Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I find that one of the things that really gets in my way is my own defensiveness. Teddy is always on the defensive himself. Always looking for danger. The world is his scary place.  So how does a person who thinks they are in grave danger behave? As though  their very lives are at risk.

He does not trust. He is angry because anger feels stronger than fear. He gives short sharp answers. Is sarcastic and unkind.

It is easy to become defensive myself.

Kind answers turn away wrath.  When Teddy makes himself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich he leaves a mess on the counter of crumbs and jelly.  Instead of rolling my eyes and saying something defense myself a simple, pleasant "Could you wash the counter when you are finished please?" Gives me back a pleasant "Sure."  Should I have to tell an 18 year old to clean up after himself? Probably not. But I can set the atmosphere in the house. 

The old adage "If mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy." comes to mind. Don't feed the fear. Don't validate the feeling he is not safe.  Angry eyes, a set jaw and snappy answers do just that.

I find that in providing a healing home the biggest battle lies within me.


RamblingMother said...

very convicting for me personally, something I really need to work on at my house.

marythemom said...

This Bear lives in my house. After 2 years of turning the other cheek, asking nicely, and forgiving and forgetting, I got tired. I know he's scared. I know he cannot trust. I know he's mentally ill and could not control the scary outbursts, but now I have PTSD.

2 more years of him still not trusting us, and continuing to be abusive (although the rages have stopped being physical now that he's properly medicated). I can no longer be sweet to him. I don't yell. I'm not mean. I don't scream or anything, but he's like a roommate not my child.

"Kind answers" get me yelled at. He's 17 now. I guess I just need to wait a year or two until he's out of the house.

Thanks for the post,

Mary in TX

Brenda said...

(((((hugs))))) to you moms. It is hard.

Mary the mom,

When I am overwhelmed it is often because my focus has become centered on the RAD behavior. Focus on the healthy relationiships in your life. Focus on caring for your own body (ouch. I just stepped on my own toes) It makes their behavior a little smaller part of my world. It is still very hard I know but two more years living miserably is not fair to yourself. Find ways around it.

Anonymous said...

I have spent the past 8 years being abused by my stepdaughter with absolutely no support. She has wrecked any happiness in our family,is killing my marriage and taken all pleasure out of being alive. She steals constantly from me and I just can't take it anymore. She is 13 and I don't thini there is anyway I can go on another day. I am 13 weeks pregnant and I would rather leave my husband then allow this future child to be exposed to her viscious behavior. We cannot find anyone to help us or believe her condition. She is so manipulative and we have spent beyond our means trying to help her. Her mother is not in the picture and has never really been. I have found out where she is in desperation. I haven't contacted her but sometimes I just want her to have to deal with all the pain she has left us with.

BeckyJoie said...

You're right on this. I agree that as parents, sometimes the biggest battle is our own. What a perfect opportunity we have to show and teach self-control when we don't yell at our kids when we dislike something they do. Great post. I also empathize with your readers as I have felt the way they do before too. Perspective is everything. One has to find positive ways of seeing things and find ways to make it not about our own needs but about the needs of our children. Selfless love is so difficult but necessary. Patience is the gift we give to ourselves and our children. Patience equals peace.

Becky said...

So nice to read other moms posts and know that I am not alone. I am blessed that I am able to spend some quality time with my two sons and connect at times. I have been working on remaining in a state of calm. It is hard to do some days. Focusing on behavior drags me down in no time, it is a danger spot. I find that I have to disconnect at some points with mine or I will go crazy.

peggysue said...

Hi. We haven't had internet for a while. Boy, I've missed your blog and the RAD is raging at this house, but only and all directed at me. I am doing much better at speaking in a calm tone but I know my eyes reflect the frustration and anger I feel inside . . . I pray daily that this gets better on MY end. Thanks for pointing this out, I already knew it was something I need to work on.