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I talk about my family, my divorce, and a lot about MAKEUP.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The kids aren't alright

Each day lately has been exactly like the last. Go to work, call someone to beg for a ride home from work, walk through the door, "Hi guys!", make lunch, eat lunch with the kids, feel suddenly completely exhausted, lay down for a while (don't sleep, no matter how much I want to), get up, try to get kids to clean up their mess.

This is where things get really ugly. Every day at almost precisely 4pm (about the time I get up and tell them to clean), my kids turn into monsters. They grow fangs and claws and gnash their terrible teeth and all that.

Today I snapped. I lost my cool completely. This is how that went for me.

me: *yelling, out of control* THIS IS THE THIRD DAY OF YOU KIDS IGNORING WHAT I HAVE ASKED YOU TO DO! THAT IS IT!!!
Asher: Mom, I am scared.
me: I don't care! (in my defense, he says he's afraid of the dark every time he doesn't want to go brush his teeth or clean his room)
Ash: No, I'm REALLY scared of something!
me: WHAT?
Ash: I am scared of YOU.
me: You should be. You don't listen to me.

This is where it gets good.

Ash: You were yelling so I was just downstairs in my bed all alone. I was scared of Dad, too. I was not JUST scared of you.
me: Asher, I've been yelling because you guys aren't listening to me. You used to listen to me, but you don't anymore, so now I have to yell because you don't hear me. I don't know what changed.
Ash: Yes.
me: *finally calming down* Do you know what changed?
Ash: Yeah. When you stopped living with Dad.
me: Oh. *stunned silence*

Don't kids have a fabulous way of putting you RIGHT in your place?

Ash: Sometimes I have to stay at Dad's, sometimes I get to *chokes up* stay here.
me: Yeah. Why did you stop listening when we stopped living with Dad?
Ash: Well, I know that you and Dad didn't want to fight anymore. It's just, the thing is, you and Dad work together, right?
me: Yes.
Ash: Well I was just sad that you didn't work together anymore, in the same house.
me: *trying not to cry*
Ash: I know you will be mad about this, but well, I just forgot how to control my energy.

A pathetic apology followed on my part. Asher moved on to cleaning up the living room and playing with Legos. Hours after this conversation, my heart is still aching. He knows EXACTLY what's going on, what the reasons for his feelings are, and his inability to control them. HE KNOWS. 

And - of course he does!

He's six years old, people. He is six years old and understands the situation better than I do. Why was I going around assuming that because they looked alright, the kids were alright

7 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh. This one really pulled at me. As a child of divorce, I had a quick flashback. It's amazing how much kids feel things that go undiscussed. Hang in there. Most divorced kids turn out as dysfunctional as the rest. Some even write really funny blogs.

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    1. Oh no, don't say that... lol Thank you for commenting Marianne. Hopefully they will be ok. :(

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  2. Keep talking about it. I think it's good that he opened the discussion so you can all work through the issues together. Keep talking!

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  4. Oh, oh, what was removed? My thought is this - they also pick up on the fact that your frustration in your life comes through in your reaction to them. I know from my own life. You know from my own life, I'm sure.
    But, if you can focus on them and put them first they'll come through it OK. They can also learn some good ways to deal with their losses and to find the gains that come too. Remember, there were moments before the divorce too. It's just that this one is the guilt-making because you know the D word. They can also appreciate the extra attention they get from Steve now that he doesn't just take them for granted, always there - in the way. It really can be quality time vs quantity if you both make it that way for them. They need to feel the love but that's not just for kids in divorce. They all need it and few get enough of it.

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  5. Aww, that's tough. I guess it's hard to remember that they are just as stressed out as you are. And they have fewer ways to vent about it. You guys will get through this. It's still very new for them.

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  6. Awe hun! You know I come from divorced parents and I was a year younger than Ash. I know how they feel and all the mixed emotions. I'm glad that you and Steve are able to be civil enough for your kids. That right there makes a huge difference on the kids, believe me on this one, I had the exact opposite with my parents (and still do). I turned out alright, went through some hard times, but in the end, look at me today. Your kids will be ok and having divorced parents doesn't mean your child will become dysfunctional either. You can always call me or text me hun. I'm sorry I've been absent lately! Love you!

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