I found that it is often difficult to control my anger with my child. This is more difficult when the child is expressing anger themselves where they are in a fit of rage that includes screaming, crying, swearing, hitting, throwing stuff, and stomping up-and-down. To add to the intensity of the experience, my child will follow me from room-to-room with this behavior so many times it seems impossible that I can get myself to a space away from the situation where I can stabilize myself. What eventually happens here is that I get to the point of where I can’t take it anymore and I end up yelling, demanding that the child stop ‘Or Else’, and in the worst cases, physically restraining them. I have tried talking them through it, I have tried getting them to breath with me, and I’ve tried using distraction – these do not work for very long before the child is back at it again. I have even tried saying Self-Forgiveness out-loud with the child but this puts them ‘over the edge’ and they becomes abusive and destructive. In my mind, I work on other ways to approach this with my child to support us and I do not come up with anything that is lasting. This causes me a great deal of emotion because I am constantly in-conflict with my child – some moments we are calm and some moments it is hell.
I realize that I cannot support my child to sort out their anger until I sort my own anger out. Also, I feel guilty constantly because I take their anger personal – I mean, I AM responsible for their anger – I birthed the child, I created them, and I’m the main caregiver. It IS my fault. I’m also the one responsible for figuring out how to fix this – and I haven’t been able to so I’m feeling like a bad parent and not worthy to take care of and raise a child.
Why am I angry?
I am angry at myself that I cannot diffuse or stop my child’s anger. I am angry at myself because their outbursts make me extremely uncomfortable: the loud, nerve-grating noise, the physical attacks, and spoken backchat. I fear what will happen if I don’t stop it and I fear of what will happen if I do. In my mind I tell myself that I should have this under-control and the fact that I don’t makes me a Bad Parent and a Bad Destonian. I am angry at myself for bringing a child into the world when I have no clue how to support them – and, if they end up growing into being a bully, violent, and an abuser then I am directly responsible. I am angry at myself for not knowing any other way to control the child other than using force and fear.
So, after I wrote the above entry, I saw that my child was getting frustrated and angry from a video game that they were playing. This anger and frustration would ‘set them off’ and I was not able to get them stable with breathing. That night, we discussed making some changes as the way that we are living is not cool and is not what is best for us. We agreed that I would collect the video games and that we would work on ourselves and our anger so that we could enjoy our time together.
Since then, our anger has been improving daily which has given us the opportunity to work on the points that lead to anger and points that we express our anger.
From here, with support, I continued to walk the process of understanding my anger and how to no longer allow my anger to control and direct me in the future. I will be sharing this process in the blogs that follow.