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What the @#$% is wrong with me? - Page 2

post #21 of 138
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam_and_Abigail View Post
for you, I have been in this position more times than I'd like to admit. And I've read Unconditional Parenting. And I bought Siblings without Rivalry and read most of it too. I've also started reading "Mother Nurture" by Rick Hanson et al. On page 81 (in the section on self-forgiveness) they outline it like this:

(please don't get scared away by the word 'incompetence' - it just means we all recognize that our overreactions are inappropriate)

"Stage 1: Unconcious Incompetence: You're not aware of the problem

Stage 2: Conscious Incompetence: You realize you shouldn't be doing it, but
you can't stop yourself. This is by far the most unconfortable stage.

Stage 3: Conscious Competence: The inclination to snap harshly still arises within your mind, but you catch it and do something different, like take a deep breath and speak more calmly.

Stage 4: Unconscious Competence: The tendency doesn't even arise. Sometimes it's even hard to remember that you used to act in a different way"


I'm guessing you're stuck at #2, trying to get to #3. That's about where I am. Things I am trying to remember to do are like couting in my head or deep breathing, or stepping back to view the situation from a distance. Once I pretended my kids were actually someone's kids on mdc, and I was reading a thread about the behaviour rather than seeing it firsthand from my own kids. I was much nicer in my response. I've also done some meditating and have discovered some interesting things about myself and why I react.
It's hard to remember to stop before reacting. I've actually got a reward chart for myself, of sorts. It's just a tally sheet to count the number of positive interactions I foster with my kids. Being nice to my kids in intrinsically motivating, but keeping track of it has helped me stop and think before acting.

hth!
Thanks! that's a great way to look at it.

I think, most of the time I'm at #3, with some things I'm even at #4, but I still get moments of #2 when I've had a particularly stressful day- like yesterday. I'm just, in general, feeling very "drained" lately.
post #22 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I totally lost control, and started yelling at DS and hitting him. : Repeatedly, until he stopped bothering her.
It sure sounds as if you're exceedingly drained on all fronts, but may I very gently tell you that you need to get help. ASAP. If you're not seeing a counselor then you probably need to start and if you already are seeing someone then you need to get additional therapy like anger management counseling. You have to find a way to get time away from the kids ASAP so that you don't take your frustrations out on DS again.


You were very out of control and hitting your child and from your description it sounds to me like you had a hard time stopping.


The fact that you continue to separate/alienate from your DS after the incident makes me think that the problem continues and the likelihood of you behaving that way again in the near future is high. You hit your son and then:

Quote:
Last night I managed to calm down enough to snuggle with him a few minutes before bed, but not for as long as he normally likes to snuggle. I also didn't stay in the room with him until he fell asleep- I stayed with him for about 10 minutes and then left.

Even after losing control and hitting him you still felt angry with him. That's concerning, imho.


Here it almost sounds as if you're justifying your behavior:

Quote:
I'm just feeling tired and wiped out right now- and it's hard to be snuggly with him when he starts being mean on purpose and smiling when he hurts somebody. I feel like I haven't been getting enough personal space, like DD2 is taking advantage of me in terms of housework/chores, and in general I just feel like I'm barely holding myself together.

Today I had an extremely stressful morning- physically hard since I had to fast until after 11 AM for a medical test, and emotionally stressful since I got lost and couldn't have the test anyway and I'm broke and my ex owes me money and a "friend" owes me money and I just found out that this "friend"'s DD goes to the same camp as DD1 and I'll have to see her on Sunday.

It's just a whole lot of stressful stuff that has NOTHING to do with DS but is severly limiting my patience with him. I'm so sick of his constant chattering! And his normal talking voice seems to hurt my ears and trigger headaches.

Parenting is the hardest job in the world but hitting your DS is not a way to deal with it. I understand that he was irritating you greatly and you were losing your patience but that's still no excuse...that's exactly the time when people hit their kids- when they're irritated, mad and losing it, not when they're happy and relaxed.


You need more than a "glass of wine" or to "take a hot bath" to deal with this. This is beyond being "drained". A great many people that post here are drained, all the time or much of the time, but they don't hit their kids, no matter how highly irritatingly the dc's are behaving and how drained the moms and dads are.


Your post would worry me less if you had a plan to deal with your irritation at DS or if you seemed to actually be less irritated at him after the incident, but he's still getting on your last nerve, so the problem with him remains and so do all the other problems listed in your post. And I doubt DS has changed in the last day, so he will be as irritating in his behavior to you tomorrow as he was today. So that all seems like a recipe for another occurance unless you change something inside yourself in some way- i.e., counseling.


