Saturday, February 21, 2009

Facing Anger, It is a strong difficult Emotion.

Being real about being angry isn't nice or easy. Anger is such a strong emotion, and it is the kissing cousin to hatred/murder. I am learning to work through my emotions without hurting others in the process. Here is the struggle I have had this week with severe anger.

I am so angry I physically hurt on the sides of my ribs and right below my center rib cage. I guess it has been building for a while, maybe two weeks. I am dealing with my 15 year old son, who is quite disrespectful. He flat out lies. He does something right in front of me. I call him on it and try to teach (instruct) to correct him and he looks right at me and says he didn't do what I just saw or heard him do. It seems he can't tell the truth even if it would be the best thing or easiest thing possible for him to do.


I am also angry at my husband of 25 years. He has left most of the parenting to me. My counselor tells me the passive parent has the power in the family because he undoes everything you try to do in raising up your children with boundaries, consistency, and consequences.

For way too long, it is like a game being played. My son acted and respond horrible. He irresponsibly doesn't do his school work, house chores, or interact with us in a loving, Christian way. He pushes and pushes me while I am responding in a loving, responsible parenting way...trying to be firm but also compassionate...try to keep an attachment between us. All I get back are robot frozen hugs and selfish gloomy comments.

Then when he pushes me over to being angry (honestly, really boiling with hatred), he becomes all sweet and loving. "I love you mom," he says in a happy cheerful voice almost like tossing salt into my pain. "I did my math lesson, I listened to the instruction again and now I understand it," like it was really an understanding problem instead of a rebellion problem of not doing it in the first place.

And then in comes my husband who resists taking his fatherly, husband role, to save the day with the rebellious son turned sweet, my husband starts to chum up with my 15 yo, taking his side, feeling sorry for him that his mean ole wicked mother is upset.

To top it all off, my 15 year old blames me for him not being able to do anything....I screamed at him when he was little, I made him not like schooling, I raised my voice and now that is why he can't be responsible....it just reminds him of the negative past....even though I am a completely different person and have been through 7 years of counseling and 2 years of social work help inside the home. It always goes back to my fault.

Of course, this hurts me because I was the young mother trying to take care of three children coming out of a horrific abusive childhood. Giving motherhood and being a wife every ounce of energy I had, with no assistance from my emotionally disconnected husband that was so totally not involved in anything we did as a family. His football following/watching, guitar music making for himself (never does anything with the hours& hours of writing/playing), and TV watching is still almost all he is when he is not working. I still have things I love to do, but I have had to lay it all down for be a single parent. I asked for help, help in the home, help in my mental care, help in visiting my sisters in other states, but my husband gave me no help. We couldn't do mothers day out or travel because we couldn't afford it. He didn't believe in getting medical care for emotional problems so he never contacted a doctor or counselor. He didn't get me someone to come help me in the home even though I found an exchange student that would be willing to come in and help, he wouldn't hear of it.

It is hard to know that I did my very best with what I had been given. I kept close to God and clean before Him when ever I messed up with my emotions (being still responsible for sin). And now my son gets to turn for a short lived time to the sweet, butter melt in his mouth child for show....because I know if I embrace his love show and thank him or praise him, he will turn on me, use his behavior to get what he wants, even resort back to being ugly and disrespectful. I see it in his fake smile. It is a game to him.

He told me and my husband about two months ago that he wished he could have killed me so instead of killing me he decided to push me over the edge every day and make me fall apart emotionally....it wasn't enough until I was crumbled on the floor in tears, ripping at myself. I suppose this is why I don't trust him, and to be honest I really don't trust my husband to protect me. He is so duped by the good boy image.

I know I don't need to stay in anger, and hate. I'm making an appointment to see my counselor. I need to release this and give it to God and forgive. I just need to learn how to do this and at the same time set up a loving, firm boundary so that I don't get destroyed.

Of course, it crosses my mind that it is not my son's game at all by Satans. I know he has and he will continue to use even my children to destroy, whittle away at the healing and joy God has redeemed from the painful ashes.

It is just hard to stay aware of what may be really taking place when you hurt so much you have physical pain. You just want the hurt to stop and you want to stop making yourself open to being hurt.

