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scatterheart

Scatterheart

DJ has his problems. Most of them stem from his unwillingness to talk about his emotions. He holds everything in and he has all this anger from various issues boiling inside of him. Recently, the anger has started manifesting itself in very undesirable ways. We've tried everything to help him deal with his issues, to get him to talk and to make him realize that the way he inflicts his rage on those around him is totally unacceptable.

I think the word that most mental health professionals would use to describe DJ is oppositional. I don't mean oppositional like when I tell him to clean his room, he says no. I mean if you tell him the sky is blue he will tell you eight ways til Tuesday that it is not. I mean that he will defy and go against and butt heads and give smart mouth answers to anyone who challenges him on anything.

Last night he called me a "pathetic mother" because I wouldn't let him turn on the Playstation at 10pm. I always make sure there are consequences for his actions, so I told him that he lost his Playstation privileges for the next 24 hours. He cried, he screamed, he yelled and then he quieted down. I left the room and did some laundry.

Fifteen minutes later he comes into the living room crying and asks me to come into his room. I walk in there with him and it was like someone punched me in the stomach. He had taken all the clothes out of the drawers and threw them all over the room. He threw books and games and crayons everywhere.

And he was scared of himself. He had never acted out in this way before. Not to this extreme. He started crying; real, remorseful tears. Not the usual manipulative tears I get from him. I didn't know what to do or how to react because I never came across this situation before. Well I did, but it was with my ex-husband. And I was able to just walk out of the house at that time. I wasn't going to walk out on a nine year old boy who was in obvious distress.

We cleaned up the room together and talked about his actions. He was sobbing -those deep, breath sucking sobs - the whole time and saying he was sorry. He was sorry that he did that to me, sorry that he can't control his anger, sorry that he made such a mess. Eventually he just collapsed on the floor and begged me to hug him. He hugged me tighter than he ever has.

We stayed in the room for a while, not saying anything to each other. He laid down and I rubbed his back and he asked for a teddy bear to hold, which he hasn't done since he was two. When he was finally ready to talk again, we discussed the whole situation and everything that happened leading up to it.

I don't know if anything got resolved or if he scared himself so much he's going to straighten his behavior problems out on his own, or if he truly learned something. Only time will tell. But I did feel for him. It's not an easy thing to deal with when you know you are out of control. Especially when you are just a little kid.

When he finally went to sleep, I went outside to sit by myself for a while and thought of an email that Aaron sent me earlier in the evening. Enclosed were the lyrics to Bjork's "Scatterheart" and I had written Aaorn back saying that the song made me think of my daughter. But now, I thought, how appropriate this would have been to sing to DJ as I held him and rocked him as he fell asleep.

My dearest scatterheart

There is comfort
Right in the eye
Of the hurricane
Just to make it easier on you

You are gonna have to find out for yourself

All the hurt in the world
You know
There's nothing I'd love to do more
Than spare you from that burden
It's gonna be hard

If I only could
Shelter you
From that pain
Just to make it easier on you

You are gonna have to find out for yourself

Sometimes being a parent means feeling your heart break. And sometimes it means putting aside your own aches and pains to heal whatever hurt your child is feeling. And if you can't heal them, at least you can comfort them.

I don't know where to go from here, except that whatever path I choose to take with DJ, it will be a path of love, not fear or anger.

Comments

{{{{{{hugs for you, DJ, and Natalie}}}}}}

At least he's not alone with it, he doesn't have a parent who just wants to drug him out so he'll stop inconveniencing them... he's pretty damn lucky he's got you for a mother.

Okay, first off, the sky isn't blue. K? Its light refraction in the hydrogen molecules that causes the human eye to distinguish the gases that make up the atmosphere as blue. The higher up into the atmosphere you go the less the index of refraction is and the lighter the blue seems to be until at extreme altitudes you're just seeing thin whispy whiteness and eventually the black of space.

Second of all... I understand where DJ's coming from here as I tend to repress all my anger as well then let it out in massive doses. But a hug and a talk does wonders for it so you were the antithesis of a pathetic mom this time around.

Oh, and he can have my Ritalin if you like, I don't need it anymore since I discovered caffeine.

It scares me how much he reminds me of you, D.

You are an amazing parent, Michele.

I remember the raging. I also remember that there was nothing I wanted more than for mum to come in and save me from my own destructiveness. Sometimes she would. And it meant that I wasn't alone. For one minute, one hour, when she was hugging me the raging stopped. You hug that boy. You keep him safe. Show him that it's ok to dive from atop stars so long as he's got a mother as wonderful as you to catch him when he falls. (Oh, and I think 'pathetic' rubs off in a few days.)

I'm really impressed with the patience and calm with which you handled not only his room, but the initial comment. To have your kid say you're a 'pathetic mother,' even when you know he's only venting about something, has got to sting a little. That's a pretty hardcore comment to swallow. I have great parents, and I'm often sad that there aren't more people like them in the world...

so it's nice to know someone who is.

