Hating Those Heated Moments

Anger:  Family rage outs. Family screaming matches. Family arguments. Accusations made by everyone. Teen vandalizes. Teen self-injures. Teen refuses to do chores. Teen is moody. Everyone is easily frustrated. Teen is easily aggravated.

Isolating: Teen texts all day. Teen Facebook’s all day. Teen stays home all night Friday. Teen sleeps till 3 in the afternoon on Saturday. Teen crawls into parents’ bed in middle of the night. Teen doesn’t see anyone on Sunday. Parents don’t see anyone because teen cannot be left alone.

Worry, Fear and Too Much Thinking: Parents worry. Parents wonder if their teenager has friends. Parents are tense. Parents are exhausted. Parents are short tempered. Parents blow up. Parents push buttons by stating, “clean your room,” or “you haven’t bathed in 7 days, take a bath,” or “do your laundry,” or “is your homework done,” or “get up for summer school,” or “clean the cat box.” Parents do not remain above the ‘proverbial’ fray and engage in fights. Parents lose control and yell and scream after the 8th request to remove the bowl of full of uneaten mushy Raisin Bran from the dining room table. Parents think too much and get caught up in the actions and statements that occur in the moment rather than listening, observing and interpreting the all of the signals.

If I could scream out for help it would be, “throw us a life boat, my family’s relationships are drowning!” Perhaps I’d yell out, “Danger! Family engaged in World War III” Or I might shout, “Enter our home at your own risk, relationships are imploding!”

Just the other day, our home became a war zone, a theater of soldiers battling about grades, chores and money. The screaming and crying that went on between the four of us made me want to run, run as fast as I could, as far away as possible from this family of mine. I wanted to cover my ears, shut my eyes and disappear. The yelling made me shake inside and all I could do was swear under my breath about how outrageous this argument was.

English: A hungry baby yelling and crying.

English: A hungry baby yelling and crying. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the height of this battle, there were four casualties. No one had any sense of self after what was said.  Doors slammed as we went off to our own rooms to lick our wounds. Grace cried herself into a deep nap and the tense silence that remained between my husband and me was nearly unbearable. What was it over? Shopping money so Grace could meet up with friends she hasn’t seen in three weeks, 2 weeks of laundry that remains all over her floor and studying for a summer school world history quiz. Grace has to repeat world history after a disastrous final and too many missing homework assignments.

The question that remains; what was this fight really about? There was the hook-some kind of statement that got her going. We put the bait out there – unknowingly.

Then there was the fact that Grace’s friend list has slimmed down considerably this year. Who wants to be friends with someone who they fear will commit suicide or cut themselves if you upset them? Was she frightened that they might not show up? Anxiety again.

How much of loser does my kid feel for flunking World History? Probably quite a bit. No kid wants to take a summer school repeat course. What a great way of covering up fear of flunking again. So why not refuse to study?  It is code for some other message I need to decode.

And what about that room full of stinky laundry? Screams classic teen to me. In this case, we could probably read more into it.

Why can’t I have this kind of  ‘Oprah aha’ moment when the heat begins to build at the beginning of a fight? Maybe if I did, I could at least do something else other than nag or yell or accuse or give dirty looks. BLAH!

What would I do differently anyways? Would I say, “Grace, you sound angry…worried…et cetera, et cetera…” Would it have worked? No reason in asking that question. What was it all about? Do I readdress this at some point?

 

 

 

A Story: A Person Writes About How They Stopped Self Injury

A Story: A Person Writes About How They Stopped Self Injury

Leaving no stone unturned! As a mom of a beautiful child who injures, I intend to continue researching ways that help my Grace.  Today I have decided, instead of looking to those “experts” who

Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year...

Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year (DALY) rates from Self-inflicted injuries by country (per 100,000 inhabitants). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

treat our children who mutilate their bodies, I am reading stories of hope and recovery. Therefore I will turn to those amazing experts who injured themselves and found ways to recover.

This article is just one of many telling the stories of strength, the ability to overcome depression and how self-injury was a tool that helped them fight their way through their depression. It is not a recommended form of practice from this mom. However, it is critical that I find ways of looking through my daughter’s lens. This article deepened my understanding and pushed me to ask; how is cutting a form of treatment when one in so deep inside their heads that they need to bleed themselves? What does my Grace get from this practice? Lastly, how did others find their way out of self-injury?

Mommy Breaks Up With Her Therapist, a Rant

Life lines for parents with teens who injure can be costly. So how is a parent to find support in this dark world of self-injury without it breaking the bank? We have been with our parent coach for over 4 years now. I can hear her voice when I tell her the funds have run out, “Before the plane crashes, you put the oxygen mask on first before you put it on your kid.”

Day 3: flight to Yazd - inflight safety card

Right? Its stressing me out to think that  I am so dependent on this therapist for parenting a challenging teen.  She does not talk with my teen’s therapist, so what is the point?  I paint half a picture, my teen paints her half of the family dysfunctional picture and these therapists don’t share notes? What is up with that?

I am terrified of letting go of my therapist, but honestly – my medical credit card has reached its limit and it is ONLY June!  My husband is out of work and we have got to continue my teen’s therapy.  Twice a week, sometimes three.

I hate depression in teens – meds have not worked, talk therapy is slow and I often question how well that works. I hate my own depression and anxiety. At times, it feels as if my brain has gotten a life long sentence. Will my own anxiety depression ever end? I have been on antidepressants going on 5 years, with a therapist and coach for going on 5 years and life has only become more challenging as my child moved from a kid who self-injures to a teen who self-injures.

When I lay it out like that, I wonder how truly effective talk therapy and drugs are at getting rid of the the dreadful depression. Aside from all that wondering…I just want to find a cure.  I have read about people who have cured their depression. Going on 5 years of depression in both my kid and in me? Come on!  Enough is enough. This depression has gone on for far too long. And, because we aren’t in a parent support group and exiled to therapy, we know of absolutely no one else who struggles with these issues, therefore we just continue our isolation.  This isolation is depressing in and of itself.

So on to bigger things, I have got to find a place to get support where I no longer feel like some alien from outer space. And what about my teen – I wonder if she, too, feels the same?

Embarrassing parents - swan duckling

Embarrassing parents – swan duckling (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Ah…What would it be like to find parents out there who have kids suffering from anxiety and depression? Would we be able to side step the “shame” and “guilt” and actually move forward and have honest talks? More importantly, not feel completely alone? Community, support, how about that for therapy and building parenting skills.

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