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post #981 of 1766
ds is a year, and not so fragile anymore. he can fight back for himself now or at least crawl away so I feel like my life has changed, ykwim?

Before it was on my dd day and night to get off of him/not push/shove/hit/scratch/beat him...

SO it does get easier after an initial adjustment period.
post #982 of 1766
hey, biscuit, my ds is a drawing FIEND too. he leans towards star wars, dinosaurs, and robots though (despite all our gender neutralizing efforts, haha). i've started buying him cheap 3 ring binders or trapper keepers. he stuffs everything into a big box, then once a month(ish) we go through the pile, punch them all, and he has a "book" that he made himself. HTH. :

mama had a SHITTY night recently. i was pretty manic (go figure) and trying to stretch my earrings to a fatter gauge. it hurt so much and i was so stressed that i kept shutting out casi, even when he was expressing genuine concern for my safety. i didn't really yell at him, just asked to be left alone but, when i was in the bathroom myself struggling to "put a square peg in a round hole", i got really fed up and smashed the door so hard it drove the knob into the wall. i think this makes the 3rd tantrum i've had in this house (where we've only lived for 2 years) where my rage actually left lasting evidence in the sheetrock. i need #1 more herbal sedatives, #2 to reread "anger" (thich nhat hanh), and #3 to purchase a punching bag.

~sigh~

i hate venting about this stuff. even here, i feel pretty damned embarrassed by my poor behavior. but i know i have to release it from myself in order to truly examine and change it. thanks for being here, mamas. all around.
post #983 of 1766
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post #984 of 1766
Quote:
"trying to be a nice Mama".
Tell her yes. That you're working on it every day. Tell her the book you're reading is to help you become the mama you want to be. There's nothing wrong with this. I share everything with my 7 1/2 yo dd. When I went to therapy I told her it was to help me be a better mama.

It's a wonderful model to show you're kids that you have to work at being a good parent. Media tend to portray parenting as bliss. Do you ever really see some of the struggles we have, as parents, in movies, books, TV? In books toddlers are always smiling and cooperative. It bugs the crap outta me. Better for our kids to see that the reality is that a lot of work goes into parenting.
post #985 of 1766
coming to give more hugs!
post #986 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaOutThere View Post
Tell her yes. That you're working on it every day. Tell her the book you're reading is to help you become the mama you want to be. There's nothing wrong with this. I share everything with my 7 1/2 yo dd. When I went to therapy I told her it was to help me be a better mama.

It's a wonderful model to show you're kids that you have to work at being a good parent. Media tend to portray parenting as bliss. Do you ever really see some of the struggles we have, as parents, in movies, books, TV? In books toddlers are always smiling and cooperative. It bugs the crap outta me. Better for our kids to see that the reality is that a lot of work goes into parenting.
post #987 of 1766
Thanks Emese'sMom.

I just thought of something, though. Make sure the child knows it has absolutely nothing to with her/him. It's not his/her fault. It's your problem and you are taking steps to improve yourself.
post #988 of 1766
post #989 of 1766
I just wanted to pop in and recommend reading Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.

In this book, there's an excellent description of what neuroscience has learned about anger and rage, how it works in the brain. Not only do I think this is fascinating, but it's helpful for me to understand why learning to manage anger is hard.

He says, summing up the studies, that a universal trigger for anger is the sense of endangerment. This is not a sense we feel only in response to physical threats, endangerment can be signaled by symbolic threats: threats to dignity or self-esteem, being treated rudely or unjustly, being insulted, being frustrated in pursuing an important goal, etc.

Quote:
These perceptions act as the instigating trigger for a limbic surge that has a dual effect on the brain. One part of that surge is a release of catecholamines, which generate a quick, episodic rush of energy, enough for one course of vigorous action...This energy surge lasts for minutes, druing which it readies the body for a good fight or a quick flight, depending on how the emotional brain sizes up the opposition.