So I am open for support, wisdom and love (yes, prayer), does God give you a word for me, or can you just let me know you are praying for me. God is my hope. For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.

love you,
Lindylou

11 comments:

  1. praying that God wraps His loving arms around you today and everyday! Stand firm. :-)

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  2. Your honesty about your anger rips all pretense away. THIS is the "in the muck & the mire" part of living that makes this world so hard. We all take turns being in the pit. I'm thankful that you know God is with you there. Sometimes that's the best we can do in our worst moments, just know he is there with us, feeling all the pain that we do. I am praying for you.
    A Twitter friend, caweaver

    "All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well."

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  3. I can relate to your story in so many ways. I grew up very angry about my parents divorce, and my father's abandonment in my life. I literally had a broken heart, and my chest actually hurt, all the time. I remember being so angry, that I would see red, and then everything would go black. My anger was so bad as a teenager, that I was hospitalized, and place on tranquilizers- yikes!

    We are having similar parenting/marriage issues, but have been actively working on things for the past 4 years. My hubby is healing from an abusive past, as well. I am approaching the end of my healing process, thankfully. It has been a long journey, thus far, however I feel God is using this experience to draw us near, to love, trust, and rely on Him.

    Dear Sister, I will be praying for you- my heart goes out to you!

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  4. Hi Linylou,
    The frank honesty in your post touched me on so many levels. I am praying for you too, and I pray that Jesus is your refuge in the midst of this storm. Also reminds me of my father. He used to bait me, tear my character and person to pieces, reduce me to tears, and then half an hour later speak so sweetly, as though nothing happened. Although I always wanted him to change, in the end it was Jesus who changed me, by changing the way I reacted to his attacks.

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  5. Lindylou, I haven't been by in a while but when I saw this post, I knew it was for me to read.

    Nine months ago we adopted a child from China. I have not blogged about any of the negatives because it just hurts too bad, but it has been incredibly difficult. She has RAD, where she rejects us and our love. You know what that feels like, when you love and they don't reciprocate.

    To top it all off, she is very resistant and controlling. If I tell her her food is not ready yet, she SCREAMS and pitches a fit. Then when I put her in time out, she feeds on the isolation and victimizes herself. If I try to train her, say to paint with a paintbrush, she goes absolutely still, mouth hung open, and stares past me at a point on the wall. She resists all sort of instruction, training, delay, affection, etc.

    Well, it gets worse. The worse part is my own feelings. I daily struggle with intense anger towards my child. When she screams or rebels, it is not pity I feel. All of this is intensified by the fact that I have a bio daughter 4 months younger who is the complete opposite. I try really hard to treat them both the same, but it is a struggle because of my own negative feelings.

    All of that to say that the Lord has been changing me over the past two months. It is happening slowly, I haven't had a miracle fix. But I am finally starting to get past my natural emotions and walk by what God provides instead.

    One of the things that helped me just this weekend is Ex. 17. Sometimes God leads us to a place (He is the one who gave us these children), Rephidim, and the last thing we need or expect is the battle of a lifetime. But there, we encounter the enemy, out of nowhere. The enemy for me is the intensity of my own emotions and my lack of wisdom to know what to do with my child. It is fierce.

    But God is the one who led us to this spot, and He did not lead us here to fail. He led us here to learn how to WIN. He promises us that He will erase even the memory of our enemy. We are here by His doing, and He intends for us to come away with the spoils of the battle.

    The enemy wants us to think we are defeated and that things have to be a certain way in order for us to win. But those are lies. I am learning that I don't have to feel a certain way to be a winner. God says I'm a winner and i will leave the feelings for Him to fix whenever. I am going to win this fight, as will you.

    I'm sorry I've written a book, I should have sent an email but it is done now! I am praying for you, please keep us posted on how things are going.

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  6. I want to thank each and every one of you for speaking about this hidden topic...with its pain in your own life.

    This may be the truly hidden sin after lust, especially in the church...it just seems to opposite and really it is from everything God is all about. God is love, not hate. But we have to hang on to Romans 8:1 For there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Jesus already bore the pain, anger, frustration, hurt and sin that we have. Jesus bore it, he felt it, he took it upon Himself when He died on the cross. Jesus also rose victorious and so can we.

    Pete, Heidi, and Lisa - you have touch my heart deeply and we need to pray for each other until we can see victory in our lives in this area. Anger can come from so many directions.

    Satan loves to use it as a wedge in relationships. I really see him doing it in my marriage through the pain our son throws into our family...and I see in your examples.

