What do you do with the anger?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by hexemaus2, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    In reading and responding to Hound Dog's "WoW" post, I realize that I am really, really angry when it comes to difficult child 1.

    It's not the kind of anger that seeps into everything and disrupts my normal routine, since I don't have to deal with her on a regular basis. However, every time I think about her, the choices she has made, the b.s. she continues to exude, etc., I get so incredibily angry I just want to scream.

    As I mentioned in my response to Hound Dog, part of what makes it easier to stay uninvolved is the fact that I honestly don't think I could be around difficult child 1 and still be able to resist the urge to just slap the snot out of her.

    I've never been a violent person. I've never been the type of parent to hit my kids. Especially given difficult child 2's history with violent outbursts, even if I did believe in spanking, it would never have been an option. (You can't teach a child not to hit if you're hitting them as discipline.) However, when it comes to difficult child 1, I swear I just want to smack her. It's like an uncontrollable, knee-jerk reaction. She starts her mouthing off and lies, and I just want to slap her silly.

    I don't. I never have. But the urge gets stronger every time I see her...which is a big part of why I don't go around her...ever. I've only seen her once in the last year and a half or so. When it got to that point, I came inside the house and closed the door. The boys finished talking to her, then came inside. I didn't even say good bye to her. I'm afraid one of these days she'll push just the right button and I'll just lose it completely.

    So what do you do with the anger that sits there? Like I said, it's not something that's an every day thing...only when I think about difficult child 1. So long as I don't have to think about her, I don't feel angry. But as soon as the subject comes up...I get angry and ill-spirited. What do you do with that? Does it eventually go away?

    It's not something I'm overly concerned about, since it's not really affecting my day-to-day life. However, I'd like to get to a point where just hearing her name or seeing her picture doesn't get me po'ed.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    You can't hold it in... You have to find a way to vent.

    We have a woodburning furnace... husband found me a small sledgehammer, and I beat the snot out of logs to break them into small enough pieces to fit in the furnace. Found out the hatchet was not a good idea. Also, punching large stuffed animals repeatedly helps - they're firmer than pillows, but you don't have to worry about hurting them or yourself (just be careful if they're up against something).

    Artsy craftsy stuff helps some people. I do a lot of that - not usually when I'm full-on angry though.
  3. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    Lol Step...busting the snot out of firewood is the boys' job...they actually LOVE it. In fact, it's one of the things difficult child 2 does when he's have a grumpy day...he'll go split firewood, since our primary heat for the main section of the house is the fireplace. My job, in that department, is the chainsaw - to buck the logs into fireplace size. Last time I tried to split wood, the maul got stuck in the log & when I lifted the whole thing to tap it through, it slipped in mid swing. I wound up trying to split the log with my bear knuckles. lol.

    That was last year...my 2nd "odd" trip to the ER in a 30 day period...the first being a pillow fighting injury where difficult child 2 tried to deflect the pillow & wound up slamming my wrist into the edge of the bathroom door jam instead...which was the old fashioned concrete-lined moisture barrier wall - ouch! Needless to say, the ER folks look at me funny when I come in...I always have a funny story to go along with my injuries. It's never a "normal" injury. lol. My boys still tease me about the doctor saying "Ms. J, I've never seen a pillow do that before." as they were taking me to have my giant purple wrist x-rayed. Poor difficult child 2 just kept saying "I'm sorry, Mom. I didn't mean to. I'm sorry. Are you okay?" lol. Luckily, nothing broken for either ER trip...just lots of bruising, swelling, and in the case of the knuckle splitting log, a few stitches.

    I'm only allowed to use power tools with safety features. lol. The boys say I'm too dangerous for hand tools. ;)

    Normally, my remodel therapy works wonders for angry days. Unfortunately, I'm not doing any demolition at the moment. :( I'd rather not destroy the dining room walls I JUST finished painting.

