Disclaimer---- for all of you who keep calling me a saint, I am pretty sure you need to stop right here! This will most definitely blow your perceptions to pieces.
As happens frequently with my middle child, any "no" sends him into a tailspin. Such was the case Friday morning. Since the issues with riding the bus keep mounting, I was driving him to school. I got almost to the car rider line when it began.
No, you can't play with your DS this morning... and as I explained why, he lost it.
He started yelling "I don't like you mommy- I WANT ANOTHER MOMMY..You're mean! I don't want you to be my mommy.. I want my other mommy! (mental picture yet?)
My mind quickly flashed to the advice given to us after a particularly rough few weeks. "Escalate with him" and see what happens. I had nothing to loose, I tried it.
While maintaining two hands on the steering wheel for safety :) and only turning my head briefly - I began to scream back at him.
YOU DON'T GET ANOTHER MOMMY! I LOVE......
he began to scream louder- I DON'T WANT YOU- I WANT ANOTHER MOMMY!
i screamed louder- I LOVE YOU AND I'M NOT LEAVING! I'M THE LAST MOMMY ON THE MOMMY TRAIN (what, did I really just say that) YOU DON'T GET ANY MORE! IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU ARE ANGRY OR MEAN OR MAD OR SAD- I STILL LOVE YOU AND I'M NOT LEAVING! YOU DON'T GET ANY MORE MOMMIES!
he started to calm a bit- I calmed a bit but continued to reinforce what I know he fears will never be...
I love you and I'm not leaving!!!! I'm sorry you are mad, and I know you are scared and you miss Mommy T- and I am sorry she is not here, that isn't fair. It makes me sad too. But I AM HERE, AND I LOVE YOU AND I AM NOT LEAVING, EVER! No more mommies, E. I'm it!
he hung his head and through his sobs replied "yes ma'am"
sounds so official. It wasn't what this mommy wanted to hear; but probably an appropriate response to a screaming mad woman.
I have now pulled the screaming van into the funeral home parking lot, and set off the other son's sensory issues. That boy doesn't handle loud noises, which includes screaming. He is now in full blown tizzy with us- screaming a mix of "I want daddy, where's daddy" and "why are you parking here, this isn't school"
add to your mental picture the dude walking by, 'bout broke his neck. I'm guessing his mom forgot to tell him about staring. I give him a nod.
I decided to interrupt life to help heal my son.
E. climbed between the seats and into my lap. I held him close and I could feel his body relax. He patted my shoulder as I whispered in his ear- I love you, and I will love you always. It's okay to be mad. He whispered back- I love you too, mommy. I squeezed him tight.
We got our composure, and found our way back into the car rider line. The youngest was very relieved.
Apparently escalation is good for the soul- E. had his first great day at school for the week- kept his smiley faces and didn't get in trouble one time.
I expect you are thinking- screaming at your kids.
I'm just not sure that's appropriate, or necessary or even nice.
Why on earth would you ever do that?
I'll tell you why.
The following is a raw look into our lives. I only share because I am aware that some of the people reading my blog are experiencing similar challenges. We don't know each other, but as adoptive parents we can encourage each other, we are not alone. And others who have shared your desire to adopt. What a blessing ahead, but don't be fooled. The day to day is not for the faint of heart; it is easily the hardest thing I've ever done. So, this is not a pity-party, nor is it intended for you to think I'm anybody special. Rex and I chose this and we cherish it.
But, it is what it is.
And what it is, is how we got to the point of escalating.
.....these are my mom thoughts, written the morning of January 13
i hate you- i want to kill you -i don't care if you are sad
mighty powerful words being hurled at me from my 5 year old- and it isn't the first time. the verbal assaults are mounting; as if he is figuring out he doesn't have to hold back- he can say whatever.
in my rational mind, i can reason that this isn't personal. but i am human, and even us mom's get hurt too, i can't help but cry.
does my crying give him more power- does he truly understand what is taking place? i try to hold back.
we move on- i take the toys out of his backpack- as i promised i would for not obeying- partly why the attack began. he begs forgiveness. i'm sorry mommy. i love you mommy.
i love you too, E.
i have to love him, i want to love him, he's my son. but it is difficult to unconditionally love when being verbally battered.
i carry him to the bus stop, hold him close as we wait for the bus. he doesn't see my tears falling; i can't see his until i put him down and kiss him goodbye. he climbs on the bus, and once again he is leaving for school an emotional wreck. and once again, i just want to pull him off the bus and reassure him again that i love him- how do i interrupt life to heal my son? i don't have that figured out yet, and in honesty there is part of me that is relieved he is on his way, and i can now relax a bit. i begin to sob.
walking back to the house, carrying my 4 year old, i am left to replay the multiplying incidents in my mind. and there is the worry about where is the line in letting him release all that has built up inside him, ready for explosion and teaching him that words are powerful, hurt and once said can never be taken back.
i'm a big girl and i know his history, but what about other people? how do i teach him this?
how do i forgive such a young child for hurting my feelings and not hold a grudge how do i press on, when the uncertainty and fear that this may never end looms with each assault?
i am his sounding board.
i am the target of his frustrations.
i am his safe place.
i will press on, because that is what i am called to do.
i can press on because Jesus is my anchor of hope.
i go through nothing, that He didn't bear on the cross for me.
talk about hurling verbal assaults. He is my strength; and in Him, i can put my trust.
and when all else fails, the 3 HOT Krispy Kreme donuts doesn't hurt either :)