    Pete, frankly, I hope (with certainty)that my son does not see me as baiting him to tear his character...I so want to build him up...he just has those great negative comments, reactions and self-pleasure direction. God is teaching me still how to be a loving parent.

    Heidi, I want you to know many adoptive parents have very similar situations. I have a dear friend that has a son - now 15- that had fetal alcohol syndrome. With this disease comes so much rage. Their son has been to Juvenile Prison already for a few months, pretty much had to be sent there by his parents because he was too violent. He is back home and more subdue. Also Steven Curtis Chapman has spoken how difficult it had been for he and his wife to reach one of their adoptive girls because of the same lack of attachment disorder.

    I will write an article on how to establish attachment even after the young baby, toddler years...I have learned a lot through counseling and you still can make a big difference in her and the way she responds. The best advice I can give you is to be honest with God and continue to confess your anger. God already knows about it but He lovingly knows why it is there and He understands more than we can imagine. Don't feel condemned or guilty...that is not where God wants you to live.

    He wants us all to live victorious and the very best things that we receive in life take great work...not that justification or glorification takes our work...but God had to do mighty work in and through us in our earthly sanctification process, and a lot of this work out our faith in in trials of fire/pain/suffering to mold us, to purify us to be more like Christ.

    I lift us each of your hands. I know the tendency is to grow weary, but sit, rest in the Lord...He will renew our strength.

    Love, Lindy

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  7. Hi Lindylou,
    Thanks for reminding us that there is no condemnation for those in Christ. We all have problems and have to work through sinful reactions - what a relief that Jesus is the author AND finisher of our faith.

    I'd also like to say that it was your son's behaviour that reminded me of my father, not yours. I see your son's comments and reactions trying to tear down your character and authority, while you are trying to build him up and discipline him, which he throws back at you. He could not see you as baiting him.

    I am blown away at the way you are pressing into the Lord and seeking Him, with all that you've been through and are going through. And amen to us continuing to pray for each other.

    God bless.

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  8. Heidi,
    I wrote back to you a day or two ago and when I went to enter in my blogger id in choosing my identity - somehow it erased my comment...so here I go again...

    I wanted you to know that it is a common problem that adoptive parents have. Most don't talk about it. One friend of mine adopted a child 15 yrs ago, as a preemie baby right out of the hospital. By age 5 he was diagnosis with fetal alcohol syndrome. This is a very difficult disease to endure because of the rage and violence. These children often get very large and strong. The son last year spend a few month in the juvenile detention department for attacking his father with cut glass. I will say this child has a very tender heart, and is honestly gentle and loving, but when he rages, he really is out of his control.

    Other parents adopting children from foreign countries run into the problem you have. Even Steven Curtis Chapman has shared the heartbreak of one of his girls being so distant, unreachable.

    This is a very fundamental problem for infants and toddlers raised without physical, emotional and mental attachment. Neurons really do connect in the brain that build attachment receptors. The good news is it is never too late to rebuild or initially build these neuron connections.

    Begin gentle..maybe sitting near by...or in the room...take any opportunity you can get to make contact - washing hair, foot soaking (pedicure), back massage, stroke hair while singing lullaby, gentle rub back while praying over her, sit next to her at movie theater, or at a ride at six flags, these are endless.

    The second is to make eye connection within 16-19 inches...the distance of a mom's eyes to a breastfeeding child. So if she is ever sharing, talking sit close by and look into her eyes. Speak gentle words of love looking at her. If you are riding in a car, sit next to her and sing a song or tell a story or listen to her song or story, just be more conscious about eye contact.

    Gradually the attachment connections will take place in the brain neuron level and there will be more receptors to receive love!

    I hope this helps.

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  9. I see that you do have some very good methods of coping. Are you truly facing the problem?
    Sure your son may be manipulative, Your Husband may show a disconnect or a way of avoidance.
    It is not them that make you feel. The only person that can make you feel is yourself. It is a reaction to an action.
    If your son is the way you say then he has learned these behaviors from his surroundings. Your Husband may very well do all the things you say he does and it is not up to you to try to fix him.
    You are right to be seeking the counseling you need to have a better way to make assertive decisions that affect your life. Don't look for someone or thing such as Satan to blame.
    As only you know the true reasons why the things your family do affect you.
    I just recently have learned this through therapy and am taking a deep look at my own life to become a better me. I hope that when you decide to address the true reasons for your feelings that it will make you a better person to.

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  10. The wisdom in the comments are a blessing. Thank you for caring enough to write.

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