Meanwhile, another amygdala-driven ripple [the amygdala consists of two almond-shaped structures within the brain] through the adrenocortical branch of the nervous system creates a general tonic background of action readiness, which lasts much longer than the catecholamine energy surge. This generalized adrenal and cortical excitation can last for hours and even days, keeping the emotional brain in special readiness for arousal, and becoming a foundation on which subsequent reactions can build with particular quickness. In general, the hair-trigger condition created by adrenocortical arousal explains why people are so much more prone to anger if they have already been provoked or slightly irritated by something else.
One recommendation for defusing anger, in this book, is to "seize on and challenge the thoughts that trigger the surges of anger, since it is the original appraisal of an interaction that confirms and encourages the first burst of anger, and the subsequent reappraisals that fan the flames. Timing matters; the earlier in the anger cycle the more effective. Indeed, anger can be completely short-circuited before the anger is acted on." If one becomes to angry, however, reappraisal makes no difference because of "cognitive incapacitation"-the loss of ability to think straight. The thing to do at this stage is to find strategies for cooling off. However, cooling-off periods do not work if we use the time in anger-inducing thought--doing or thinking about something completely different is more effective. Also, studies have shown that venting is ineffective-lashing out in anger at someone pumps up the emotional brain's arousal, resulting in people feeling more angry rather than less.

An interesting part of the book was the discussion of how neuroimaging studies show that when we take in sensory input, our amygdala processess the information and starts an emotional reaction before that same sensory input reaches our "thinking" brain. So our emotional reactions begin before we're even aware of them or even consciously aware of the significance of the sensory input.

Also, he says that "the design of the brain means that we very often have little or no control over when we are swept by emotion, nor over what emotion it will be. But we can have some say in how long an emotion will last."

It's really impossible to sum up the whole book here (and a lot of it is stuff that's been talked about here already, though in a different way), but the bottom line is that managing anger is very, very hard work. We don't need to beat ourselves up over the fact that it's hard for us, and that sometimes we're not successful in managing our anger well. Because it's very hard work, and sometimes we are successful. And the brain is an elastic thing, so every time we are successful in managing our anger well we add a little to the work of rewiring, which means we'll be more likely to be successful again.

Anyway, the book has great information and some good tips for learning to manage emotions. Worth a read, if you have the time.
post #990 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by sledg View Post
I just wanted to pop in and recommend reading Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.

In this book, there's an excellent description of what neuroscience has learned about anger and rage, how it works in the brain. Not only do I think this is fascinating, but it's helpful for me to understand why learning to manage anger is hard.

He says, summing up the studies, that a universal trigger for anger is the sense of endangerment. This is not a sense we feel only in response to physical threats, endangerment can be signaled by symbolic threats: threats to dignity or self-esteem, being treated rudely or unjustly, being insulted, being frustrated in pursuing an important goal, etc.



One recommendation for defusing anger, in this book, is to "seize on and challenge the thoughts that trigger the surges of anger, since it is the original appraisal of an interaction that confirms and encourages the first burst of anger, and the subsequent reappraisals that fan the flames. Timing matters; the earlier in the anger cycle the more effective. Indeed, anger can be completely short-circuited before the anger is acted on." If one becomes to angry, however, reappraisal makes no difference because of "cognitive incapacitation"-the loss of ability to think straight. The thing to do at this stage is to find strategies for cooling off. However, cooling-off periods do not work if we use the time in anger-inducing thought--doing or thinking about something completely different is more effective. Also, studies have shown that venting is ineffective-lashing out in anger at someone pumps up the emotional brain's arousal, resulting in people feeling more angry rather than less.

An interesting part of the book was the discussion of how neuroimaging studies show that when we take in sensory input, our amygdala processess the information and starts an emotional reaction before that same sensory input reaches our "thinking" brain. So our emotional reactions begin before we're even aware of them or even consciously aware of the significance of the sensory input.

Also, he says that "the design of the brain means that we very often have little or no control over when we are swept by emotion, nor over what emotion it will be. But we can have some say in how long an emotion will last."

It's really impossible to sum up the whole book here (and a lot of it is stuff that's been talked about here already, though in a different way), but the bottom line is that managing anger is very, very hard work. We don't need to beat ourselves up over the fact that it's hard for us, and that sometimes we're not successful in managing our anger well. Because it's very hard work, and sometimes we are successful. And the brain is an elastic thing, so every time we are successful in managing our anger well we add a little to the work of rewiring, which means we'll be more likely to be successful again.

Anyway, the book has great information and some good tips for learning to manage emotions. Worth a read, if you have the time.
Interesting. Which is why the most success I have had in cooling off is when I go downstairs to throw in a load of laundry rather than stay in the room with the source of my anger. Physically removing myself and focusing on anything but the thoughts that triggered the response works better than anything else.

