That's Not Why I'm Mad

  • 8 Replies
  • 819 Views
*

MargaritaBulgakov

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 56
That's Not Why I'm Mad
« on: May 17, 2018, 03:31:08 AM »
This morning I lost my temper with my children ages 2 and 4.

The toddler snatched one of two pieces of toast with peanut butter and honey off the preschooler's plate and ran into the living room with it. Preschooler ran after and the two began a tug-a-war over said drippy toast on my sofa.

I tried to intervene calmly. Tried reasoning with older child. Said I'd make more toast. Tried to coax back to table, etc. but they were too amped up, completely oblivious to me.

As my temper rose it came out in a roar. I shouted and screamed and threatened until both children looked up at me in terror. They meekly returned to the table and ate their damn breakfast.

At moments like these I feel great shame. I sound like my mother.

A parent's number one job is not to lose their cool (or so I read somewhere). But I lose my cool several times a week. I have a two year old after all.

I worry that my children will stop speaking to me someday the way I went NC with my parents.

But then I remember that that's not why I'm mad. I'm not mad at my mother because she lost her cool when my brother and I fought. Or because we got blackberry jam on her favorite pants. Or because we broke her Tiffany lamp. Or because we smashed the French doors. Or because we let the dog sleep in our beds.

I'm not mad at her for getting mad at us for all those things.

Parents are not superhuman and having children in your house can be a serious mind fuck.

I'm not mad at my parents for not being perfect.

Nobody's perfect.

It occurs to me that my husband loses his temper occasionally too but unlike me he doesn't fret that it means he's failed as a parent.

I think that it's part of the straw man argument that I have internalized. The one where my mom argues that no parent is perfect and she shouldn't be held accountable and that that stuff happened years ago why can't I put it to rest? And your kids will hate you too.

It's where my mother pretends that her seriously abusive behavior fell in the normal range of frustrated parents everywhere and for a moment I believe her.

It's just another place where my past relationship with her continues to undermine me.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 03:33:44 AM by MargaritaBulgakov »

*

Starboard Song

  • Host Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • 708
  • Live without want or complaint, and die singing.
Re: That's Not Why I'm Mad
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 09:50:38 AM »
...and for a moment I believe her.

I am really proud of you. Self-aware is difference number 1 between you and her. After that, as you say, the differences continue. For yes, there is a difference between ordinary losing of cool, and abusiveness.

This post will help many who have same reactions but don't see them so clearly.

Keep being so strong! Keep getting stronger!
Self-Compassion: the Proven Power... by Kristen Neff
Healing From Family Rifts, by Mark Sichel
Stop Walking on Egshells, by Paul Mason
Mindful Self-Compassion classes
Mindfulness, by Mark Williams
The Book of Joy, with the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
Life on the Mississippi, by Mark Twain

*

Finding Courage

  • New Member
  • *
  • 15
Re: That's Not Why I'm Mad
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2018, 08:09:36 PM »
I have a five year old and really resonate with this:
“The one where my mom argues that no parent is perfect and she shouldn't be held accountable and that that stuff happened years ago why can't I put it to rest? And your kids will hate you too. ”

I really have to remind myself that it is about current behavior really, it is about egregious behaviors I would never do, and even with all of that going no contact is so, so hard.  But I do worry a lot about my relationship with my daughter and how I am effecting her feeling I need to be super human, which is exhausting.


*

MargaritaBulgakov

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 56
Re: That's Not Why I'm Mad
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2018, 10:55:06 AM »
Thanks Finding Courage for your response. You're absolutely right about the problem with our parents being current. It's rooted in the past but it's really the fact that it's ongoing that makes it intolerable.

I often struggle to be consistent with my kids so much so that even the kindergarten teachers have told me in a meeting that my child throws a lot of tantrums because she is used to me changing my mind.

I really struggle with my own authority for both never being allowed my own authority and being afraid of turning into my mother who was extremely domineering.

Yeah, I too worry constantly about both how my parenting will affect my kids later as adults and our future relationship.

*

carrots

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 557
Re: That's Not Why I'm Mad
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2018, 11:55:12 AM »
I really struggle with my own authority for both never being allowed my own authority and being afraid of turning into my mother who was extremely domineering.

Yeah, I too worry constantly about both how my parenting will affect my kids later as adults and our future relationship.

