Tuesday, February 23, 2010

a hole in my wall

Therapist: You have to be careful to not build a wall around yourself when your children hurt you.

Me: Yes, I reach out anew every day...but there are times when my self-preservation kicks in and I just check out.

Therapist: (making a circular motion with her hands and bumping fists together) But a wall can either be hard or just not there...there has to be an in-between.

Me: I have a cordial relationship with my kids when I'm feeling hurt. I don't shut them out, I don't run away from home, I still offer myself as a parent to them, I simply don't sign up for abuse.

Therapist: Yes, you have to stay emotionally separated.

Me: (Confused...)

Sometimes I feel like I'm in a business relationship with my kids. I'm protective of myself. I try very hard to never, never, never be mean or nasty. I can't say I've never been mean...but on a general basis, I'm cordial. That's not a word I ever thought I'd use about my relationship with my kids. But, that's where we're at right now - and it's a better place than we've been in before. I allowed DS2 to hurt my feelings again today. And, they are really hurt. I try to tell myself that is what he wanted...and then I try to buckle down and not let him 'win'...but it stinks.

We have a running discussion of lying. I've mentioned that I don't feel I've ever lied to my kids - I've asked them to discuss with me if they feel I've lied to them. This weekend, DS2 was sent to his room so I could have a break. I said, "go to your room and don't come out". About an hour later it was lunch time and I was letting each child make whatever they wanted for lunch. So, I called him down to eat. Today he says that I lied to him because I said he shouldn't come out of his room and then I called him out to eat. EXCUSSSSSSEEEEEE me for feeding you! The tone of this revelation by him was rude...hateful...nasty. He kind of said it like "see, you are a loser mother"...it hurt worse than if he had said that. This was before school.

I spent the day trying to decide if there was anything that I should "do" about that disrespect, about that basic rude stupidity. I'm torn in these situations. I want to discuss with him, beg for an apology...I want to see that he cares that he hurt me. It seems that no matter how many times I model apologies and genuine sadness for hurting someone (because I DO apologize when I mess up and I AM sorry)...that just doesn't soak in. So, I did nothing and when he came to me tonight to tell me something about school - I found myself detached. I sat and listened, but not actively - I didn't ask questions, just commented on what I had to...and really, I didn't hear him at all. I was working really hard to be polite.

Dang...I don't want to have to work at that with my child. Dang...


  1. Blending families is hard. You need a hug!

  2. Ah, this sounds familiar...learning to be emotionally separated when things go to heck in a handbasket. I know that one well...it was hard to do, but it gets easier and easier.

    But a part of me wonders if that's actually a good thing or just a survival skill.


  3. It is SO hard not to take things personally, when they are personally directed at your person.... I get it. And I find therapists confusing as well, case managers, adoption workers etc. They all say something different. If you have to shut down a bit to get thru the rest of your day without jumping off a bride, well I think that is a success. You are aware of it, and working on it and doing your best. IMO.