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Confused and sad

Started by Nana, October 15, 2011, 06:39:51 pm

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pam1

Bites can leave marks pretty fast and easily.  Especially if someone is an easier bruiser.  I think all parents have done something they regret, I know I have. 

The problem is when it is a pattern of out of control behavior.  There is a chance this is just a one off.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Pooh

I think so too.  I knocked my OS into the entertainment center one time before I even had a chance to think.  He was 14, had already outgrown me and was arguing with me about cleaning his room.  He told me he didn't have to any more, I couldn't make him and I looked down and he had his fist balled up like he was thinking of swinging at me.  Before I even thought, I punched him straight in the chest knocking him into the entertainment center and telling him I didn't care how big he was, that he better not ever ball his fist up at me again or I would take him down.

If you guys really knew me, you would be in shock that I did that.  I had not even spanked either kid since they were like 6, and then it was just swats on the hiney.  I also discussed problems with my kids, told them their options and consequences and did groundings and time-outs.  I was in shock that I did it and so was he.  This was a kid that I never had discipline problems with and was a very good kid.  I did it before I thought because although his Dad never hit me, he had a bad habit of hitting things when he was angry.  Walls, medicine cabinets, concrete (idiot) and all I could think of was OS was going to start that and I wanted to break it quick.  I did apologize later about what I had done, after we both finished crying and he never balled his fist up again, and I never laid another hand on either of them.  I went to my Mother crying about it a couple of days later and confessed what I had done.  She just looked at me and said, "With some boys, there comes a time when they think they are bigger and badder than you, and try to test it.  If you had told me he did that and you just took it, I would have told you that you should have knocked him in the teeth to teach him a lesson. You did good."

It sounds like my Mother and I are such violent people....which is so far from the truth....
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Doe

Oh, Pooh - no - y'all don't sound violent at all.

I'll bet that a writing a thread on all the things we did to our children would be such a cathartic action.  Your honesty makes me want to do that but I'm still embarrassed about some things.   Maybe one day...

pam1

I can relate, Pooh.  I'm not a spanker, usually just a talker.  Couple years ago DD screamed at me and smushed my face, instantly and instinctively I smacked her right in the mouth.  Like a reflex.  I apologized too and feel terrible to this day. 

But I also think these kind of things can happen, particularly when a parent is stressed.  Talking to my friends they have all had similar moments so maybe taking in this DILs behavior as a whole and continue watching is a good course.  I think also offering to help her out, take a load off might do wonders for her. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Ruth

Well Doe, in reply to your post about a cathartic thread, I'm going to tell you all the darkest secret I have, the thing that has been my secret horror all these years.  I am deeply ashamed of this and after all these years (15 years) I still cannot possibly look any one even my closest family member in the face and tell them this.  I had recently divorced from my childrens' father.  I had custody of both children, and if any of you have read my posts you know the dynamics of DS, he held me in open contempt then even at age 9.  I was a lost person at that time, there was no one to help  me and I was trying everything in me to get a handle on the chaos in my life and my children's lives, but nothing was working of course.  One day (I don't remember specifics as what was happening) but DS was verbally abusing me as it often was, either silence or verbal abuse - there was really nothing in between - and he spit in my face.  I grabbed a belt before I could see daylight, and whipped him hard.  It left a bruise on his thigh.  Blank after that, but I know the next day I got a call from the school system that I had been reported to DSS.  I was called in and had to face that charge.  I went back to my apartment, and signed the papers to give my ex custody of DS, and shut myself up inside there for 3 days, I didn't eat anything or talk to any one.  No one came and checked up on me.  All I did was cry.  That was the beginning of what brought me here, and all the years of grief in my life, and self hated. 

This is why I said, Nana, that if DIL needs help, I didn't want it to escalate to the point where a good Mom did something she would hate herself for.  I was also reared with the 'bite a biter back' and I don't know that I even have a problem with that, but Nana you know whether this was the case or not.

I worked as a vol GAL for a good while, and finally had to give it up because it dredged up the memory or that terrible experience too often.  I had compassion (as an abused child) for both the child and the parent who was really often just a stressed out person who lost it, and didn't have enough resources or strength to take care of the problem, or didn't have training in what to do with a very very strong willed, aggressive child.   It grieves me that parents carry these scars their whole lives in many cases and it really destroys their lives, I can tell you.  I would have been better off dead after that incident, it wasn't the only time I disciplined my DS with force, but it was the worst time. 