Brilliant, Michele. Absolutely brilliant. You can rant and rave and scream and shout all you want on here, you're all love and heart deep inside there.

Good. Very good. This makes my day.

If you have any doubts whatsoever about how you handled this situation - not that it sounds like you do - don't, don't, don't. I wish my parents had been so patient and good when I had my own times of feeling out of control.

That is Mother of the Year stuff in my book. I was taught to bottle up emotion and avoid conflict as a kid, which carried a huge price later on. DJ is one lucky kid.

I want to hug you so much.
And hug my mother.

And continue crying like the boychild I am.
(wipes tears)

that song says it all--
love to you guys.

We are not compelled to meditate by some outside agent, by other people, or by God. Rather, just as we are responsible for our own suffering, so are we solely responsible for our own cure. We have created the situation in which we find ourselves, and it is up to us to create the circumstances for our release.

-Lama Thubten Yeshe, “Wisdom Energy”

You’re on the right path, booboocito.

That post got me teary-eyed. I think you're a great mother, DJ and Natalie are very lucky.

I don't know how you do it, Michele.

You know, stories like this, and the RH one about Natalie, are pushing me further and further into the 'no children' zone.

I just wouldn't have the patience and sensitivity for it.

Good work, sweetie. I'm going to remember your story the next time my son is having a tantrum and all I want to do is scream back.

i am just like dj. but my parents dont like me. they feed me drugs. i dont take them. i just hide them. sometimes ill forget to hide them, and ill swallow them. and i might as well be swallowing acid tabs because i lose control. my mind goes ballistic, and i sit and wonder, is this normal or was i normal. and it hurts because i will never know if normal is on drugs (the way my mother thinks i should be all of the time) or if normal is me off drugs at my own mercy. which isnt so bad. i am a good person.

i am just like dj. but my parents dont like me. they feed me drugs. i dont take them. i just hide them. sometimes ill forget to hide them, and ill swallow them. and i might as well be swallowing acid tabs because i lose control. my mind goes ballistic, and i sit and wonder, is this normal or was i normal. and it hurts because i will never know if normal is on drugs (the way my mother thinks i should be all of the time) or if normal is me off drugs at my own mercy. which isnt so bad. i am a good person.

Sounds like you're putting your heart into being as good a mom as you know how. You (and DJ) can't ask for more.

BTW, I should be on your blog sponsor list. Cheers.

you handled that beautifully. and dj is a wonderful kid.

I'm so impressed that you could immediately have that much perspective on what was really going on for him. Poor sweet kid.

You really are an amazing mom. Your stories make me want kids cuz even in this pain there is something so real and good and alive.

Love to you all.

I guest hosted a radio show today, and had free range on music... I played Scatterheart for you. I know you weren't there to hear it, but you, and the song, have been on my mind all day.

So, Michele, though you weren't there... That was for you.

i've just learned so much about my relationship with my own son, and i can't thank you enough.

how wonderful is James?

if you answered, "so wonderful," then you're correct.

how wonderful is Michelle?

so wonderful.

so wonderful.

thank you.

Thanks Michele. It's amazing how clearly healing it is for folks to witness compassionate parenting. Even if DJ rages again, he'll know there's a safe place to fall.

And to "A Boy Named Andrew", my heart goes out to you. I hope there is someone, a school counselor or another adult, that maybe you could reach out to for support.

He's a lucky kid to have such a loving, caring mom. As another mom, thank you - thank you, thank you, thank you - for sharing what you are going through. There will come a moment where I will be able to look back on your words here and grow - I've already learned from them. And thank you for sharing the lyrics too - perfect.

(For some reason I feel like I need to add the Bud Light version of "I loooove you, man!" to this comment. Because really, I do.)

too many things in my mind. too many thoughts. growing up, too many bloody issues to deal with, i yell and scream and act out and hide and cry alone late at night, and sometimes she hears me, when for moments i let my guard down...and i think i am hurting so much, that no one understands at all, and i cry into her so hard only to look up and find my pain a million times worst etched in her eyes.

i am eighteen but for moments, there is nothing more i want or am more comfortable than to cry in my mother's arms when all else seems wrong and complicating, to have her kiss my forehead, to have her thank the lord above and be nice to him when all i really want to do is just yell at him, to have her comfort me with nice long strokes and 'everything's going to be okay' phrases.

yet there is the flipside. the eating disorder. the attempted suicides. the hiding. so much of hiding. so much of not telling her how i feel because i know it hurts her, because i know i have to be strong enough for her, for them. because a selfish part of me always thinks that i can fix everything on my own and i hate messing up other people's lives, because just like you, i know that she loves me as her child and i hate making her upset. or hurt. and i hate the part where she puts aside everything else just to fix me.

thank you.

this blog is so amazing. i've been trying to hold back the tears but this post is like "there".

xie xie.

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