Friday, December 9, 2011

What Do I Do?!

I'm sitting here listening to my daughter scream.  Again.  She screams and cries more these days than she did as a newborn.  Funny, I look back on those years as 'the quiet time' when things were easy.

The slightest thing sets her off.
My days are a constant battle, and my stomach is always in knots.
I think she hates me.
My hands and feet are riddled with awful, itchy 'stress eczema'.
My sleep is shot to hell - I am always tired.
I even have diarrhea from the stress... the physical symptoms combined with everything else are just wearing me down so much.

Right now as I'm typing this, I'm listening to her try to beat down her bedroom wall... it's amazing how strong she is, and how determined she can be when she gets going.  What kills me is that it's nothing... it's always nothing.  You'd think she'd been grievously wronged the way she is carrying on.  The most hideous injustice has been done to her, obviously.

The truth:
On the way home from school her sister got upset and started crying because Dad ate the last chocolate chip cookie.  Anna thought that was the perfect time to say "My teacher looked up 'Ella J' on the computer, and it said that she doesn't eat enough vegetables and her writing is chicken scratch.  She's very close to being on Santa's 'bad list'."  Of course, Ella cried much, much harder and started wailing about being on 'the bad list'.

I asked Anna WHY she felt compelled to say that, and said it wasn't true, that Ella was not on the bad list.  She argued with me about it, said her teacher DID do it, and she WAS close to the 'bad list'.  She screamed.  Then she claimed she didn't say that and I misunderstood.  Then she continued to scream the rest of the way home... she screamed, thrashed, called me stupid, blew raspberries at me in the rearview mirror.

When I sent her to her room when we got home she wanted to know WHY... said she didn't do anything.  So she's been screaming for the last 45 minutes and trying to beat down her door because she's been WRONGED.

This wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't pretty much an everyday occurrence.
I don't know what to do anymore.

To top it off, I feel like it's all my fault.  She must have gotten it from me.  I remember behaving similarly as a child, and thinking that nobody understood me, and that the whole world was against me.  My childhood SUCKED.  It truly sucked.  I feel like I'm being paid back for it... like God is punishing me.  And also, my heart is breaking... I want to be a good parent.  I try my damnest to be a good parent, and my kid is probably going to feel the same way - that her childhood SUCKED.

I must be a bad parent, because I don't know what to do.  I am at a loss... I have tried everything at my disposal, and I'm just not sure how much more I have to give.

Life is a constant stream of stress and unhappiness, it seems... especially lately.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Failure Is The Path Of Least Resistance

Some days, and weeks, just suck.
They chew you up and spit you out.

I think there are times when everyone feels like a failure, but I have to tell you: it's really an awful feeling thinking you're failing your child(ren).  I mean, I know everyone feels badly when they don't think they are doing a good job... but it really, really gets to me.

I tried explaining this to my husband, and he didn't really seem to get it... until I said to him "How would you feel if your life's work seemed to be spinning out of control?  If you had no idea how to handle it, and everyone judged you and thought it (even the worst of it) was just supposed to 'come naturally' to you?  Would you be upset?"

The answer?  Of course.  Especially if he were doing his level best.

My kids are my life's work.  I didn't go back to work in order to raise them.  I never used my degree, and any skills I might have had once upon a time are outdated and useless.  THIS is my life's work... and I feel like I must be doing it all wrong because there are always so many problems.

I guess I had the idea that things would be a bit nicer, a bit easier....
I didn't know it would be so lonely.
I didn't know I would have a child who didn't respond to virtually anything like the other children I know.
I didn't know that the endless cycles of picking up junk, doing laundry, and just trying to keep up would fill most of my waking thoughts so completely.
I didn't know that love isn't enough to be a good parent.
I didn't realize just how demanding parenthood could be, and how much everyone expected of you.

So yes, I feel like a failure.  But according to Sir James Matthew Barrie, I guess maybe I'm not.  He says "Failure is the path of least resistance."

I certainly don't feel like this is the path of least resistance, so perhaps I'm not failing at all....
We shall see.