Now you all can see that I'm not such a sweetie, I said before I made big mistakes.  but I had such a job description in raising an aggressive, hostile child with a DH who was equally hostile and aggressive.  I can have some compassion for myself now but it took many years.

Pooh

Thanks Doe and Pam.  I would be willing to bet there isn't a parent out there that hasn't done something, either in a state of anger, shock or fear that doesn't regret it.  I think it is totally normal.  Doesn't mean I wouldn't take it back and handle it differently now, but at the time, I did it before I thought. 

My Mother, when she slapped me that time and yes I still remember it vividly, was because she dropped me at the Mall when I was 15.  I knew I wasn't supposed to leave, but I did, with two boys I knew from school.  One had a new car and offered to take me riding in it.  I knew I shouldn't, I was terrified of getting caught...but he was cute and promised to have me back before time for Mom to pick me up.  Yeah well, he ended up driving way up into another County.  I was yelling at him the entire time that I needed to get back and he refused.  He pulled over, got handsy and I pitched a fit on him, threatening to beat the crap out of him and then tell all my guy friends!  I was an athletic tomboy who had lots of guy friends on the baseball, soccer and football team and he knew it.  So he got mad and dropped me at a gas station in another county!  It was like the walk of death to have to call my Mom from that payphone.  I was already 30 minutes past time for her to pick me up.  Let's just say when she got there, she was in a state of panic because she had been looking for me and I think I had her imprint of her palm for a week on the side of my face.  When I got in the car, she slapped me so hard then reached over and hugged me crying.  To this day, she says she regrets slapping me but was terrified.  To this day, I regret doing it and the 12 week grounding I got from it! Lol.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

pam1

Ruth, it's very brave of you to talk about this.  Thank you.  I think so many parents have a story and carry regret, it's hard to talk so openly b/c of the fear and shame that is associated with it all.  Being able to talk about it brings so many people together and brings healing. 

And Pooh, my Dad slapped me once too but I think I deserved it.  I was a teenager and my mom was sick again, so going to her house on her week I was the adult, cooking, cleaning, watching the younger children.  I'd go back to my dads and just be exhausted and moody and well, just a teen.  One time I mouthed off and complained about taking care of mom and her house and my dad got this look in his eye I'll never forget and reached across the table and nailed me, he got up and said I should appreciate every moment I have with her.  I'll never forget it to this day, it woke me up and was probably the only thing that would have got through to me at that time.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Pooh

Oh dear Ruth.  This is what you have carried around all these years?  I can only imagine the stress you were under at the time with the divorce and then he spit in your face.  Ok, so you may have wore him out a little too hard, but I probably would have slapped him so hard for that before I even though.  I used to get whipped by GP with switches that left welts.  Not that he really hit me that hard, but those things left welts regardless.  That was what his generation did.  Not making excuses, but my parents and partially mine, were generations of belters.  I remember my friends getting the belt.  My Mother chose not to, but plenty of my friends got them.

We learn with each generation and there are accepted practices in each generation.  I got my mouth washed out with soap once...but I would never do that to my kids.  That was something that was done when I was growing up.  Look what I did to my OS.  I'm so sorry that you went through all that and signed him over because of that.  I am sure at the time you were doing what you thought was the right thing for him and questioning your own parenting ability after that incident.  I so wish you had a support system for yourself when that was happening.  But you know what?  You have us now and are loved so much.

Ok, we made mistakes.  You did, I did and you have to forgive yourself.  We own up that we are human, that we did something that we regret and we forgive ourselves.  We make apologies to those we love and they either accept them or they don't.  That's ok.  If they don't accept the apology, then we move on knowing we did our best. 

Thank you for sharing Ruth as I am sure that was very hard for you to do.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Ruth

I saw that scene so vividly in my mind, Pam.  Thank you for telling this.  I hope that if we all can unlock these secrets, maybe it can help other people heal and slay those dragons that steal steal steal.

lancaster lady

Kids can be monsters and will push you to bursting point ! That and the fact that most of the time we moms have to be both parents through different consequences, no wonder our patience runs out occasionally . Most kids will admit they deserved a whack ! Problem is they.continue their nonsense till adulthood, then the real problems occur .