    The hard part is that when it's difficult child 1-related anger, I can't really focus on anything productive. I just want to scream and pound on something. Things with stuffing just don't really do it for me. I need the satisfaction of something cracking, breaking, or really requiring physical activity. There's just not that much stuff around here at the moment that fills that bill. So instead, I stew for a few hours and feel miserable. Sometimes it can take me half the day to settle my feathers enough to do something productive...which can really throw a monkey wrench into my day if I have a lot of deadlines.

    I know it won't just go away on its own...not without a whole lot of time. But I do need to find a way to minimize it or vent it somehow when it does happen. I don't think driving to difficult child 1's town, dragging her out into the street, and throwing her over my knee would be productive. Although, I would imagine I'd feel better, even if only for a minute or two. lol.
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I think the first thing you need to do is give yourself permission to be really, really angry...and tell yourself that it's OK. Sometimes, by trying o rationalize our emotions (I KNOW I shouldn't be feeling this way...) we make it harder to get rid of those bad feelings.

    Second, you DO need to find an outlet. Many times, if I can't shake something - I will post it here. I find that I get responses that help me look it at from a different persepctive, make me laugh, or sometimes just let me know that I am not alone. It makes me feel better to hear that "Yes, difficult child is being a jerk"...and I'm not just going crazy making a mountain out of a molehill.

    And if you can get that anger moving outward, I think it will subside.

    It also helps if you can detach a bit and not take it so personally when difficult child acts up. Easier said than done sometimes - but necessary.

    Hang in there!

    (PS - I learned on another thread that we are neighbors! I live in the CSRA, too...)
  5. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Watching our kids screw up their lives in infuriating. How do I deal with it? Honestly? Therapy. That's the best way I've worked through my anger, my despair, my absolute-pull-my-hair-out-frustration with my Youngest in particular. She's making decisions and putting herself and her children through a situation that is just incomprehensible to me right now, and I'm furious about it, not to mention heartbroken. However, it's not my situation to bear, it's hers. My anger isn't going to help her want to change her situation, and if it did, she would be changing it for the wrong reasons. She's the one that needs to get angry and change her situation, because *she* is fed up about it, not because I'm fed up about it. My anger comes out of my frustration with having no control over the situation.. except it's not mine to control, anyway. Dealing with my own anger is all part of my own detachment process. Boy, is it difficult. I'm grateful that I have a wonderful therapist to help me through it, I don't think I could do it without her. Not with my sanity intact, anyway.

    Of course, banging things around/hitting things in a safe environment doesn't hurt, either :) At this point I'm just glad she isn't within driving distance or that something I'd hit might be her fiance....
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Odd, but Nichole was asking me what I do with the anger this afternoon.................... She came over to do laundry hoping either Katie or M would drop in so she could rip them a new one herself. She can't understand why I don't just lose it on them in a huge way.

    I dunno. I do get angry, furious actually, from time to time. And there has been more than once I've wanted to deck both katie and M..........well with M I have a whole fantasy life of creative ways to help him meet his maker going on......lol But much of the time I find that laughter does it for me. I mean c'mon..........their lies are out right pathetic, completely unbelievable, and they do it so horribly. The whopper stories that come out of M's mouth are so outragious that I'm usually sitting there thinking "You seriously think I'm actually buying this garbage?" And I have all I can do to keep a straight face............and well I confess, I've busted up laughing on him more than once.

    It does seem if I spend more than 3 days with them I am ready to commit murder. That appears to be my limit. I am human, afterall, and I can only take so many outlandish tall tales, outright lies, and complete utter laziness while wanting to mooch off me, the system, or anyone who happens to come along. So humor only works to a certain point. But humor has carried me through many a year living with difficult children.

    Katie has always been this way, but as an adult it is much much more intensified, so I'm rather used to it with her. I ignore what comes out of her mouth and make her do whatever it is she is supposed to do anyway, just as I did when she was growing up. Since Katie is used to that..........she does it because she knows bucking me doesn't work. I am the Queen of Passive Aggression, I was taught by the best. M is just an utter disaster of a human being, no other way to put it.