It also makes sense in that I can logically think "this isn't right to be acting out" the anger but at the same time be "swept away" by the physical response and acting out anyway. Therefore, I find it impossible to take a mental time out, it literally has to be a physical change of scenery and focus.
post #991 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmcmommyto3 View Post
It also makes sense in that I can logically think "this isn't right to be acting out" the anger but at the same time be "swept away" by the physical response and acting out anyway.
The author of that book has a term for this that I love: "amygdala hijacking." That my experience of knowing that what I'm feeling is way out of proportion to the incident and that my yelling is not a helpful response, but raging and yelling anyway, can be explained in terms of physiology is really helpful to know. Not only does it help me better understand what strategies are likely to be helpful in managing my anger, but it also helped relieve a lot of the shame I carried, and shame is one of those things that for me feeds the whole rage cycle.
post #992 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by sledg View Post
The author of that book has a term for this that I love: "amygdala hijacking." That my experience of knowing that what I'm feeling is way out of proportion to the incident and that my yelling is not a helpful response, but raging and yelling anyway, can be explained in terms of physiology is really helpful to know. Not only does it help me better understand what strategies are likely to be helpful in managing my anger, but it also helped relieve a lot of the shame I carried, and shame is one of those things that for me feeds the whole rage cycle.
I'd read this book in my teens when I moved away from home and started my long journey to dealing with my emotional problems. I still have it on my bookcase. I think about this amygdala hijacking often when it comes up in various situations. I don't know, to me, it hasn't been all that helpful just to know I don't have control over it........maybe it's time to re-read the book and look again at the taking-a-break part and other suggestions given. Taking a break has certainly made a big difference in helping me cool down and act more appropriately, rationally and lovingly. Thanks for mentioning that book.
post #993 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emese'sMom View Post
I think about this amygdala hijacking often when it comes up in various situations. I don't know, to me, it hasn't been all that helpful just to know I don't have control over it........maybe it's time to re-read the book and look again at the taking-a-break part and other suggestions given.
Interesting. I didn't read it as implying I have no control over it. I came away more with a sense of "okay, this is how it works. So this is how to manage it and prevent it-this is why some things I do don't work, why some things do work, and why I really need to take care of myself and cultivate better self-awareness in the emotional department." I actually found it hopeful and empowering. I totally got the impression that this author's whole point was that ultimately, we can learn to better manage our emotions so as not to reach the point where we no longer have the ability to think clearly and lose control.

I guess I thought it was neat (I recently reread it, can you tell?, the 10th anniversary edition) because for me, knowing how something works is so empowering. If I know how something works, I can learn how to deal with it. Just my personality.
post #994 of 1766
Daniel Goleman has influenced my parenting more than anyone else (well, besides an Internet buddy who is the greatest mom on earth, in my book). Back when dd was a very difficult highly sensitive girl I think Goleman saved our relationship. I post often about emotional fluency or emotional intelligence. It's so crucial.
post #995 of 1766
lately i;ve been coping with my own depression and rage really well, but dp has accordingly crashed into a downward spiral
it seems like theres always one of us down.
post #996 of 1766
My therapist says that's typical.
post #997 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by sledg View Post
Interesting. I didn't read it as implying I have no control over it. I came away more with a sense of "okay, this is how it works. So this is how to manage it and prevent it-this is why some things I do don't work, why some things do work, and why I really need to take care of myself and cultivate better self-awareness in the emotional department." I actually found it hopeful and empowering. I totally got the impression that this author's whole point was that ultimately, we can learn to better manage our emotions so as not to reach the point where we no longer have the ability to think clearly and lose control.

I guess I thought it was neat (I recently reread it, can you tell?, the 10th anniversary edition) because for me, knowing how something works is so empowering. If I know how something works, I can learn how to deal with it. Just my personality.
I think it's time for me to re-read it as well because what my brain remembers from 15 yrs ago is limited, and I'd probably get a whole lot more out of it now. I too find that knowing how something works and knowing how to deal with it are empowering.
post #998 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaOutThere View Post
My therapist says that's typical.
Mine too. Recently, when I emerged out of my troubles with the aid of Prozac, dh started his down swing. Now he's got Ativan for anxiety and we joke how we have "HIS" and "HERS" meds in the cupboard together. Awww! Isn't that sweet?
post #999 of 1766
post #1000 of 1766
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