I guess you know all this already, I'm just trying to make sure that you see the reality of the situation....because sometimes when we're stressed and irritated our minds can distort things in an unreal way and minimize a situation. This should be a major wake up call to you that something big has to change. Utilizing this icon ---> : doesn't accurately represent the way you should be dealing with this.


Honestly, I can't believe that I'm the only person in this thread to address this aspect of the issue. This whole thread is upsetting. Please do whatever you have to to get a break from the kids somehow tomorrow and please seek help.
post #23 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by InDaPhunk View Post

Honestly, I can't believe that I'm the only person in this thread to address this aspect of the issue. This whole thread is upsetting. Please do whatever you have to to get a break from the kids somehow tomorrow and please seek help.

you aren't the only one who felt bothered. my big thought was, it's unbelievable how we start 5 page threads on the mom we saw yell at their child in walmart. we bash them & never give them the benefit of the doubt that we *may* have just caught them in a very bad moment....yet we all have such empathy on a thread like this. i certainly don't think we should bash ruthla by any means!! but for everyone to act like, "hey, no big deal" is a little hard for me to understand i guess.

believe me... i get upset too, so ruthla...i'm not coming down on you for losing your temper. but i completely agree with the other poster, that to "repeatedly" yell and hit your child is a real concern that is simply not okay and you should try to address this issue beyond posting about it here....if you aren't already. hugs to you mama.
post #24 of 138
If it were me, I would get someone in to help me with the kids for an hour or two every day so I had a break, and I'd get some kind of counseling or something ASAP to help me control the rage issue. Depending on how bad it was, I might even ask my mother-in-law to stay with us for a while to protect my kids from me, honestly.

post #25 of 138
I guess I thought the OP was posting because she knows things are out of control and could use some help. I didn't see it as her not being aware that there is a problem and just venting but I saw the post as a cry for help. I think that is why people are treading softly. Just my two cents.

Shay
post #26 of 138
I was thinking along the same lines as Shay. Of course, hitting is not acceptable and Ruthla knows that, I'm sure. She's such a long time poster here. She did entitle her thread "What the @#$% is wrong with me?" after all! Ruthla, I haven't been keeping up with whatever is going on in your life, but I send you best wishes in order that you get a handle on things and feel better so that you can be the wonderful parent I know you want to be.
post #27 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
I guess I thought the OP was posting because she knows things are out of control and could use some help. I didn't see it as her not being aware that there is a problem and just venting but I saw the post as a cry for help. I think that is why people are treading softly. Just my two cents.

Shay
:
post #28 of 138
I know its hard to come back and post when it seems like some of the posters aren't understanding where you're coming from. As a mom (and used to be single mom of 4) I understand....I don't condone...but I understand. Its a tough place to be...no one to lean on....no one to take the load off of YOU for a while. sometimes you just blow......and I also understand how you felt afterwards , not feeling much like doing a long snuggle and such....
WE are above all....only human. Not super human...we have no super powers (well....making milk is pretty super... )
We do the best we can at the time.....and to look back and beat yourself up is of no good. You love your kiddos , I can tell.....
mama....please , please , please.....find a way to get some YOU time. I haven't had any me time in over a year.....NONE.....and its really , really affecting the way I parent . If you want to pm me....I would be happy to chat with you ....and will never ever judge you at all.....
blessings to you and yours......let me know how things are going for you.
(((hugs))))
post #29 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
I guess I thought the OP was posting because she knows things are out of control and could use some help.
Yes, and one of the best ways to prevent a person from getting help is to make them feel that they aren't safe in sharing.

I do highly reccomend homeopathy. I was in a situation where I didn't know myself - I felt so unable to cope with my kids. I started taking homeopathic Sepia - which I learned was my constitutional remedy - and things completely changed. I didn't need counseling - I knew what I was supposed to do - just something was off for me, and the Sepia fixed it.