    And like you, I do distance myself from Katie and M as much as possible because I know I've got that 3 day limit thing and if it goes past that I'm likely to just blow a gasket. I figure the world has a far better chance of teaching them than I do of them listening to me. Although I don't expect them to learn.......I expect shortly they will lose the kids.....which they will of course blame everyone but themselves.......and they'll wind up begging on the streets or worse.

    I don't understand the mentality. So I also spend a lot of my time just shaking my head in utter amazement at their stupidity and lack of common sense.:groan::sigh:
  7. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    OMG Hound Dog...3 days?!? Oh no. One of us would be in jail and the other in the morgue. I think 30 minutes is my limit before I'm ready to rip her a new one...no matter what she says or does...even mundane things. In my eyes, all she should be consumed with at this point in her life is getting her proverbial poop in a group so she can be a real mom to Rae. All it takes is hearing "so and so and I went to such and such place the other day..." and I'm ready to go off. I want to scream "And why were you going ANYWHERE but to look for a job, or take some parenting classes, or even CALL YOUR CHILD!?!"

    I think that's where a lot of my anger comes from...the situation with Rae. I just don't understand how she can be so cold and uncaring towards that sweet little girl. After the years upon years of days where I just wanted to walk away and never come back...I stuck it out because I love my kids...that's what us Moms do. Even though, given how violent difficult child 2 was at the time and the living in constant fear, I don't think anyone who knew our situation would have blamed me much for throwing in the towel. But still...I stuck it out. I endured it all. Yet here she is...too darn lazy to get a job, finish school, or do anything useful with herself, and she doesn't even call her child to say "Hi sweetie. Mommy loves you." Nothing. Nadda.

    Grrr...that kind of calousness just drives me to the very edge of my restraint.
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I try to distance myself from them and do something that makes me happy. It will put me in a better frame of mind should I ever be in the position to help them. There's no way to help them with the anger that results from being too closely involved in their lives.
  9. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    Ya know, Witz, I hadn't thought of it this way until you posted...perhaps the reason I'm not detaching "enough" at this point is because of Rae. I am VERY involved with her, taking her at least a weekend a month, usually more often, to give my sister in law a break. I'm also the one on the other end of the phone when sister in law has to deal with difficult child 1 about Rae, then needs to vent to someone who understands. In a round-about way, that is keeping me involved in difficult child 1's life...albeit indirectly.

    I'm the one sister in law calls when she needs to scream and stomp and call difficult child 1 ugly names before the kids get off the bus.

    I'm the one sister in law calls when she's $30 short on the power bill, or is in a panic because her van blew YET ANOTHER tire, leaving her on the side of the road with no spare and kids in tow.

    I see how sister in law is struggling with her own family and financial issues, not including the added stress of taking on Rae.

    Don't get me wrong...she loves Rae as much as her own kids...she doesn't complain...but I see the struggles. I hear the worries. I know the financial strain she's under. So even though I'm not dealing directly with difficult child 1, I am having to deal with the trickle-down effect of the things she does/says/doesn't do, etc.

    Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do about it. I'm the only one sister in law can call who doesn't tell her "and why did you voluntarily take all this on?" I know why she did it, and no matter how I feel about her personally, I'm grateful that she did. I couldn't. There's just no way. The only other option would have put Rae in foster care and I just couldn't live with that. If me being the one on the other end of the phone while sister in law vents is what it takes to make sure Rae is safe, happy, and with family that loves her, I'll gladly stock up on tums, go to therapy, and deal with difficult child 1 making me so darn angry I could spit nails.

