What Did She Say

My mind is always open

I had a run in with The Bitch in the Corner. (Thanks to Elizabeth Potts Weinstein for naming her so perfectly.) And man, did she ever lay some beats on me. Bad. But, let me back up a few steps.

Hubby, Baby Girl, The Boy and I had just gotten back from Florida on Saturday. We drove straight. Yup. 24 hours in the van with minimal stops for peeing and refueling – both us and the van. My brother and his wife were also along for the journey, so we had four drivers. Not so bad, really.

Still exhausting, though. For everyone.

And then the time change happened.

More exhaustion.

A few days later the kids and I went to see Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate. The show was fantastic and full of Disney magic, but we were still needing some rest and relaxation. And the show was in Hamilton, so it required driving. And parking. And crowds.

I also let them have candy. The Boy doesn’t necessarily behave all that well after too much candy.

I picked up the mail on the way home. (Ya. We have one of those annoying mailboxes down the street. Hate that.)

There was a package sitting there from Eric Alper. It was Furry Vengeance, which is actually kind of a cute, funny movie. The kids loved it in the theatre, especially the animal parts.

They were very excited to have a new DVD, at least Baby Girl was. The Boy was just bouncy and on a sugar rush.

After a bit I suggested we put in a DVD. How about the new one?! “Yay!!” says Baby Girl. “NO! Toopy!” say The Boy. Great. Here we go…

I told The Boy we’d watch Furry Vengeance since it was new and he’d watch A LOT of Toopy recently… And *maybe* we could watch Toopy later. He was having none of the “no” part of the conversation.

I opened the DVD player to put in the movie and he almost broke the deck. I told him he needed to go to his room to chill out for a moment. He didn’t move.

I closed the glass doors on the TV stand and locked them (with a “child-proof” lock that no longer is.. I’m not sure why we have it on there anymore..).  He opened them right back up. I pulled his arm away and told him again he needed to go to his room.

I needed leverage… This was escalating… I was losing it, too. I’m not happy with how I handled the situation.

I grabbed the nearest toy that means anything to him. I knew as soon as I had, it was a mistake. I had his favourite fire truck. The little one we got from KW Surplus that makes a siren noise when you push the button on top. (He didn’t even know about the noises when we first got it and he loved it then… What a wonderful three days those were before he discovered the button…)

I told him again he needed to go to his room to chill out. No movement. So… I started the infamous “One” and moved to the trash can. “This is going in the garbage unless you go to your room now.”

Still not going to his room. “Two!” Nada. “You can save your firetruck if you go to your room now.”

Nope. We were locked in a power struggle and I hated it. I’d brought us there and I hated every second of it, but I couldn’t back down now.

“Three.” And in went the firetruck that both Baby Girl and The Boy loved. It broke my heart. The look on The Boy’s face crushed me.

Guess who went to their bedroom?

Me.

I lost it.

It came.

The ugly cry.

You know the one. The full body convulsions. Sobbing. Can’t catch your breath. Face buried in the pillow. Wailing. Tears. Snot. Drool. Every single piece of your being has come together to release what has built up. Except one piece.

The Bitch.

She’s always sitting there. In the corner. In the shadows. She’s always aware. She knows when to emerge. And she came at me full force. I could even SEE her standing over me.

You are SUCH a BAD mother!

How could you DO that to your children!?

You’ve scarred them.

You’ve scared them.

You are the adult here! What hell?!

You are not fit to be raising these beautiful human beings!

Then the hyperventilating. I could barely catch my breath. But she kept going.

And now look at you! Sit up! Look at you! Look at yourself!

Not only did you COMPLETELY lose control of the situation downstairs, now look what you’re doing!

You are up here in your bedroom – supposedly the adult in the house – and you’re weeping uncontrollably. And loudly! They can hear you!!

What do you think THIS is doing to them?! Huh!?!

You are nothing.

You are worse than nothing. If you were nothing, you wouldn’t be hurting them this way.

Then my sweet, sweet daughter opened my door. Silently walked over to me. Placed a Littlest Pet Shop postcard between my drippy face and the pillow.Then she silently walked back out and closed the door again.

It made me feel better. But it gave The Bitch more ammo.

Your SIX and THREE year olds are down there listening to their MOTHER lose it, you freak. They shouldn’t be the ones taking care of you!

The Bitch doesn’t tire. She feeds. She’s always feeding. And right now she was feasting. Gorging herself on my doubts. My insecurities. Not only about my role as a mom, but my fear of what’s going to happen in a month when the money runs out. My fear about not making my business work. My fear of letting people down. My fear of letting my family down. My kids…

And we were back to my complete lack of ability to parent.

I wasn’t able to completely shut her up, but I needed to get back to my kids. I needed to pull it together. I needed to show them it’s ok to cry. I needed to show them they didn’t make me cry. It was not their fault. Oh, how I hope they don’t think it was their fault.

It’s hard to keep The Bitch at bay. Some days it seems almost impossible. But, I know I’m better than that. I think.

 

 

 

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27 Responses so far.