post #30 of 138
I didn't mean to be unsupportive. I've had a rage problem - luckily before I had a child, and it turned out to be caused by a medication - so I do understand how it feels. But I felt like I should be honest about what I would do in that situation. Because I have had a problem with it, I have put some thought into what I'd do if it happened again now that I'm a mom.
post #31 of 138
(((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))) Ruthla, believe me I understand what it is like. For the mamas who don't get what it's like to be a single mom, please try to imagine it for a second. You are responsible 24/7. There is little to no help. If you are lucky enough to have an X that takes good care of the kids and has them for visitation then you are usually using the free time to do things like the cleaning the house uninterrupted or running errands and appointments that you can't or don't want to do while you have the kids. And there is no end in sight. There is no DH that will be coming home soon to distract the kids so you can have a few moments to yourself, that precious time does not exist for those of us without partners. Couple that with emotional stress from a breakup, financial issues, children who are also hurting and taking it out on you and on each other, and the constant juggling act that takes place while you are trying to balance parenting children alone and ekeing out survival for your family. Counseling really doesn't solve those issues and in turn it adds one more thing to the list that needs to be done. What she needs, what we all need, is some help and some free time. Unfortunately a lot of us don't have family near by or a support network that we can rely on regularly to give us consistent breaks, so we do the best we can until we are ready to run screaming off the edge of the earth. So what do we do aside from trying very hard not to lose our minds?
post #32 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
I guess I thought the OP was posting because she knows things are out of control and could use some help. I didn't see it as her not being aware that there is a problem and just venting but I saw the post as a cry for help. I think that is why people are treading softly. Just my two cents.

Shay
Treading softly? She hit her 5 year old child, repeatedly. This is not the time to tread softly, IMO. I hope OP agrees.

Many people suggested a glass of wine. This is not an appropriate response to this post, IMO, whether people were commiserating or not.

I think we can all agree that parenting is very hard but this is the time for emergency, drastic action on the part of Ruthla... but then I'm merely repeating myself at this point, no need to beat a dead horse.
post #33 of 138
i don't disregard the difficulty of parenting, especially if you're going it alone. i am certain ruthla loves her children & i don't question her desire to be the best parent she can. my only point is how incredibly double-standard the advice on these boards can be. i have read posts of mother's yelling at their children at walmart threatening to spank them (which no one saw - it was only heard) and everyone post in total disgust & say CALL CPS! i have read post of a sister slapping her toddler's hand because the toddler repeatedly kept trying to touch a hot stove, & the replies are....CALL CPS! but when a MDC member is at her wits end (which we all get there, i agree!) and she repeatedly admits to yelling at & hitting her 5 year old....the advice is so sympathetic.

i am just baffled as to WHY?
post #34 of 138
When you say "hitting repeatedly" what do you mean? Were you hitting in face or back or where? I also agree with the poster that said this is alarming. Oh my goodness you should see me - I know I am not a perfect parent. I have a major anger problem too. But the one time that I lost control really bad and starting hitting my son repeatedly (on the back, arms and I think maybe once in the head) I got help ASAP! That is just dangerous, dangerous, dangerous. I too am shocked that more people have not been really worried about this. Whether the mom knows it was wrong has little bearing on the situation. I thought this was the gentle discipline forum and I thought that the foremost thing was supposed to be the child. I'm sorry, but if I came on here saying I screamed at and hit my child repeatedly I sure hope someone would have to balls to tell me that I better get help right now!
post #35 of 138
Maybe I have a different perspective on this.

I grew up with a mother who had a difficult life. Much of it was of her own making, but some things were not. She was always stressed out, always on the brink of a breakdown. She did try to give us material things, take us places, give us lessons/opportunities and outwardly she may have looked like a perfect mom. She had lots of friends. She was pretty. She was smart, had a nice little part-time job and lots of activities.

We were high-strung kids with problems of our own. We did not get along. We fought bitterly and constantly. It made my mother furious. She reacted very poorly. Her personal stress was channeled into a blinding rage and our infractions gave her an opportunity to release it. I don't think she started out intending to do the things she did- but once she started hitting, she didn't stop until she exhausted her wrath.

It wasn't always that way. I remember her being nearly perfect when I was very young. I don't think I'd even been spanked once before my brother was born. Once she started hitting us though, it became a regular thing. I used to love my mom. I thought she was the best person alive. By the time I was 10, I dreaded coming home from school. Sometimes she was great, but you just never knew what would set her off.

Ruthla, I have always liked your posts. You seem like a great mom. Please get some help for yourself. Get some time away from your children. Find out what is really, really bothering you. I'd bet there is more to this than a frustrating little boy and his sister. I think my mom started out with the best of intentions. I don't think she ever anticipated that things would end up the way they did. Events can spiral out of control though. The trick is to stop them before that happens.

I really wish you and yours all the best.
post #36 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Tongiht, when I was in the bathroom switching the laundry, I heard the kids yelling. I come out and find DS bothering DD2, hitting random keys on the keyboard when she was on IM.

I totally lost control, and started yelling at DS and hitting him. : Repeatedly, until he stopped bothering her. I'm not even sure if he was hurting her or not (well, he started hitting her after I lost control) but he was certainly in her personal space.