    But now I think I understand why the anger isn't subsiding...even after a year and a half. Every time I see Rae and she calls me or sister in law "mama", every time I hear sister in law stressing over money, utility bills, car repairs, etc., it just pours salt in that open wound. It just makes me angry with difficult child all over again. Even though I'm sitting here thinking "but I'm NOT involved in her life...I stay as far from it as I can manage" I realize that my involvement with Rae keeps me indirectly involved with the seedier side of difficult child 1's life...all the things she's not doing to be a responsible, decent human being. Guess there's not much I can do about that. I sure won't give up Rae, nor will I give up being sister in law's sounding board when she needs it. I'll just have to figure out something to do with the nail-spitting angry junk difficult child 1 brings out in me as a result.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hex............I think you're right. It would be impossible for me to watch someone else sacrifice to give love and care to my grandkids, then have to listen to the parents ect..........I'd be at a low boil at all times too. If I had my grands in my care and katie or M came around spouting the crud they do now, I'd go off big time, every time most likely as it puts a different spin on it. sister in law is doing the very things difficult child should be doing concerning Rae.....and it's sort of like having your face rubbed in it........although I know that isn't intended at all. It just makes it so much harder to distance yourself from it.

    Sort of like Nichole wanting to go off on her sister over the xmas present disaster after the holiday. She was livid, still is livid, and can't for the life of her figure out why I'm not livid. I am ticked, but I have an easy solution.......I just stop helping. Evan has a birthday in 2 wks. I already informed Katie I don't do birthday parties. If I buy a gift it will be a very cheap gift as I expect it not to last long. Sad for Evan, but I see no point in putting money into something that may last a week at best. I won't do another holiday. Every child deserves at least one magical xmas. I did that for katie's kids this year. There won't be a repeat performance. This is the 2nd time I've bought the kids a full wardrobe.......never again. Time for their parents to step up to the plate, or to back down and admit they can't handle the job. But in doing what I did do..........it sets the standard bar higher for Katie and M to have to meet. The kids have had a big taste of "normal" these past couple of months........I see the effects already in the older two. If Katie and M had half a brain they'd hate my guts right now. Kayla and Alex balk, confront, demand to know why their parents aren't meeting "normal" standards.......in the process are making Katie and M miserable.

    In the meantime, I know the grands are safe, off the street, have decent food to eat, and are back in a decent school system that honestly cares for the kids welfare. The rest is a wait and see situation.

    I do know that I've thought on this since you posted. And I think the reason I can detach as much as I can............is because of all those years of no contact with katie and the kids. After surviving her vanishing act the first time......surviving grieving for them as if they'd died.......I know that I will make it through this where ever it leads. I love kayla and Alex dearly and I'm growing to love Evan far more than I ever expected to. But due to that 6 yr absence I'm not as close with them emotionally as I'd have been if they'd been here. And I've been cautious not to allow myself to get that close to them again for now. Once bitten, twice shy. I'm waiting to see how this plays out before I open my heart fully again.

    Rae is doubly fortunate to have sister in law and you in her life loving her. She's a very lucky little girl.

  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Wow hex that would be hard and you are right it keeps you involved....and it is not like sister in law is calling and venting about someone you are not related to. I know that when someone is venting about my child it is hard not to somehow take it personally even when I know they are absolutely right. So I wonder when you hear those vents if it doesn't also take you to the place of wondering what could I have done? If so then maybe that is where the detachment work needs to go....
  12. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    You have valid points, Toughlovin. I think I passed the "what could I have done differently" phase a long time ago, though. I know there's nothing anyone could have done differently or better, at this point. I may never make Mom of the Year, but I can honestly say that there's NOTHING we didn't try when it comes to helping difficult child 1. Therapy, medications, IFS, natural consequences, mentors, you name it...we tried everything available, short of shipping her off to boarding school or boot camp, although I tried that too. Unfortunately, the only programs she qualified for required her to be 16 or older. Once she hit 16, I started calling...only to have to revoke her enrollment when we found out she was pregnant with Rae. (If I hadn't been flying under the radar with arrangements...I would have suspected she got pregnant on purpose, but she never knew about the enrollment...I went so far as to go to my best friend's house to make calls, have enrollment info sent to her house, and made arrangements for difficult child's pick up away from the house.) Heck, we even moved 45 miles away from her old haunts to try to change her ability to make bad choices. It didn't help. Nothing did. She bit the hand of every single person who's EVER tried to help her.

