I’ve got a great deal weighing on me and it all came to a head tonight. I feel like shit right now because I lost my cool with Elliott tonight.
Honestly, it was stupid and if I was a better person, I wouldn’t have reacted the way I did.
I had asked Elliott a question and I received a very teenager type response. There was some attitude and refusal to cooperate. Rather than be the only adult in the house, I tried to reason with him and it escalated rather quickly.
I raised my voice to him, mostly to talk over his yelling in an attempt to get him to listen. It just didn’t go well. I cursed a few times and that’s something I try hard not to do in front of my kids. Elliott felt like I wasn’t listening to him. I heard every word he said but it didn’t have anything to do with what was going on and I became frustrated.
In all my years, I have never hit my kids and I never will. Their mother and I decided that was the right approach from the very beginning of everything and we’ve never deviated from that path.
That being said, yelling at any of my kids isn’t acceptable to me either. I’m better than that and they deserve better than that. Elliott was in the wrong as well but I don’t think it was malicious in nature and it certainly didn’t warrant me losing my cool. At the end of the day, he’s the kid and I’m the adult. I need to act like one.
Poor Emmett was frightened by everything and I feel like such an asshole.
I let things cool off and I apologized to Elliott for my reaction. I was out of line and frustrated and not handling it well. I apologized to Emmett as well and snuggled both kids for a little while as we watched one of our favorite shows. I wish I could take all this back but I can’t. Everyone is okay right now.
Both the boys told me it was okay but I explained to them that they are allowed to forgive me for yelling but me yelling wasn’t okay.
The absolute truth is that I was pissed off but not at him. I was pissed off because I needed help handling things tonight but there’s no one here to back me up. I was angry because I’m struggling. The challenges in our daily lives have been more than two people could manage and now I’m just one person. I’m overwhelmed by a house falling apart around me. I’m frustrated that I’m not coping better than I am and now I feel like a fucking monster for how I reacted tonight.
Everything just came to a head tonight and I’m not proud of myself.
Maybe for you it didn’t seem to have anything to do with what was going on at the time. But you keep telling him to open up to you and thi s was probably what he was doing. You’ll have to work hard to get that back.
Give yourself a break. I actually think it can be really important for kids to see their parents lose their temper. As long as there’s no physical violence. It’s important for them to see that it’s normal and that it’s not the end of the world. Especially for autistic kids. They have to know that all the emotions they feel are ok and normal. And that if you make a mistake and say something you shouldn’t that you can apologise after. I think it’s dangerous for kids who only ever get a perfect, even-tempered example from their parents as when they inevitably lose it themselves they will feel it’s a catastrophe. What you did today was show them that all human emotions are ok and how to handle relationships when you need to apologise.
I guess I never thought about it like that. Thank you.. ☺
I agree. They won’t be given a pass by the outside world nearly as much as they deserve to be, so you are the safe person to show that their actions can actually really anger others. You’re prepping them in the safest way possible for what they’ll encounter and will need to handle as well as they possibly can out in the world. And then the debrief you did that I mentioned in my last comment. You’re being perfect in your imperfection. Really, really great.
It will happen again, and then it’ll happen yet again. And again after that. The important thing isn’t actually the yelling, it’s how that’s handled afterwards, and you were exemplary. Honestly, we can aspire to be perfect, but we won’t pull it off, and it’s a sign of just how typically teen he was that you lost your cool because of everything else in your life, so that’s actually worth celebrating. Yay him for pushing your buttons! Yay, you, for later debriefing and owning your share of the culpability for yelling. Life’s messy, man. This is part of it in all it’s glory and less-than-glory. Your debrief was exemplary. You modeled how to own your shit, and that’s gold for them.
Thanks Rhona. ☺