Sounds very familiar. Thanks for writing about it.

I really noticed the struggle with my own authority when working professionally with children. I now only work one-on-one with them, which functions. I used to be very worried about harming children emotionally by setting a limit. I have got over that though, partly through lots of positive feedback from children and their parents alike. And partly through tons of therapy. I realize it's a lot harder when it's your own kids though, 24/7 and all that.

Recently I was really worried about how my interaction with my godson will affect our future relationship. I was triggered by a few things and blew a minor fuse.  I did act differently from how my parents ever would have. For one thing, it was only verbal, not physical. I also apologized. But still i have this nagging feeling about it, even after having talked to my godson's M twice about it and her not seeing it as a particular problem. Yeah, she tries not to let things escalate, but they do occasionally and that's what happened here between me and her DS.

 I need to take myself out of the situation even earlier before I get triggered, especially when there's another adult around, as there was in this case. I wouldn't have been abandoning my godson. Here too, I know it's much easier for me that I'm not bringing my godson up 24/7 or anything like.

*

louisebt

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 380
Re: That's Not Why I'm Mad
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2018, 04:51:26 AM »
As someone who is childless by choice partly because I am afraid of playing out my emotional instability with my own children, I have the deepest admiration when I hear parents who had abusive backgrounds talking with such insight and confidence about how they are reflecting and trying to break patterns. It's inevitable things sometimes swing too far the other way and you get hyper vigilant that normal parenting might be abusive.

I'm not an expert but shouting at children to stop messing the house up fighting over a piece of toast sounds pretty normal to me!

I can't imagine how hard it is to try and keep a balanced approach 24/7.


*

MargaritaBulgakov

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 56
Re: That's Not Why I'm Mad
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2018, 09:26:19 AM »
"I'm not an expert but shouting at children to stop messing the house up fighting over a piece of toast sounds pretty normal to me!

I can't imagine how hard it is to try and keep a balanced approach 24/7."


Thanks Louise!

Two days ago I had an emergency and had to call a neighbor to stay with my kids.

When I got home the neighbor was drinking a glass of wine on the terrace while my kids played.

Paraphrased:

Him: Sorry but I really had to start Happy Hour.

Me: Don't apologize! I totally get it.

Him: So it's a lot harder than would've thought because they keep running off in opposite directions.

Me: Yep.

Him: And you do this every day.

Me: Yep.

Him: Mad Respect.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 09:28:37 AM by MargaritaBulgakov »

*

Saywhat

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 78
Re: That's Not Why I'm Mad
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2018, 06:54:32 AM »
I had to revisit this post as Im in a shame spiral since I lashed out at my 8 month old baby last night by screaming at him that he should stop crying when he woke up at 3 am.

There is no justification to why I did it and I will not attempt to make it look better than it is, but just as a background info I will tell you that my son has struggled to sleep through the night since he was born, and I really struggle with my energy levels and with the fact I have CPTSD and that every time he wakes up crying at night I have flashbaks.

I felt awful afterwards and promised myself to try harder to manage the flashbacks but today I still feel deep shame for having lashed out at this poor baby. Worst of all, this thought I lurking in my mind: What right do I have to complain about my parents when Im obviously not perfect either?

Which made me think about this post and about the fact that thats not even close to why Im mad! I was scapegoated for 25 years, for Chtists sake! And thats not even the worst part...the worst part is they refused accountability and continued to treat me like crap until I went NC.

I already feel better writing this down...

*

BentNotBroken

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 288
Re: That's Not Why I'm Mad
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2018, 12:31:38 PM »
Thank you so much for posting this. I lose my cool about other things than my teen boys behaviour and always apologize and explain that it's not them, it's me, and they're like "I know moooooooommmm" like I'm explaining something simple. Whenever my kids ask to do something for me I quickly say they don't have to take care of me, it's my job to take of them and he looks almost hurt, which I get because I'm denying him the joy a person feels when they do something nice for someone else. I just get triggered after taking care of my mom, being her "go get me this or that" being at her beck and call. I'm aware but I still get so freaked out that my boys will feel used if I let them do something small for me when they ask.

I noticed I do this but it took this post to realize why and that I probably don't have to be as sensitive to it as I have been. I love this group!!