    If I can't say anything else, I can at least say I know I tried everything available to us. It took me awhile to get to that point where I knew that, through and through to the marrow of my bones, and didn't feel the need to justify or defend myself in that regard.

    Now, it just disgusts me to see how she treats her child. Absolutely, completely disgusts me. If it were simply a matter of immaturity or lack of knowledge, I think I could get over it. But the level of her coldness, bitterness, nastiness, cruelty, and general behavior just turns my stomach. There is absolutely NO attachment to Rae...no mother's love of any kind. That's not immaturity...that's something else entirely. It sickens me. It really does. I wish I could chalk it up to drugs or drinking...but she was off everything for months before Rae was born and months after. (I know...she was glued to my hip or the hip of another adult at all times and the docs tested her regularly.) Something in her is just...broken somehow. I can't even feel sympathy for her in that regard, because she REFUSES to get any kind of help. Everything is someone else's fault. I didn't love her enough. I never taught her anything. difficult child 2's meltdowns caused it all. Her father's death caused it all. Nobody loves me. Nobody understands.

    What's sad is that at one point, she had planned to give Rae up...until her boyfriend-of-the-month and his mother found out she had a trust fund (albeit a small one.) Suddenly, they wanted to "take care of her and the baby." She even asked me to sign custody of her over to this kids' mother...after they had been dating less than a month! Suddenly, she wanted to keep the baby. She wanted to be a mom. Couldn't bear the thought of giving her up. Until I banned this kid AND his mom from coming anywhere NEAR my home or difficult child 1...under threat of restraining orders and criminal charges. (boyfriend's Mom was, without my permission, sneaking difficult child 1 off to some quack wiccan doctor she knew...trying to apply for state assistance for difficult child 1, stating she was homeless, etc. I don't care about the wiccan part...I have friends who are wiccan...but this quack didn't even have a license to practice medicine!) When difficult child 1 stopped seeing that kid, just a few weeks before Rae was born, her interest in parenthood started obviously wanning.

    When Rae was only 2 weeks old, difficult child 1 fell asleep on the couch with her. Rae rolled off onto the hardwood floor, hitting the coffee table on the way down. difficult child 1 wouldn't even pick up the phone to call the pediatrician! She was more worried about my being upset that she fell asleep with Rae on the couch and told me to stop yelling at her and telling her what to do. (I wasn't even yelling...yet...just telling her to get the doctor's number from the phone book or my cell while I checked Rae for injuries.) She wasn't the least bit concerned if Rae was okay...just that she was "always getting in trouble for not doing something right." ??? Ugh. I could tell horror stories about difficult child 1's lack of parental affection of any kind. Which just infuriates me all the more when she starts in with the "she's MY daughter" ****. Heck, she referred to Rae as "it" until just a few months ago. "It's MY child." "I carried it for nine months, not you."

    IT?? IT?? "IT" has a name, darn it. "IT" is a living, breathing, human child with needs and feelings. She's not a bargaining chip, defense mechanism, or ticket to a free state ride.

    Ugh...I better go find something productive to do...my feathers are ruffling just talking about difficult child 1's lack of parental feelings of any kind.

    Yup...I think you guys have definitely helped me to nail down the source of my "just want to slap her" anger towards difficult child 1. It's most definitely my mom/grandma defensive reflex kicking in. Don't have a clue what to do about it...but I guess that's just something I'll have to find a way to work around.
  13. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    You certainly have good reason to be angry with her! Sometimes you just have to acknowledge the anger to yourself which you are doing. You can't get rid of the anger because you can't change the source of it, and you keep being reminded of it. I think the best you can do is know it is there, let it be, and take care of yourself.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I truly understand your anger. Really. Your dtr is probably somewhere on the personality disorder scale. I would say she has a healthy dose of borderline along with antisocial and some traits of histrionic thrown in there for good measure. You simply cannot parent a person like that anymore. I have a good website for parents of kids with borderline PD if you want it. It is for adult kids and teenage kids. Oh...its for the parents of those aged kids. Thats what I meant. It might be a good outlet for you because really, dealing with one PD is about the same as dealing with any other. You just cant walk on eggshells around her and set up those boundaries which you have done.

