Monday, May 09, 2011

Pity party, table for one

My head hurts. And I'm tired. And I'm cranky.

Tonight I am angry with Iris. I hate to say this, but sometimes, I just want her to go away. I don't wish anything bad to happen, of course, but I just sort of wish that the she had a fairy godparent to come and whisk her away for a few days and then I could just . . . . relax.

Tonight I am angry at the stupid effing sticker charts that we started for the girls. The sticker charts which, I am starting to see quite clearly, really haven't changed their behavior at all. And yet, we stuck to it, and rewarded them with stupid Barbie houses which I half want to throw in the garbage. Because we bought them based on sticker charts that didn't change anything. They were rewards for our girls basically not changing at all.

Tonight I am angry, but not in a way that makes me scary ugly screaming crazy mom, but in a way that makes me want to shake my fists at the universe. I am angry that I have a child who is so. freaking. hard. I know, it's a pity party, I know it could be so much worse, right? But still. How can we work THIS hard and STILL have a child who is so hurtful, physically and emotionally, to the people in her life.

Tonight I am angry that I got an email response from Iris's teacher and I come to find out they are doing everything in the classroom I could ever hope for them to be doing, and still, nothing is changing.

Tonight I am angry that I am reading several books right now about how to parent my difficult child and I just want to scream at the pages and tell the authors to just come to my house and fix my child right this second because most days I don't feel like I have anything left in me to do the job myself, pleaseandthankyou.

It feels like the recurring theme right now is: work your ass off, but nothing will change.

It sort of feels like maybe I should stop working on it, because, you know, the result will be no different. I am feeling like this about Iris, as well as about myself. I think the only thing I have worked just as hard on as I have with this stuff with Iris is trying to lose weight and get in to shape. And guess what, despite intense amounts of daily effort, nothing has changed.

Tonight I am angry that I ever thought that effort equalled results. Because it soooooo doesn't.

P.S. this is my 1000th post. Yay for me!


  1. I don't know you at all but I found your blog through a friends. I read about your struggles a few times and just felt compelled to leave you a comment today. I feel your pain. I too struggle with a very difficult, hurtful child. I have no good words of advice but I can tell you that we are in the same boat. It sucks and I want to yell at the world all the time. You sound like a fantastic parent and you are doing everything you can to help your children. Stay the course and know that you are not alone.

  2. My de facto stepson has Oppositional Defiant Disorder, a batshit crazy mother, an abusive stepfather, a dad who is doing the best he can, and me. Dad has custody & now that Mom lives in Oregon (though 150 miles away from us), sees him every weekend. There are days when I want to scream "send him back to his mother, I don't give a shit anymore." No amount of Positive Behavior Support, rewards, gentle calm reinforcement, one-on-one time, therapy (for him and us), etc. has changed a single thing. Oh. One thing. He doesn't bite any of us anymore. But you know what made THAT happen? His little sister bit the SHIT out of his shoulder when he wouldn't leave her alone (she's 3 and not-quite-up-to-par verbally yet). He realized how much it hurt & that bit of empathy helped. All that to say: I feel your pain. One day, they'll be adults who won't act like this anymore. I know this. My brother was like this as a kid, too, and by the time he was 12, he'd calmed down substantially. Now he's 22 and solid. But OMG was it a trying time for my mother.

  3. Um, thanks Jen? Haha. That's encouraging! I hate when I read books of all the success stories, because I am still trying to find one IRL. I hope to god that you are right, that these kids still grow in to responsible adults.
    Thanks anonymous, too. At least it is good to know we're not alone in this mess.

  4. I just want to say that you were hand-chosen to be her mother. You are doing a great job and you are the only person on earth who could have handled it with as much grace and dignity as you do. I realize that you don't always feel graceful or dignified, but you are.

    I read something this week that hurts me, but helps. "God gave us our children as sandpaper to smooth out our rough spots."

    I think sometimes they also wear us down.

    I've struggled with whether you would like the book or not, but I think ultimately you would. It's called Regret Free Parenting. I don't know why, but I think of you every day I read it.


  5. Thanks Tara. I will check out that book. I keep hoping something will have some piece of information that is going to be helpful.


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