"why do you let this get to you..." he says

DISCLAIMER: this blog is a space for me to journal. if you will read the following and assume it's a pity party - then to hell with you. it's not. it's MY journal. just trying to work out some emotional stuff...thankyouverymuch!

ok - so i sit here, it's 11:00pm. I should take a prescribed narcotic (since i'm out of ambien)and just get some sleep already. but my head is reeling. i am doubtful. i am on the edge of what i like to call a parental failure breakdown. i have had two anxiety attacks today - complete with dizziness, chest pains, and an inability to catch my breath. i can do this. i am strong. i can push through. i kept telling myself this today. it worked. on occassion.

my daughter has been having a rough period. she's been having temper tantrums on a whim. they last for hours sometimes. she wakes up with them. she battles, she fights. i do everything in my power to have a plan to prevent them from happening. keeping her focused. having a plan. these things seems to help her. USED TO seem to help her. not anymore. the shape of her cantaloupe in the morning not begin what she expected is enough disaster to create an entirely negative day for her. LITERALLY. everything goes wrong for her. the wrong fork, the wrong shoes, the wrong color of clouds, then not having enough clouds on HER side of the car as we drive down the road. LITERALLY. these are the things she screams and kicks about.

what i don't get here - this REALLY is not her typical behavior. i would not coin her as a spoiled brat. normally, she is respectful, sweet, polite... an all around pleasant child. creative. playful. imaginative. but then it's almost as if something snaps. something turns off and this other kid turns on. and when it happens, it goes on for days. this switch in the child pushes me over the edge. i don't having coping mechanisms for it. her behavior is such that it deems discipline. time out used to work - as little as 1-3 minutes. NOW? she can sit in her time out spot for 30 minutes and scream bloody murder the entire time.

the part that scares me the most is this look i see in her when it happens. it's like something disappears from her eyes. her body is full of rage. she says horrible things. she uses the word hate. i don't say that word in front of her. shit - what the hell - holy cow - yes - she hears those things - but HATE? not even close. i LOATHE hearing that word come from a child's mouth. it's worse than the eff word in my opinion. and she says it - usually under her breath - after i've disciplined her in some way. then when i say, "excuse me?" she says, sweetly, "oh nothing." SHE'S THREE!!! what the hell? so - i digress. the rage will set in. she throws things, she wants to hit - she will begin the blood curdling screaming fits and get to a point of hyperventilating at which point i finally grab her, hold her tight and begin rocking her, usually cradling her and hugging her as tight to me as i can - and at that moment - her body just goes limp. she melts into me. her breathing slows. i feel her little hands tighten around me. she is squeezing me. she is hanging on for dear life.. yet she is limp. it's almost as if - she's just given in and is now exhausted.

AGAIN - this does not happen often - but when it does - it seems like it goes on for days. and you guessed it - never as full blown as i describe here when my husband is home. it's always just her and i. today - i planned an afternoon in the front yard. i got her a bucket, a hand shovel and we were going to plant some seeds and pull weeds. that lasted less than 2 minutes. she wanted her bike. i got the car keys, moved the car out of the driveway, blocked her in the driveway so she could ride her bike. she's still learning and she's petrified of it. she threw a fit. i tried sidewalk chalk. she wanted nothing to do with it. the temper started - we went in the house, she sat in time out, didn't work, so i put her in her room. she fell asleep within minutes. i let her sleep for about 2 hours. she woke up, cranky still, yelling at me. and it lasted for another two hours. ending with her going limp. again.

if you've stayed with me this long, i appreciate ya. if you got some seasoned motherly advice. bring it. i NEED it. i seriously do NOT know what to do.and when i called my husband for some support (he's out of town) he only said again - why do you let her get to you so easily? i wanted to tell him not to bother coming home.

i'm exhausted. going to pop whatever kind of pill i can find that will hopefully help me sleep tonight.

peace and hope for happy thoughts tomorrow. we are going to the dentist and then to see Wall-E...


Gigi said...

Oh God Shell, I honestly have no motherly advice here.  I did find that three was worse than those infamous terrible twos though--if that's any consolation.  Hopefully it's just a phase that will disappear as quickly as it began.  {{{big hugs}}}}      

Melonie said...

Hey Shell. I sent you an e-mail saying the same thing as Gigi. 3 brings out the devil horns for a little while. Just love her...that's all you can do. ((HUGS)) to you my friend.

Katrina said...

I do remember 3 being a rough time. Have you talked to her pediatrician? Only asking b/c I think that there's huge links between health and behavior, and maybe her doc can give some advice?

Hang in there!

Lisamariemlt said...

Every child goes through the ages and stages thing differently
some early
some later
I hear yah when you say you hate the word hate
here too
we don't use it
it hurts
but they don't understand the meaning
she's heard it somewhere
and yup
prob on one of those wonderful tv shows
Little bears says stuff
so does
what's that little bald buggers name
yup can't think of his name but you know it
be patient
be calm and yup give her space and time
give yourself time out
let her be
and walk away
sometimes just saying
I'm not paying attention to you and I'm ignoring you
and wow
they see they are not getting to you and they stop
she is trying to get a reaction
get you into a power struggle
just to test her limits
and yup
this is what the books say lol
just be you
know she doesn't know or mean what she says and five minutes after she's done all she forgets all
and yup
happens when dad's not home
cause you are mom
and she wants your attention
but doesn't really know why or what for
but she knows if she misbehaves she gets a reaction
and well
it's fun
for her
right now
just keep being you and keep being that great mom you are

Gina said...

I have been there. Too many times to count, or admit. Too many times that I've screamed, nearly loosing all self-control. I feel your pain and frustration. Three can be a rotten year! I'm waiting for it to end here, only then I know it will roll into another three-year old not long after T is 4. Anyway, I wish I had magic, but I only know that when I pray for patience to hang on the end of my rope, somehow I get it. We do a lot of snacks to curb tantrums, only because I know that kids with low blood sugar feel bad and then often act bad. Doesn't always work. Ah, I wish I had answers that would work in an instant. Keep a sweet pic of here everywhere in the house so you can remember that the sweetness really hasn't left town for good.
hugs to you...hang in there.

Holly said...

Oh God, Shelley. Just reading that post brought tears to my eyes...and all sorts of horrible memories into my head. Hazel went through the exact same thing when she was 3. It even continued into her turning 4. There were days that I would just shut the door to my room for a couple of minutes, sit against it so she couldn't come in raging, and just cry. I didn't have the coping mechanisms to deal with it after a certain point either. I mean to tell you...it is the EXACT same thing you are describing here. Her fork being in the wrong spot next to her plate, there being ONE to few Cheerios in her bowl...anything and everything would set her off. It was crushing to me. And, all of this was while Bryan was deployed. So, I was alone just like you AND I had my son to take care of. It was one of the darkest periods in my life so far. I felt so helpless. But, a little before Bryan came back, the behavior disappeared as quickly as it had surfaced in the first place. We still have temper tantrums, but they are small...manageable. No more blood curdling screams for HOURS, no more hitting, the fits are now over more rational things. Just be consistent. Keep up with the time-outs. EVENTUALLY they get it. That throwing fits like that just isn't going to get them what they want. And, as they get older, I think the behavior just kind of levels out. Hang in there...I know exactly how you feel. Trust me. E-mail me if you need to "talk". :0)

Sonia said...

She sounds very "spirited". I prefer that term to high strung. Some kids(people) have that kind of personality. My son was the same way. I think you should get the book called "the high spirited child"> I think that's the title. Believe it or not...there is a bright side. Children like this are generally much more sensitive, creative, and compassionate. Good Luck :)