Pooh

Totally LL.  Boils down right back to taking personal responsibility.  I think those of us that do take responsibility for our actions will say, "I deserved every whipping and whacking I got."  Because I did.  I wasn't a discipline problem, but I was sneaky and mischievious.  I know I had to have drove my Mom nuts because I had a second child, just like me.  And I take personal responsibility for the actions I did to my own children. 

I have issues with the OS now, not because I hit him in the chest once, but because he takes no personal responsibility for anything he does.  Once I got that through my head, I was able to forgive myself.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Pooh

Sorry Nana for hijacking your thread.  I was just hoping that some of these stories might help put your mind at ease and give you a sense of direction to go.  I know it's hard for you to decide what to do.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Begonia

Reading all these posts really gets me to thinking about all this.  So many of you wonderful women and your stories just make my heart cry for myself and for all of us who strive to be so perfect and humanely fall short. I grew up with "spankings" and my mother wringing her hands while my father doled out the discipline with a belt or once a hairbrush. And I have lost patience with my children and given a few spankings until I realized I did not have to carry on that legacy. I feel quite certain that neither of my AC have ever used spankings on GC, as we have discussed this and how bad I feel about it.  They use things more proper like the Naughty Chair or Time Out.

But I think the essence of all this is the shame we carry.  First because of feeling we must be really bad if our parents spank us and then because of repeating that behavior in our own families. I think it's very difficult for women to be aggressive or violent--we really have to be at our wits end.  And like you say, Ruth and others, we then spend all the rest of our years feeling shameful.  It really has clouded my life.  At five years old my DS and a little friend started a fire that could have been horrific.  My son was fascinated with fire.  I went a little crazy with imagining that we all would have been dead.  I took a match, lit it, blew it out and touched his hand with it.  It didn't burn but he said OUCH. I said, "See how dangerous matches are?"  He never played with matches again, but that event haunts me.  How could I even do such a thing?  Horrible mother.  So the shame of these things we carry with us maybe shines light on our humanness and  helps light the way for others who will stop and think before their patience runs out. 

That's why we have to take the shame out of it by acknowledging it.  Just by the fact that we are here on this forum, struggling to help each other be better people is evidence enough that we are good people.  Bless all of you and Nana...perhaps you have been given this issue because you can light the way for your DIL.  Obviously you love her and care a lot about her.  Thanks for posting this so we can share our own painful stories.  Love to you all
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift (Eleanor Roosevelt)

alohomora

Quote from: Doe on October 15, 2011, 06:52:35 pm
Oh, Nana - what a position to be in!

I would tell her what you said :

"I know this is not your style.  I know that maybe you just lost it and are regretting it   Eveyone has the right to make a mistake dont you think so?"

Make is safe for her to tell you and I'm sure she'll appreciate it.


Best advice I've read in this thread. Truly. DIL knows you know. Kids tend to be blabber mouths and tell things. She must have figured one of them would tell you, or like OP said, knows you were next to GC when they were on the phone.

If you bring it up, don't pretend you don't know. Don't play games with her. It'll just make her resent you. If yo udo bring it up, what the above poster said is really a great idea. I might use the approach on my own MIL the next time she flips her top.

pam1

I'm reposting this for Ruth, it was in another thread.  I think she meant to post it here :) 

"Nana, helloooo....are you there???  I'm not sure if I have this post in the right place, but I'll try anyway.  I looked for you first thing this morning!  You've been in my thoughts and prayers a lot.  Nana, you have embodied the ideal intermediary, IMO,  being faced with one of the most perplexing and painful of problems.  Many would have reacted with outrage at what you saw on your g/c, an ugly bite inflicted by an angry parent, and would have thought of retaliation and consequences only.  But you have been brave and willing to suffer yourself as you agonize over what is to the best response.  You  neither condemned the Mom nor minimized the damage to the child.  I admire you Nana and hope you know that sharing your story could have helped more people than you will ever know.  People read these posts online who never register or write.   And the follow up from many of us who shared our own secrets may have reinforced your judgment of your DIL as someone under stress, rather than a piece of trash.  Who knows (I'm reaching out here onto a thin limb) but had you not had these own senseless struggles with your a/c you would not have ended up here at WW, and your influence would be missing.  It would have been a great loss."
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift