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Reality Slap from a Nice Woman Named Helen

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I needed to blog about this because it is heavy in my mind and heart.

Last night we had a session with DS therapist. He has been seeing someone for a little while, since life got overwhelming for him and we thought he would be helped by talking things out.

I am pretty clearly in touch with myself- pro and con. One big CON, a thing that I always try so hard to keep under control, is my frustration and my yelling. I am Italian- I grew up in a house where everybody yelled- if they needed to or not. In my house, I do the same- I yell for everything....and it has gotten out of hand. I am yelling about things like- clean up your room, why isn't your homework done, leave your brother alone- things that I did not think were damaging or harmful....everyday, frustrating things. When I am in the moment, though, it makes me feel like I am being so much less than I should be.

The therapist told me that in moments when my son feels most stressed, she asked him what kinds of things are going through his head. Why does he make some of the choices he does? One of the things that he said he always hears is me, yelling at him. He feels he can never do what I want and it causes him to feel a lot of unhappiness and stress. In stead of hearing my words of encouragement- and there are many given- he hears the stuff I didn't think he even listened to..


Words have a big impact, whether we think they do or if we think they are just going out the other ear.

My heart aches for how I have made him feel. I apologized to him and told him that I will really make an effort to tone things down and to watch my words. And I will. I started immediately.

I am a mom, and I have lots of bad habits and personality quirks....but when one of my kids is hurting...well- God spare the person who causes them harm- I jump to attention, ready to protect. They are my babies and nothing means more to me. To find that I was the one doing harm really knocked me off my feet. There will not be another day of the craziness that has been going on- although I can't promise I will be perfect, I can promise that I will be present and mindful and trying.

This is just one aspect of our relationship. We have a very fun, wonderful relationship most of the time- but I was happy to know that this one part of it wasn't working- so I can fix it the best I can.

I wish I could turn back time...but I can't. Life is a process, and I am thankful that I am open to learn in this process and that my son will forgive and love me as I hit my own hurdles.

Helen gave me the well needed slap that left a life changing sting.
I love her for it.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    this was a very touching story...... I know exactly how you feel. one of my son's cut off all communication from the family for over 5 years... all over just the sort of things I read in your blog, and I never knew what the reason was. He came home this past Christmas, and we finally cleared the air and are now working on building the relationship. I LOVE all of my children and my heart was breaking, i am overjoyed that they are all back in the family again. Good luck with your son, keep telling him how much you love him. God Bless. emoticon
    3565 days ago
    Thanks for sharing. As I was reading this, I thought to myself about how people can frustrate me at other times like at work but I don't go around my job yelling at folks every time I get frustrated so why is it ok to do it at home?

    Kudos to you for fist having him to talk it out with someone and second, having the courage to listen and apologize. Not only did your son get a chance to be heard but he learned that it takes a big person to apologize. I also think that it is important that you shared that you otherwise have a great relationship with your son.
    3633 days ago
    emoticon Well done on having the courage to be open and honest with your son and yourself. We all make mistakes and it is those of us prepared to say sorry that will improve their relationship with their children.

    3635 days ago
    I do understand how as a mother you feel. I know it is heart breaking to realize what has happened. I am so glad you have such a good relationship with your son and know you will make those needed changes. I tend to yell a little too much when stressed and like you I found out that it was taken negative by my youngest, I felt sick and knew I had to find another way. My son is older and still lives at home, I have had to learn to let him live his life and make his own mistakes if needed. We do talk but I have learned to kept it short and let him know what I am saying to him is my way to share how I am feeling.
    Being a mom is never easy all we can do it try. He is pretty luck to have you.
    3636 days ago
    You will do better now that you are aware of what bothers him. Not everybody can be perfect all of the time. You may have slips, but you will move past these and work on it some more. You can do this and you are a terrific mom and I know you will do what it takes to make things better.
    3636 days ago
    I raised two boys with ADHD and yep I was a yeller too...they were constantly climbing, breaking or jumping on something or each other and some days it was worse than others...have you ever yelled "if you touch that, I'll break your fingers" they know you don't mean it so they don't listen. I realized that one day when I heard another mother yell that if her daughter hit her sister one more time she'd hit her a good one...did it deter her...nope cause she knew Mom wouldn't touch her..but the threat was loud and from that day I decided to just talk to the boys and explain things to them about why they shouldn't do things and after some trial and error and a few chipped teeth and stitches later...they learned! I have a good relationship with my boys because I took the time to talk and listen and you are doing that right now...cherish your good times and I'm very happy you went to a therapist and weren't afraid to change...so many people just don't give a darn, but like a good momma bear, you will protect and love your child no matter what! emoticon emoticon
    3636 days ago
  • UNICORN212
    LOL. I think all parents have an issue like this. It may be yelling, it may be something else. But I think our kids are programmed to misunderstand us - they go from thinking we are perfect and walk on water, to thinking we are stupid and don't know anything. Then somewhere around 30, they appreciate us again. Try to ask yourself if the item you are upset about is a deal breaker - a big enough deal that you really should yell. If it is not, whisper instead. It actually gets their attention better (but it only works if they are in the same room!)
    3636 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/23/2011 3:49:09 PM
  • no profile photo CD6368620
    You are an awesome mom, Ang...I know that from our 'conversations'. If there's one person on this earth who knows exactly what you're going through, it's me. I also grew up in a loud, Italian house...we have a loving family, but there was certainly a lot of yelling, And yes, I am a yeller, too. It is a constant battle every day to keep my cool and keep things in perspective (isthe issue that important that I have to yell about it? Usually not). It's just our nature....you live what you learn. It's not too late to turn things around, though , and change our actions!! emoticon
    3636 days ago
    I don't remember being a yeller but I'm sure I was a B!+cher! And I know I had the evil eye down, still do! ;)
    Anytime you need to vent give me a "yell"
    ((Hugs)) & Prayers
    3636 days ago
    Good blog. I used to be somewhat of a yeller - out of frustration more than anything - a single parent of two. I see the damage of trying to do it all and maintain myself at the same time. I look back and wish I could change somethings too.

    3636 days ago
  • LESLIES537
    I was completely intrigued by this blog. I felt like I was reading my own life story. I find myself yelling at my kids more often than I'd like! You're right though, it IS something we can change...right here and right now! Thank you for sharing this with us and in turn inspiring me. Sometimes we just need a reality check, ya know?! emoticon emoticon
    3636 days ago
    Sometimes we need that slap in the face even though it hurts. Parenting is not easy and sometimes we do default to what we grew up with. I can relate a little as your blog made me stop and think about my own interactions with my son. I need to take a step back and not yell or get as angry as I do. We love our kids and you are right, when it's us who is the one hurting them, it hurts our hearts. I think just having that communication with him is amazing for you and to be able to work it out now, instead of resent it later will only strengthen your relationship. Sorry about the slap in the face you received but I'm sure you'll have more hugs from your son to help you both.
    3636 days ago
    I can totally relate to that slap down. Only we didn't have a therapist to help. My son told me - all you do is yell. Not making excuses, but I am hard of hearing too, so I am loud to hear myself, as well as being frustrated because I hate having to repeat myself. Why don't they just know they need to clean their rooms or do their homework. But I find myself everyday saying (to me) "I will not yell at them today, I will speak softly" . I do hope that you and your son are able to understand each other, I am sure he will realize that everything you did was out of love, and as you (and I) relearn how to speak to them, that is the mom they will remember, not the yelling one. Good luck
    3636 days ago
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