...it's a reminder that no one is perfect. A lesson to Will, also, in how to ask for forgiveness and give it.
If anything, I'm sure it brought you closer...you showed him you are human and not always in control...which I'm sure is sort of a relief to him. It's hard to 'live up' to someone who always seems to have it all together.
Much love.

yoonamaniac said...

I'm so sorry you are going through tough time. I'm also sorry that I cannot even be there to lend a shoulder to cry on even virtually because of the lack of online time these days. (((((HUGS)))))

askatknits said...

You are an incredible parent and you need to stop beating yourself up for being a human parent. I had a wise parent tell me early on in my parenting days that if you did not ever make any mistakes as a parent, how would you teach your child to apologize and ask for forgiveness.

Very wise words that helped me when I screwed up - sometimes on a daily basis, it seemed.

I wish I was closer, I'd make you a cup of tea, sit down and cry with you for a bit. Hugs to you CJ and I will keep Mr H in my prayers as well.

I think your sharing of this post was truly incredible! Thanks.