adoption, family

Hating Mommy: Adventures in Displaced Anger

I have done the unthinkable thing. The unforgivable thing.The thing that cannot be undone. I have gotten sick.  What’s worse than that? The fact that I am already “mom.” These two things are the worst things that one can be, according to Carl. These two things combine to seal my fate.

As far as Carl’s experience goes a puking mom is a drunk mom. A mom who needs to sleep in bed probably won’t get up for days or weeks because she is using. Therefore I should never be sick. What’s worse is that in Carl’s experience, moms hit kids. They don’t wake up to take their children off of the school bus. Moms are scary and unavailable and unpredictable. Therefore, I should never be “mom.” Too late.

First Mary and Luke got sick, then Carl, and then me. Because of his past experiences, Carl is over-the-top mad at me. He is convinced I am drunk and I am lying and I must be plotting against him. He thinks I have stolen his toys and forgotten his dinner. His rages and anger against me this week are off the charts.

When we sit down to dinner he hates the food. He hates me for making the wrong food. He can’t eat without a fork. If I wasn’t so stupid, I might have gotten him a fork. No, he will not eat that. I only ever listen to Mary. No, he will not apologize to Mary. No, he won’t have a “do-over.” No, he won’t shower. And if he must shower then, no, he will not be using soap. When he has to go back in and try again it is only because I am ruining his life. This is in large part due to the fact that I am stupid and mean and drunk. Oh yeah, and someone needs to “put me in my place.”

Last night he was raging in the car. Luke was working the overnight shift and Carl was refusing to be left with me. I was stuck driving him home from practice while daddy went to work.  After demanding several late night no-nos like donuts, he gave up and began to beat the car with his fists and his feet. He screamed at the top of his lungs that I was a liar and he hated me. I was a big fat stupid old lady and I didn’t love anyone.

I simply said, “I see that you are feeling mad and I love you too much to argue with you.” Then I cranked up the Bob Marley. Mary and I sang along while Carl screamed and raged and kicked the seat in front of him. When we got home he threatened to punch me and then began a rather serious fist fight with his bedroom door. I let him know that I was there to keep him safe and I would talk when he was ready. Eventually he took a shower and apologized and went to bed.

All in all he wasn’t unsafe and that’s a win for us. I was able to let him know that I loved him even when he had big feelings. Basically, I felt like we were able to narrowly avoid a mobile crisis call so I’ll take it as a small victory. Of course, he has been like this all week. He avoids me at every chance unless he sees an opportunity to make a demeaning comment or show me in some small way that I can’t possibly love him.

This week I feel like I am at the end of my rope. I am tired of being hated and threatened and screamed at. I am tired of all the property damage and drama and noise. So I do the thing that so many others would do in this situation for comfort. I go to my mama. I go crying to my mother’s house for hugs and understanding and unconditional love. That’s when it hits me. Of course I go to my mom because I have always had her support. Where does Carl go?

This week I feel like I am at the end of my rope. Imagine how Little Carl has felt these past 10 years.


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**Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.


22 thoughts on “Hating Mommy: Adventures in Displaced Anger

  1. deansandrazmm says:

    You have a talent for sharing what your life is like without being demeaning or unkind. praying that Carl will be able to trust you and fully grasp and accept your love for him. Hugs my friend

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Is it possible, that for the first time in his life, he finally feels safe enough to express the anger and hurt and rage he felt all those years before? That even though his words and actions are mean spirited and hurtful, they could very well be the biggest sign of love and trust that he can give you. He trusts you enough to rage at you, and knows that you can handle it, that you can see beyond his words to his heart, and you can love him anyway. That no matter how angry he gets, no matter what he says, you won’t turn him away.
    I have said it before, and I will say it again, your children are blessed to have you in their lives. They can’t see it now, but I pray someday they will see and understand the depths of the love you have for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Struggle weeks are tough! Loud music is the key to not losing our minds some days. My 8-year-old has been struggling for almost 2 weeks now, all because he saw lots of people drinking beer at a Mexican restaurant’s karaoke night. Something triggered questions about his biological father for which I have yet to find age-appropriate answers.
    I keep reminding myself and my son’s teacher that he *cannot* behave when he is processing these emotions and questions, but I would rather he deal with it now and fail conduct, than shove it down and deal with it as a grownup. Still doesn’t make for fun times! Hope it gets better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Middle said to me early on in our getting to know each other, “Because, you know, Moms are mean.” That baseline is real and it is hard to get past.

    And was the Marley song you were singing along with “Three Little Birds”? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Whoa. Be kind to yourself, you are doing a wonderful job for these children. (And I’m so sorry you’re sick — being sick and a mom sucks!) It’s so so so hard to keep taking the yelling all day, every day and it’s so hard sometimes to be the grownup and know you just have to hang in there…but just hang in there. This, too, will eventually pass. ((hugs))

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How sad, for both of you. You are very insightful for seeing what triggered this behavior and it takes a lot of empathy and selflessness to handle it the way you did. I applaud you! Keep at it and remember your online community of support.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have fostered kids who reacted this way (found you through the Adoption Link-Up – hi!). Once I slipped on the ice and thought I broke my arm – luckily it was just a bruise – and as I went to lay down inside, my foster daughter immediately attacked me. It scares kids so much to think you might be unable to care for them! And for kids who have witnessed domestic violence, the only way to deal with scary feelings is to hit. I’m glad you understand where your child’s behaviors are coming from, and that you reassure him that you love him. It super sucks to be a good mom when you’re feeling like crap, though. Hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: trauma in the everyday world | Riddle from the Middle

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