Of all the parenting struggles, and the trauma struggles, and the struggles that exist apparently just for existence’s sake, the one I struggle with the most is defiance.
We are apparently in the midst of period where Hope has decided to be defiant. #ohhellno
I honestly do not, nay cannot, deal with this in a positive way. It is a serious trigger for me. Defiance burns my house to the ground, leaving just ash and anger in its wake. I can take a lot in my little queendom, but open defiance is that thing that will get me all the way gassed up. #tothegallowswithyou
While I don’t think kids should fear their parents, I do think there should be a healthy respect for place in the family, authority and all of that. There is a certain deference that should just…be. To this day, there’s a line that I simply do not cross with my parents. The line might’ve moved with some time. I might even bump up against it as a now middle aged woman, but there’s just some ish I won’t do and if I do it, I apologize and take my lumps.
The defiance that Hope displays isn’t rooted in any of that. It’s trauma related, attachment related and then just sprinkle some moody teenager on top for bad measure.
The roaring that my parents may have engaged in, and the occasional righteous and well deserved-smack, were enough to get me back in line with a quickness, but these approaches are ill-advised and useless at best in my own parenting of Hope (but lawd…my palm is twitching something terrible #realtalk #mytruth)
This weekend we’ve had a quiet rage in the house.
I don’t even know why she’s pissy; I have my suspicions, but really, who knows. I know why I’m pissy. Hope’s antics killed my #BlackPanker, #WakandaForever high. I was feeling all good and hype after going to the movies. (That movie was everything I needed and more in a movie—go see it!) She woke up yesterday, and it’s been drama ever since.
I haven’t dealt with it well. I *might* have told her how I really felt in a fit of anger. That just made things worse; I knew that, but in the moment, ALL of my buttons were pushed and engaged.
For the love of everything holy, just do what I ask you to do, when I ask you to do it. It’s not a suggestion; I didn’t say, “when you get a chance.” Just get up, go do said task or ask me can you do it at a different designated time. But the blank state accompanied by a subtle, but still noticeable eye roll. When I tell you that it sends my pressure up…smh. #rollyoureyesonemoredamntime #doit #idareyou
She is really, really, really doing it right now.
I am not here for any of it.
We are in an especially challenging time and I know it underpins this weekend’s behaviors. Hope wants to launch after graduation; we both know that she isn’t really ready but we’re kind of going through the motions like she is. I’m encouraging her to get an after-school job. Her grades are already iffy, so having a job isn’t a particularly big threat to academics and in my cost-benefit analysis, she’ll get some job experience and hopefully some more social interaction that will help her more than aspiring to get a C in algebra 2 will. Hope has career fantasies that are doable, but she’s going to have a few more rungs on the ladder due to academics, trauma, and a general lack of intrinsic motivation.
When we bump up against these truths, things get ugly. The walls go up, the lids go down and the lights go out. If I try to revisit the fact that I will be here to support every step, whatever the step—but there do have to be steps—no lights come on; no one is home in there.
I know this is all fear. I get it, I do. Theoretically, I get the push/pull, be an asshole so that you can just precipitate failure and abandonment dynamic, but really, can’t we skip this part?
Have we done enough of this?
Doesn’t it get old for you? I mean I feel like it’s gotten a lot of airplay and it feels old as hell to me.
Do we always have to regress into sh*tty behaviors? Can’t we see some of those other coping skills we’ve learned? Can we try a different tack since we *know* this one doesn’t work? Please?
Oh and I get that it’s not supposed to be personal—but when you’re single parenting and there are no other humans engaged in this back and forth, ish gets personal quick. Sigh.
Even Yappy is like, “she’s giving off icky energy, so I’m just going to post up over here…away from the fracas.”
I’m doing my best here and this weekend is one where it just doesn’t feel like it’s good enough.
Sigh…Just wash the dang dishes now…Dammit.