    Cory has been a good father with Keyana...physically. She adores him. He loves her - as much as he is capable of loving another human being. He does not get the whole "you put your child before yourself, to the exclusion of all else and everyone else" deal. I know he loves her but we are more her parents than he is. We support her. He will buy for him and Mandy before he even thinks about what Keyana needs or god forbids wants. He bought her one thing for Xmas...a 29 dollar bike on Black Friday and I had to get that and have him pay me back. He stood in line and bought Mandy a laptop. Then he complained that he didnt have anymore money to get Keyana anything else. Not even stuff from Family Dollar for 5 or 10 bucks. But they both went out and bought clothes for each other and new shoes. Keyana needs new shoes. She has one pair at her moms house. The two pair I bought in August dont fit her anymore. Notice I said I bought. I pay 55 a month for dance lessons, buy all her uniforms, all her dance shoes, her recital costume. I spend at least 200 bucks 3 times a year on clothes with a few extra items thrown in here and there like socks, underwear and tee shirts.

    Mandy went out and bought one of their friends little girls a pair of shoes and a new outfit because the mom hadnt been able to buy the girl anything new in a while. HUH? Cory has a dtr to buy for and you guys are buying for another child? I dont get it. She bought a $40 pair of shoes for that kid. They could have bought Keyana two pairs of shoes for that.

    This is the stuff that ticks me off because Mandy is just as big a borderline PD person as anyone I have ever met. She rules Cory and he lets her to the detriment of his child.

    I just ignore and I refuse to allow him to tell me anything about what I can or will do with Keyana because as far as Im concerned, he doesnt have the right to tell me what I can do with her. She is mine. I actually have the full blessing of the mother to do whatever I please with Keyana so Cory be damned. Cory really cant overrule that. He doesnt want to get in the middle of a war. I actually think the two grandmothers would win in a custody battle for the grandkids.
  15. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    We found it helpful to acknowledge the hurt under the anger. There are no words to describe the horror of watching a child self destruct. There is comfort to be found though, in hearing from those who love you and who have lived through the horror with you, the words "I am so sorry this happened to you, and to me, and to our child." husband and I found that saying, and hearing, those words released a well of unacknowledged grief. We were able to find that wordless place of compassion for one another and then, were able to extend that same compassion to ourselves. When we did that, the anger became a thing separate from us, and we were able to see and name and deal with it more appropriately.

    The grief we feel at the loss of our child (and we do feel an overwhelming sense of loss and confusion at what has happened to us, and to our family) could then be addressed as a separate issue.

    It is difficult to find compassion for ourselves when our children are in danger, and impossible to rest easy with the decisions we must make as we parent our difficult child children.

    Know that i wish you and your family all good things.

  16. Bean

    Bean Member

    Yeah, detaching helps.

    This was the focus of my last therapy session: anger, resentment.

    Basically she said I had every reason to feel the way I felt. But that holding onto it wasn't helping me.

    Forgiveness is huge. It's not saying that you've forgotten, it's just saying that you're going to give up some of those hurt feelings from the past, that they are valid, but that you're letting them go. It doesn't mean you have to give trust where it isn't due. But you're not going to keep hashing out the same thing.

    It is hard when you have a difficult child, though. I mean, I've forgiven a lot of stuff that happened 3 years ago, when my daughter was living here. The stealing, screaming, lying, disrupting, abuse, fears... it was freaking horrific. I literally have PTSD from dealing with it. Creeps up on me a lot. But I do forgive her. I really have let that go.

    Hard thing is, she continues to be hurtful. Just this past summer she was with us for a couple months and was mean, cruel, abusive, and stole from us. She told some horrible lies that left me in quite a state. Pushed me over the edge of being able to manage life without medication. I don't mean that to be funny, I mean it honestly. I haven't quite gotten to the point of forgiving her for that yet. I'm working through it.