Why am I so damn irritable lately? Why do I keep on taking sides in their sibling rivalries? Specifically, why do I keep on taking HER side? I mean, when he's being rough or violent with her, I do need to intervene, but not by escalating the situation!

I'm just feeling tired and wiped out right now- and it's hard to be snuggly with him when he starts being mean on purpose and smiling when he hurts somebody. I feel like I haven't been getting enough personal space, like DD2 is taking advantage of me in terms of housework/chores, and in general I just feel like I'm barely holding myself together.

Today I had an extremely stressful morning- physically hard since I had to fast until after 11 AM for a medical test, and emotionally stressful since I got lost and couldn't have the test anyway and I'm broke and my ex owes me money and a "friend" owes me money and I just found out that this "friend"'s DD goes to the same camp as DD1 and I'll have to see her on Sunday.

It's just a whole lot of stressful stuff that has NOTHING to do with DS but is severly limiting my patience with him. I'm so sick of his constant chattering! And his normal talking voice seems to hurt my ears and trigger headaches.

I sooo wish I had my own room and I could go to bed without having to interact with him.
There is nothing wrong with you mama. You've listed reasons why a mama would be stressed out, and try as we may, we are human, and can only take so much stress. You DS's actions just sent you over the edge.

Why are you so irritable toward your DS when he gets violent on purpose? Because you are a mama who is against violence. And though you struck out at your DS when he was violating the personal space of your DD doesn't make you out of control, it means thast you did what any mama would do, no matter who was harrassing your child, you defended her. I am sure you would come to the defense of your DS had it been your dd who was the aggressor.

And we all "lose" it at times. Sometimes life gets over-whelming and our kids sense that and because stressed as well. It just turns into a little stressful cycle.

In times like this, I have to FORCE myself to drop everything, wipe out all negative thoughts from my mind, and take dd out. Either to the park, a walk down the street, the grocery store, or just outside the house. Sometimes four walls can be menacing to the mind.

All we can do is learn from what we consider mistakes, make a new plan of action should the situation arise again, and move on.

You are a kind and aware mama, dont let these little road bumps get you down
post #37 of 138
Ruthla- please consider the posts of those who know you best. We love you mama.
post #38 of 138
"And though you struck out at your DS when he was violating the personal space of your DD doesn't make you out of control, it means thast you did what any mama would do, no matter who was harrassing your child, you defended her. I am sure you would come to the defense of your DS had it been your dd who was the aggressor."

You're kidding me right? He was pushing buttons on a computer keyboard. Hardly dangerous or aggressive behaviour. Sure he was being a pain in the posterior but you honestly don't think her reaction was over the top? She started screaming and hitting him REPEATEDLY. No that is not what any mother would do. I understand stress - like I said I have had major problems with temper too. It just blows my mind that you actually consider it an appropriate or normal response to scream at and hit a 5 year REPEATEDLY for irritating his sister. Pardon me, I'm going to go check the URL to see what website I am on.
post #39 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
"And though you struck out at your DS when he was violating the personal space of your DD doesn't make you out of control, it means thast you did what any mama would do, no matter who was harrassing your child, you defended her. I am sure you would come to the defense of your DS had it been your dd who was the aggressor."

You're kidding me right? He was pushing buttons on a computer keyboard. Hardly dangerous or aggressive behaviour. Sure he was being a pain in the posterior but you honestly don't think her reaction was over the top? She started screaming and hitting him REPEATEDLY. No that is not what any mother would do. I understand stress - like I said I have had major problems with temper too. It just blows my mind that you actually consider it an appropriate or normal response to scream at and hit a 5 year REPEATEDLY for irritating his sister. Pardon me, I'm going to go check the URL to see what website I am on.
Yeah that was shocking, but I think I was more shocked about this being called "a little road bump". I'm sure the OP is a good parent or she wouldn't be looking for advice here. But sometimes the right advice isn't validation of what is happening. Sometimes the right advice is to go get some help.
post #40 of 138
I thought of a good example here. In this month's Mothering, there is an article about a mom who had PPS and who needed help. That was a much more severe situation than the OP, but still, it is someone who was out of control and needed help. The article didn't say she was a bad mother - it said she was a good mother who needed help. Then she got the help, and things were better. This is how I see this situation, on a smaller scale. The mother has a problem with rage, which is not uncommon. She is a good mother who needs help getting that problem under control. To tell her she doesn't have a problem isn't any more useful to her or her children than it would be to tell a mom with PPS that she is just suffering from "a little road bump" and she'll get over it with a glass of wine.
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