My emotions have run the gamut today. I was sending one of my kids to the tent (our glorified outside "play room"). They were escalating. I was in front of them. They picked up a rock - the perfect rock - light enough to throw hard, but big enough to do a good amount of damage.
Crap, it hurt.
I cannot explain all the things I'm thinking and feeling. I'll try, though.
* I knew they were terrified about me leaving for the night on Thursday.
* I did not stop to think just how horrific it was for them to be alone so much with their dad in our trailer.
* I knew where it was all coming from, but didn't just give them the words - I was waiting on them to do all the work.
* I have no idea what it is like to be my child and to have lived their life - I think I might have done worse than throw a rock at my mom's head.
* I spent twenty minutes talking them down, while they grabbed my glasses, pinched/squeezed by boobs, scratched and while my goose egg grew about three inches off my head.
* OUCH (I was thinking that a lot).
* It's very important to me to help them not feel shame, now that they are regulated. Hurting others just makes them sicker.
* Holy hell, I wanted to hit my kid. They immediately ran, which protected me from my own fight/flight response.
* I really don't know how to explain what it feels like to be so angry, and so guilty, and yet so worried for their heart all at the same time.
* I put the rock in a special place to keep. Why did I do that? Why am I crying writing that sentence?
* What if they had knocked me out? What would that have done to them?
As my child was running from me. I said, "You know I'm going to restrain you and take you to the tent where you can't hurt me or yourself again." They actually stopped running and turned around, putting themself in the position to be restrained. In the tent was the gouging and scratching and pinching of boobage and bending in half of the glasses (yes, my favorite, funky glasses). I got nose-to-nose. "What else, honey? What else do you have to do to know I love you? It's okay to do it, because I can't stop. I cannot stop loving you, and I know you cannot stop loving me." I started to cry. THEY STARTED TO CRY - not faky cry, but just a natural welling up of tears.
I was able to get them moving on to something else before I collapsed in my trailer in a heap of crying - wailing ugly cry face. It was feeling the goose egg which pushed me over the edge. I am focusing my rage on those who have hurt my child before. I am focusing my eyes ... well, as best I can after a minor head injury.
I have already talked with our therapist, who has guided us through our day and will be there over the coming weeks. Right now we are in the raw after-stages. We will utilize our resources as we move forward.
I gave my kid permission to be okay, and to be forgiven, and to regulate and know they and I were okay ... because we are. Michael and I are now giving ourselves permission to NOT feel guilty over forgetting the reality of their past, and expecting them to do more than any human could do in their shoes.
I'm also giving myself permission to take more ibuprophen than what the bottle says.
I love my child.
I hate the circumstances which shaped their brain.
And I hate rocks.
(photo by Ann Jadne)