    Time is a huge healer. And if you can detach, put some space between you and your child, that helps immensely, I think. When they aren't with you on a day-to-day, when they have to turn the blame on themselves, you don't carry that resentment around every day, hour, minute, second.

    So, forgive. Over time. Learn to detach and remove, let go of co-dependency, and let yourself start to heal. Maybe not heal from yesterday yet. But some of the other stuff.
  17. compassion

    compassion Member

    For me, I acknowledge the feelings while working lots on detatching. I have someone I can talk to regularly , actually I have several people I talk to regularly. I also journal daily and try to be honest about the feelings. I am currently at the place where I am most angry at the illness, not the person. I do love my daughter and can express this. I cannot control or fix the illness and that is painful but I am accepting. She does not live at home but am in daily contact.
  18. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    I think.....and have thought this is a little more involved than just being angry at your daughter. Or learning how to let go of the anger. I say this because ...because......(exhale sharply) because I didn't have anger I had rage. I had emotions built up inside of me so violent at one point I swear to you had I been allowed to be anywhere near the person I was "angry" at? I'm not sure what I would have done to that person if I had been given a chance at one point. Of course at first it was like grief. I mean people say there are stages to grief, and I'm all with that cliche', but anger? There are stages to anger? I just wasn't sure. I mean okay - you get angry with someone, or you are upset, or they keep doing something to you and you get out and out infuriated or you are gulliable, and you are red hot - but it's not like that. This was different. This was a mix of so many emotions I literally didn't know which way to go with what I felt. I was guilt, I was angry, I was rage, I was remorse, i was hurt, I was sadness like I'm sure anyone else can imagine - but not in my heart because it's mine. I was confused, I wanted revenge, I wanted eyes, I wanted knowledge I wanted - so many things....I was tired......I was ashamed, I was I mean my list just for one emotion seemed endles and just that? Just that wore me out and in the end? I didn't really know HOW to feel about anything anymore.

    With your sister? I hear between the lines - more than appreciation, more than understanding........I see so many more dynamics there - it's almost like you just wish she would come out and yell at you maybe for taking on this burden or blame YOU for this - once and for all so you could just have it out but no - she doesn't and I think maybe - maybe there's some guilt there for you - and there shouldn't be. I could be way off base. I dunno....Just sounds like you are holding her up so high for this wonderful deed......that it's somehow put you down....and why? You don't deserve to be any lower. You're wonderful. You should know that - maybe you've forgotten or maybe you think because of your daughter being (here) and your sister taking Rae that puts you (here)? No maam. Whether you see that or not - between the lines - I do. I'm not reading anything into that at all.

    Then you seem to have this enormous guilt about hating your kid. Well sister - join the club - (semi-snort) WHAT dear - is to like? What recently has she done or given you to really like about her? You don't have to tell me? But that's for you to figure out and build on. If there is nothing....nothing at all? Then distance yourself from her like Witz suggested. Doesn't have to be forever - but the sooner you start the easier it gets for YOU. Janet I think hit the nail on the head with what I thought to be a fairly accurate diagnosis (armchair style too) and wow - isnt' that a hard blow to deal with enough already? If that IS what she is? THAT in itself is hard enough how about giving yourself at least 5 years to just deal with that? But you can't you have other things - and unfortunately we have to move faster than most parents or get sucked under. That's why you have friends like us to tell you - GUESS WHAT HEX? There's nothing wrong with you - you're as normal as everyone else. There's no time limit on figuring this out, there's no right or wrong way to love your kid - but there are ways that your friends can bring to light things that you are doing to YOURSELF which are really being too hard on you - I try to remember if I was perfect I'd walk on water - and then laugh when it gets so cold outside that puddles freeze - cause even when I step on those? They crack. (and I'm still not technically walking on water) - so I've not beaten the game. Know what I mean??