  1. […] My “ugly cry” post is the one that has drawn the most reaction from people. So many people related to that […]

  2. […] For the first time I wasn’t thinking about our marriage, I wasn’t excited about our fresh start, I wasn’t jumping up and down about finally moving in with him, for the first time I stopped and realized how far away from my family I’ll be moving, how big and crazy is my future city, how I’m going to be alone for days while Luis’ away working, for the first time I was overwhelmed. Image via What did she say […]

  3. Lisa says:

    Um, I think the bitch who lives in the corner at your house, is related to a similar bitch who lives in the corner at MY house. I wonder if they’re cousins? Very well written Jacki. xo

  4. […] There’s been a lot of talk about breaking out of comfort zones and pushing oneself.  A lot of the posts on this blog are me doing just that. I talked about the c word. I fessed up about the ugly cry and getting beaten down by the bitch in the corner. […]

  5. Stuck : says:

    […] this thing is an unmentionable. It’s a big thing. It’s bigger than the bitch in the corner – she is LOVING this, though. She and this thing are getting along […]

  6. Today : says:

    […] usually would be – feeling guilty I’m not doing just that. Today I’m not allowing the bitch to feel me that guilt. She’s cooked it up, but I’m not partaking. She can stuff her […]

  7. Thank you for writing this post. You say the things that we are all thinking but are too afraid to admit. We have all be bad moms…but perfectly normal humans.

  8. AliLifeDiva says:

    Hi Jacki,

    Read your blog, this resonates with all of us, even if we don’t want to admit it; the fact that you were so honest helps us relate to you at a higher level, it opens the door for others to be honest too. We are always beating ourselves up as mothers, remember this is the hardest JOB in the entire world! We need to continue to support one another and celebrate our milestones!! Love your blog! Talk soon, Alison

  9. MamaRobinJ says:

    Just seeing this now. Been there, done that. I think we all have. It gives me so much hope that I’m not the only one.

  10. […] 24, 2011 I read an eye-opening post the other day and realized just a few lines into it that the writer and I have a mutual […]

  11. Jacki says:

    Thanks everybody. It means a lot that you come by and read the blog. I’m glad it resonates with some.

  12. Tina says:

    Thank you for sharing this post, and I hope many Moms read it because we all have been there and we need to validate that its okay to feel this way. There is no shame in this, you needed a release and this was the safest way possible. You did everything you could not to lose it ON your kids and removed yourself from a situation that was getting overwhelming for everyone. I sometimes find myself in a timeout in my room crying and feeling awful about how I’ve handled something, but my kids forgive me, I always tell them I’m sorry for the way I acted and they always forgive me.

  13. Sara says:

    *hug* The bitch lives and thrives in me. I wish she’d die, but she lives and you know what. It reminds our children that we’re human…amd it reminds us (with notes like that) that we’re raising good children. *hugs*

  14. Renee says:

    Honest to goodness, it will be ok. I had these moments, hours, days it seems.
    My daughter grew up just fine. And now with a 2.5 year old and a 3 month old, she’s going through the same thing.

    And she even calls me for support.

  15. Frelle says:

    Thank you for pouring your heart out and speaking truth. Truth about the lead up to losing it, how you lose it, how you feel afterward, where your brain goes and what your inner bitch tells you afterward, and how you climb back out from that self loathing place. It is important for those of us who struggle with the same behaviors, and thoughts about ourselves afterward, to have this validation that other moms have been there, and can be real with us.

    Grateful to give you validation that I do this same thing.. and to tell you that who we are in our worst moments is not the sum total of who we are all the time. We are human, we are emotional creatures, and we are our own worst critic.

    *HUGS* to you.
    @frelle

  16. You are totally better than that. I go throw many moments such as you described and regret it instantly. It’s especially worse when I’m PMSing. It’s almost like clockwork. And I swear, when it’s a full moon, I feel like the kids get under my skin even more. They are about the same age as your two kids and my son is at the stage where he is testing the waters and seeing how far he can get with the ‘no.’ It drives me mad. But I always apologize and try to point out better ways that I could have handled it. My daughter might have done something similar to console me, too. It’s funny because I never really knew who I was before kids. Now, my kids are helping me to discover who I really am…

  17. jen_yo says:

    Jacki,
    Been there so many times…more then I hate to admit! But as RC said, we make mistakes but we do the best we can for our family. It is not always easy, and we lose our ‘cool’, but the fact you are aware of it, conscious of it, says more about your parenting then anything else.
    Keep it up!
    🙂

    • Jacki says:

      Thanks, Jen. It’s hard when you know what you SHOULD be doing in a situation, but find yourself doing something else entirely..

  18. RC says:

    Thank you for sharing what many people would never share! I have spent a lot of
    time lately dealing with the “bastard” in the corner. You are right, they are relentless and will never stop – the key is to be true to who we are and continue to do our best for our kids.

    • Jacki says:

      Thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting. These feeling feed on silence. The more we share, the more powerful WE become. And we can know we’re not alone. Or crazy.

  19. Jacki,
    Thank you for sharing, I love how you put into words what we all feel at times. I enjoy your writing very much and am so glad I know you!

  20. Kinga says:

    I have no words. I’m there. I get this. More lately than I want to. Courageous post Jacki. I respect and admire you as a parent and friend and I think you are a fab mom and your kids are great.


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