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Summing it up...

Well, tonight there was an incident that kind of sums up what going on with me atm (wrt parenting)...

The boys were finally in bed (not Bryn, but the older two), and I went into the kitchen to have some yogurt and cereal and just BREATHE... I really look forward to the yogurt and cereal each night, it's like my treat. I'm also very particular about food (as some of you know), I have "phobias"... One phobia is that I can't eat food that is in a container that someone else's saliva might have come in contact with. So, I can't drink from a soft drink bottle someone else has swigged from, for example...

Anyway, so I go and get the yogurt tub (1litre tub), expecting it to be 2/3s full (I eat 1/3 each night), but instead it's only 1/3 full. Erik has been into my yogurt. He hadn't stolen any of my yogurt in weeks, but tonight he had. I know, from past times, he eats it directly from the tub with a spoon.

I stormed into his room with the tub and confront him. "You've been eating my yogurt!!!" He just looked at me with fear in his eyes, cowering in his bed, my mind raced, my heartbeat raced, what now? I wanted to hurt him, I wanted to yell at him, and threaten him, and throw the yougurt tub at him, I wanted to scare him out of ever doing this again. Each thought popped up in turn, and each time I thought, what would that achieve? He'd get upset, I'd feel sick, he wouldn't stop stealing, he'd hate me, I'd resent him, he wouldn't stop... I spat, "I don't know what to say," I stormed out.

In the kitchen, the anger raging through me, I vented at Dave, I through a towel across the kitchen. I contemplated going back into the bedroom and raging at Erik again, but it wouldn't help, it would only harm further.

I felt the powerlessness. There is nothing I can say, nothing I can do, nothing constructive anyway. I can make him pay for the fact that I won't be able to have yogurt tonight. It felt so unfair. So unfair that I can't have something nice for myself with them just taking it from me. I realise that must be how the boys feel when I take their stuff away for doing things that upset me. It's a terrible catch 22. I felt so powerless.

That's it, I feel powerless. I felt powerless as a child, and now I feel powerless as an adult. Ineffective and powerless.

Comments

Juniper said…
Huge hugs Sif! It must be so hard when you feel that Erik doesn't seem to care how *you* would feel when he steals something of yours. I think that at his age, you are not expecting to much by expecting him to respect something that he knows is *yours*. I wish I had the answers to how to change things for you.

Feeling powerless is an awful feeling - I hope you find a way to not feel so powerless. Have you discussed these feelings with your counsellor?

Hugs again Sif - you are doing your best to parent your boys as well as you can. Parenting is a learning experience. We learn as we go don't we?
Sif said…
I haven't discussed this sense of powerlessness with my counsellor yet, We've had January off. It will definitely be coming up next session though, because I feel this is where my anger stems from in regards to many things in my life.

I'm the kind of person who strives and strives and strives to get what I want. I have a lot of determination and staying power when it comes to getting something done that I want done.

It is what got me my Masters, and got me these kids and how I managed to lose 32kg last year.

In relation to my children though, that same determination and die hard attitude is ruining my relationship with my kids, both how I perceive them and how they percieve me...

But how do I let go? I don't know...
loz said…
Nothing more to add but a huge HUG
Nic and Beren said…
((hugs))
Crazy Mumma said…
Hi Sif, it's Julie from EB :-) Your feelings struck such a chord with me that I couldn't not comment, as I often had the very same feelings of powerlessness and rage - over-reacting to the smallest incident - after I had DD#1. For me, having my first child was the catalyst for bringing to the surface all the horrible feelings of insecurity and lack of self-worth I had from my childhood and had been working all my adult life to suppress/ overcome.

It's been a long five years since then, but I feel I have made tremendous progress, through constantly working on it, to the point where I sometimes impress myself with how calmly I have reacted to an incident, LOL.

An inspirational quote I read years ago and have come back often since, is from A Course In Miracles: "Nothing can hurt you unless you give it the power to do so". For me, that also means that my kids can't make me feel powerless unless I let them - although a difficult ask sometimes when functioning on bugger-all sleep!

I have to say that the biggest influence on my parenting since then is the use of "Time-Out" - not for the kids, but for ME! I don't use it so much any more thankfully, but whenever I had/ have those familiar feelings of rage and powerlessness, I remove myself from the situation as much as I can and breathe deeply for 2 minutes. At home, I go to my room and shut the door, but it's clearly a more difficult proposition in a public place; sometimes I used to just grab them by the arm (so they couldn't run away) and close my eyes for 30 seconds... The "time-out" gave me time to calm down enough to look at the situation rationally and talk to the child about it. I think you mentioned previously that you had great success doing that when E stole money from your purse?

Anyway, good luck and {{{hugs}} mate, I've been there-done-that more than once...
Sif said…
Hi Julie!

Thanks for commenting! Yes, I totally believe having children brings up a lot of deep stuff within us women, both during pregnancy, and definitely while raising the kids (and probably for men too, but I can't speak for the Y chromosonians :))...

Thanks for reminding me about time outs for me, I had tried that a few times a while back, but didn't stick with it (as so often happens with my eclectic selection of parenting tools to trial)...

I definitely think both I and my kids could benefit from me stepping away from the hot zone long enough to cool down and not escalate my own anger...
Cabrissi said…
No advice since I've not been there yet, just lots of sympathy as facing yourself and especially facing the things which are very deep rooted in ourselves, is no easy task. Actually... I do have one kinda-maybe-sorta helpful thought... maybe admitting how you feel powerless and don't like it is the first step in taking power over those feelings? Maybe it might be helpful for you to frame it in a way that works with your natural drives that want the control or power iyswim? Anyhow, huge hugs and better days soon!

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