Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Fury Within

Spend all you time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it okay.

There's always some reason
To feel not good enough
And it's hard at the end of the day
-Sarah Mclaughlin, "In the Arms of an Angel"

I am finding myself more and more losing my temper at the kids.  This is something really hard to admit.  It sometimes seems like my temper can turn in a split second. It seems to be worse in the morning and bedtime. L and D often get the brunt end of things.  I don't want to be this kind of mom.  I don't want the kids to wonder what is going to set me off.  I don't like to hear L ask me after I've snapped at him about hurrying up to get in the car, "Do you still like me?"  I don't him or any of them to ever be scared of me and my harsh words.

Tonight, M was on the receiving end.  M had spent the evening over at a friend's house down the street.  The boys and I had a lovely evening playing soccer in the backyard and watching some Animal Planet.  We were relaxed and enjoying each other's company.  E came down through some of this and added to the fun atmosphere.  M came in and simply verbally attacked E.  Her MO is to pull E to doing something sweet and then quickly turning on her and declaring her mean.  Tears usually follow.  We've talked about this in therapy but nothing seems to be helping.  She is so angry and seems to be taking it out on E.  I try not to take sides but in this case, she was in the wrong and I had just had it.  I yelled at her to stop, told her to get up, get her jammies on and just go to bed.  I didn't go up to tuck her in and say goodnight.  About 20 minutes later, I snapped at L and D and sent them to bed sniffling and probably wondering what they had done.  As usual, quiet A, put himself to bed and I honestly forgot to go up to him.  At that moment, I needed them all to go to bed and give me a break.

I hold in this inner rage all day.  I am so angry at everything.  God.  K. Life.  Jeanne and Mike (that's rational I know).  My family.  When I snap at one of the kids or K, I almost feel a physical relief.  A voice inside of me tells me to stop, but I often can't help it.  Moments later, the remorse comes and I bury the anger once more until it comes to the surface again.  I've always had a bit of a temper, but it's getting worse.

Stress, tiredness, and grief are all the usual suspects for the cause.  It doesn't get me off the hook though.  As I reflect on things at the end of the day, I often wish I had a rewind button or a "do-over" like when we played baseball when I was little.  This only adds to my feelings of inadequacy to handle this situation.  When push comes to shove, I really don't feel like I'm doing a good job.  I know I can be better.  I just don't know how to get there.

 I am so tired.  I feel like I'm stuck in a loop and can't get off the ride to do a reboot.  I don't know how to find the time for myself during the day to decompress.  My only time to myself is usually at 10pm and that's usually filled with work or laundry.  I feel so stuck.

I wish the "arms of an angel" could sweep me away during these moments of anger. I don't know what I'm looking for...a spiritual support, a feeling that there is a bigger purpose in all of this hell I'm in, human appreciation from my family and K?  Perhaps all of these things?

For some reason this song from Sarah Mcglaughlin was stuck in my head all day.  Maybe it's the feeling of helplessness with a touch of hope.  I need to have faith that I can do better.  I don't want to be this angry person.  Our family deserves more.


  1. First, about E and M. I wonder if M is lashing out at E because she is "safe". E won't go anywhere. E will always be her sister, no matter what. She's not going to lash out at you or K or the boys because you *might* go away--as evidenced by the hectic-ness that were the first months after they lost their parents.

    Patience? You've added two more warm bodies to your house. It's been a while, but you're still finding your way.

    in the heat of the moment, I will do some awful things and not realize it until after I'm calmed down, and then I feel such humiliation and despair that I could ever do that to my child (or husband). :o( I wonder if it's just part of being human?

    As for YOUR anger, I know of a woman who went to a thrift store, purchased a set of dishes for CHEAP, and found a place she could just hurl them at the wall with all her strength and shatter them into infinite pieces. I could see where that could be incredible therapy.

    Oh, and anger at Jeanne and Mike? Makes perfect sense to me. They are the cause of all this imbalance in your life. I get it. Grief, it doesn't make sense, it just IS.


  2. Rach, I think you're right on with M's anger at E. There were also a lot of issues pre-accident that have only gotten worse since. I hope for their sakes that figure this out and have a healthy adult relationship.

    Smashing something sounds awesome!

  3. My temper was so short during my husband's deployments it was ridiculous. I hate myself when I lose it and yell at my children. (I actually wrote a post about this called 'Yelling' if you want to search my blog archive for it--might make you feel less alone.)

    If you can get yourself some kind of physical outlet that might help. Five minutes with a punching bag before laundry? Even a good bounce on a mini trampoline might make you feel better. Your kids you love them. Don't beat yourself up too much.

  4. (That was supposed to read "Your kids KNOW you love them!" I should really remember to hit 'preview' first...)