Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Really Not Good

As some of you who follow my main blog Meaninless Meandering from a Madmother would have seen that yesterday was not a good day, and had started with a not good night. What I neglected (chose not to) mention over there was the incident which triggered the bad night.

I am married to the calmest, most patient man in the universe, Big Boy. All along this autism journey we have been on exactly the same page with our children, agreeing on our methods, making sure Boy 2 does not suffer due to having an older sibling with ASD, believing in the ability of our oldest to grow into a functioning, happy adult. Well, most days anyway. But everybody has a breaking point.

The night before last Big Boy was helping/supervising both boys with their homework. And for the first time in over a decade, he lost his temper and screamed at our children. Not yelled, screamed. Now I am the loud, scream at them person in this relationship. I am the you get your arse moving NOW ranter. They are used to me and my Madmother ways, and usually respond quickly knowing Mummy has reached THAT point where we cannot push her buttons any further and we'll fall into line as if the last thrity minutes of ignoring/whining/arguing/cheekiness had never happened.

 I do think they deserved it. There are times they take full advantage of their placid Dad, and can be downright disrespectful. They just chose the wrong time this time. He is tired, stressed from work, unwell. He had had enough. And he blew.

Don't get me wrong, he did not yell abuse, it was more along the lines of "Enough! You both need to start showing some respect as I'm trying to help you here. This is not MY homework, it is yours and either you stop arguing and start appreciating me being here, or else you can just struggle through by yourselves..." But screamed at top volume of his grown man voice.

The problem is they did not expect it. The issue is that it truly scared them. The sad thing is that it pulled the emotional rug out from under their feet. Boy 1 was devastated, and did not stop shaking and sobbing for the next three hours. Boy 2 was saying "I'm numb. Is it normal to feel nothing? I cannot feel anything..." I am sure he was in shock.

I held them and tried to calm and reassure them both, but it meant a very late night and two boys who would not sleep without Mum lying close. Which is why I ended up on the floor, cold and stiff at 1am in the morning.

My poor, poor boys. All three of them.


  1. Oh honey .. (((((HUGS))))) for all of you!

  2. Oh, sweetie, what a time for you all! My heart goes out to you. We're human, and sometimes we blow up, but I always have to question whether the "clean-up" is worth the relief.

    I so hope you ALL are feeling better now.

  3. Oh, sweetie, I *so* understand that feeling! It is SO horrible!

    Honestly, my wife and I were pretty even in our "mad-parent" qualifications, but I was, mostly, more of the yeller. When she did, it was a *big* deal, and they knew it, but honestly, I think we did a good job of giving the maxed-out parent space to have their feelings, to lose it, but also to get the break they so obviously needed.

    Becoming a solo parent has *really* fucked that up!! I'm honestly somewhat more even keel than when there were two of us, but now, if I lose it, there's no one to "protect" them (or to give me a break). Sam (13) gets confrontational and won't back down, but Ella (7) gets scared. And there have been a couple of times when she's been *really* scared. And nothing makes you feel like the ultimate shit than to see your little girl cowering, trembling, afraid... afraid of YOU. Makes me sick to my stomach just to think of it.

    So, give your guy a hug, as I'm sure you have. Hug your kids; maybe think of something fun you can all do together, or ways he can reconnect with his less-than-insane parenting self. The kids will be OK. So will you and your husband.

    But, yes, it really, REALLY sucks. (((Hugs)))

  4. Wow....

    I am the designated "emo" parent (yelling at times, quick to lose patience, lightning fast to get grumpy). Honestly, I rarely have to discipline my daughter. My ASD son I have daily and frequent issues with him. And there are more days than I can count where the minute my much calmer husband walks through the door that I hand him and his issues over readily and handily. I take this for granted.

    Jay, your comments were POWERFUL. Thank you for sharing your life, your frustrations, and your spot on honesty, but most of all your perspective.

  5. Thanks everyone. I love that I can come here and people understand without judgement.

  6. I just re-read my comment, and I'm afraid it may have come out wrong. Whenever I blow up at my kids, I spend so much time afterwards in clean-up mode that I kick myself for losing it in the first place. When my husband blows up at either kid, I'm the peacemaker then, too. (Being a peacemaker is overrated, in my opinion. :) I often wish that I could hold it together better -- and I used to -- but since puberty hit, my patience just runs out!


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