    YOU ARE.........a great Mom. A wonderful Grandma. A FANTASTIC friend. A PHENOMINAL wife. A SUPER DAUGHTER. For all I know - AN AWESOME NEIGHBOR......SUPERB DOG OWNER. and you need to tell yourself these positive affirmations every day. I'm A GREAT SISTER. See no where in there does it say - I'm not allergic to cryptonite - change in a phone booth, lift small planes, wear a cape - allthough if you desire to do the cape thing - I have a web site....or you can just use a sheet or a large towel ( oh I can't tell you how I know that) =but don't try to jump off your roof - it does not work.

    And just maybe........MAYBE when you give yourself permission to mess up - at least 50 times a day - ????? You'll be okay.
    Give your kid the same permission too - just don't worry about how she's going to wake up tomorrow and fix HER messups - let that be HER life.
    Give your sister the same permission - and let those things be HER life........
    and so on.......
    and so on....
    and so on...
    Just food for thought - from a very small kitchen.......
    Hugs & Love

    oh and what did i do about the anger? rage?

    Well I started going to therapy.....and specifically dealt with anger management techniques....and all of them I use today. Some of them became habit - that I don't even realize I do because they are habit, and others I do when I get so angry - I can't see straight - and they really REALLY work well to calm, and allow me to gain control of myself, my situation and not allow anyone to control ME. INCLUDING my kids. No two situations are the same - but a lot of the same junk will happen with your kids - and when you see it coming and have done the same exercises in anger managment over and over? You start to know just by feel - when to walk away - and when to just literally put it in a bubble and mentally blow it away before it even gets to you. Not kidding. It becomes an "Oh uhh huh" moment. and you don't even think about it like an RRRRRR ARRRrrrrgh moment. THEN? It's wonderful. And when the kid walks away going rrrrrrr ARRRRRRRRRR you're like? Huh? Wonder what THAT was about? You start to realize anger management REALLY paid off.
  19. auntalva

    auntalva Adoptive Single Mom of 2

    Hmm . . . the is a very interesting and important discussion. I would like to address two topics: the underlying cause of anger, and, getting distance (what others have called 'detaching'):

    I believe that ANGER is the outward sign of another emotion, and that emotion usually is FEAR. As parents of older teenagers or younger adults who have very challenging or dysfunctional behaviors, we might be:
    • Afraid that the child will fail in life, or hurt herself or others
    • Afraid that we have failed, we deserve some blame, have not been 'good-enough' parents
    • Afraid that the child will continue to depend on us (financially, emotionally) and we will never get our own life back
    • Afraid of being judged harshly, because the child doesn't display these behaviors outside the home
    • Afraid of letting go
    • Afraid of our feelings (for example: disliking our child; or, shame or humiliation)
    • and other fears
    While of course there are strategies for 'managing' anger, I think it is most important that we do some self-examination and try to determine the precise nature of the underlying FEARS behind the anger. If we get help, possibly through therapy, counseling, or family or church support, we might find that there are flaws in our thinking and that many of these fears are unreasonable. Even fears that are reasonable can be dealt with in healthy ways, and our lives much improved if we understand our own feelings and accept things that we cannot change.

    Secondly, you must detach or 'get distance' between yourself and your grown child because it has become a toxic relationship. To borrow a page from the literature regarding abusive/co-dependent relationships, it can be said that stepping away from this child and her problems is a responsible choice for your own health and well-being (and others in your family) You will be choosing:
    • PEACE instead of turmoil (if this child has been making the home into a war zone)
    • DIGNITY over defamation (if this child has been spreading lies about you, or using abusive language toward you)
    • HONESTY instead of deceipt or manipulation
    This assumes that you have done everything within your power to provide a wholesome "nurture" environment for your child, whether a natural child or adopted. Now it is time to let go, and allow the child to take responsibility for what happens next. After all, there is NO 'perfect' parent, you probably did the best you could, and it is unhealthy for everyone concerned if we continue to 'rescue' our grown children or allow them to place blame upon us. "Let go, and let God . . ."