Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Oil and Water

Consider yourself forewarned: this is not a pretty little post. Not at all.

Scene: Outside on the terrace, in the family car, or at night tucking someone in and suddenly out "it" comes and "it" is not pretty.

How can they treat me as if I have no feelings? I am a person.

Words like these are a dagger to a mother's heart. The story spills out and so do the tears. More cruel, cutting words and I wonder how much a child can take. It is all I can do not to, not to.....I don't know..... sit the offender(s) in a corner for a long, long time. Like forever long is what I'm talking about. Let all your friends graduate, go to college, get married and then, maybe then we'll discuss if you've been sitting there long enough. If I'm not still fuming, that is.

And then I wonder how did my mom do it? How did she survive 6 kids going through the aches and hurts of adolescence? How? (Because right now I am tempted to retreat to my world of books and exercise and nature just so I won't have to watch. But then I know that is leaving my children to the wolves and that I can't do. At least, that one instinct is all that is keeping me present and not going AWOL. At least I have that instinct. At least.)

I know there are some moms out there who have no idea what this feels like because their kids are the ones doing the mean things. Sometimes it is intentional, sometimes careless, and sometimes these kids (and their mothers) are mostly oblivious to how they affect others. One thing is certain they are not the ones sitting home, feeling left out, being mocked, ignored or put down. They just go on their merry way sowing seeds of mean, whether or not they mean to.

Sigh. (I am allowed at least a sigh, right?)

I barely survived my own growing up years. I never realized that I might have to go through it all over again as an observer and one with a very vested interest, at that. Part of this is what makes church hard for me. I know that we are all people more or less doing the best we can with what we know, but it's still hard to watch the mistakes people make and the fallout created by those mistakes. A love for Christ should bring us together, unite us. Shouldn't it?

I think I am all stoppered up with words, my brain is an absolute jumble and the right things just won't come out. I know what I mean, but the words are failing me. I am not communicating. So I think just this once I will go read a book. Just this once.

Side note: If I had to pick, I would still rather my child be on the receiving end rather than the giving end of such poor behavior.

Side side note: This doesn't end at adulthood, as long as you're a mother you still feel keenly the hurts and triumphs of one of your own. Blast this motherhood thing with its goods and bads!

I mean, what's mother to do? Any of you who've been through this...do you have any suggestions? Obviously the sitting in the corner thing isn't going to work out all that great.


Kimberly said...

You're probably already doing everything I would suggest. Be present, love them, praise them like mad so they have a safe place to retreat to. Home needs to be a haven from the world more than ever in situations like that. Let them talk to you. Don't brush them off with lines like, "What other people think doesn't matter" or "When you're older it won't seem like such a big deal." Validate their hurt. Let them know it's OKAY to hurt. But also let them know all that there is in them that is praiseworthy and wonderful. Teach them about their potential, and maybe the present moment won't seem quite so bad.

That's what helped when I went through it anyway.

So sorry you have to see the ones you love hurting. Few things hurt that keenly. I suddenly want to call my mum and thank her for the bad times she got me through...

Zina said...

For sure you're allowed at the very least a sigh.

I keep starting to offer words of wisdom but I think perhaps I don't have much wisdom on this subject. I certainly hope to help my kids avoid SOME of the specific pains I experienced, but I'm sure there will be others I won't help with or will even make worse.


Christine said...

Been there, done that (and still doing that). I feel your pain.

Elizabeth-W said...

Ugh x a million!
I like your part about kids receiving than being the meanies.
Did you ever read that book Queen Bees and Wannabes?
I think we say both things--it hurts, it's okay to hurt, but then you can choose to continue to be hurt.
The other day the RS pres made a snarky comment about working mothers. Is it going to keep me from going to church? No. Would it have hurt me way more 10 years ago? Absolutely. We just have to move past the hurt. If you get physically slapped, the sting is going to last a few minutes. But every time we remind ourselves about it we slap ourselves again.

Heffalump said...

This is why my oldest asked at the end of last year to do school from home this year, and why his younger brother will be joining him at home next year.

Loralee and the gang... said...

Kimberly's advice is so spot-on, that I don't have much to add. I'm so sorry that you are going thru this with your child. It's heartbreaking. And sometimes, kids will say thoughtless things even though their mom's have taught them better. I know as a child, I said a couple mean and stupid things that I know would have horrified my mom. . . and I hope that I am not oblivious if my kids are mean and/or thoughtless to others. Maybe this is a little too much info about me as a kid, but we all make mistakes, right? And, being held accountable was a helpful and learning experience, something I remember when my kids exhibit poor behavior of any kind.

Mrs. Organic said...

I knew you all would have some helpful things to say. Thank you.

radioactive girl said...

I am so sorry! When things like this happen it helps my kids to talk about how they feel. I do tell them that when they are older they won't even care but not in a dismissive way.

When my daughter's boyfriend broke up with her I told her about my first boyfriend. When I was done, I said "and I haven't even thought of him in years until you went through something similar just now" and we ended up laughing over how she probably would soon forget it and only bring it up when someday HER daughter went through something like that.

Probably not the same thing you are dealing with, but in any situation (especially mean girls, which my 12 year old daughter is dealing with now) it always helps my kids to hear a story I have of something similar from when I was little. It helps them put into perspective that although whatever it is is horrible, it will be fine again one day. That and lots of hugs are pretty much all we can do.

M-Cat said...

I certainly don;t have it figured out. I distinctly remembering holding my 21 year old son in my arms whle he cried with an absolute broken heart.

I think that being a mom - this just comes with the territory.

If you ever figure it out, let me know!

Omgirl said...

Oh dear. I'm so sorry! I am going through this for the first time with my 5 year old. This year I watched her get ignored, bullied, and excluded by a couple of kids in the neighborhood, kids she had formerly been friends with. It broke my heart to watch. I am so sorry for your similar pain! You are right--watching your child go through it is so hard! In my opinion, WAY harder than dealing with it first hand. I want to go in and pummel those kids!!!

The Renee Chronicles said...

Hi Mrs. Organic! I'm new to your bloggie but I thought I would comment on this post in-particular. I'm not a Mom, but when I went through this my Mom was there..Even if I didn't really understand the why of what was happening. I think sometimes just being there makes the difference. Even if we don't figure that out until later in life. Cause Moms always make you feel better!!