Yesterday was a bad day. Considering how my days have been lately, that says a lot. Usually I'm good at putting my head down, plowing through and dealing. Usually I get frustrated when the people around me won't just suck it up and do the same. Usually.
Thursdays are always hard, due to the fact that GH isn't home when I get done with work, and he doesn't get home until after 11pm. This means I've got the kids to myself, which also means dinner, shower, and bedtime myself. It means breaking up fights, handing out punishments, curbing begging, and wresting temper tantrums all by myself.
Don't get me wrong, sometimes I really love the time alone with the kids, getting that one-on-one time in, talking, cuddling, playing games. Sometimes I really enjoy having the evening to myself as well, watching the TV shows I want, hogging the covers, selfishly cuddling the puppy- all of that good stuff. But yesterday....yesterday was just out of whack.
There has been a lot of stress boiling under the surface of my tightly stretched skin-Christmas gifts and winter clothes looming in the near future, job worries, heating fuel concerns, my perpetually messy house, the kids screaming, a husband who largely ignores me, etc. All of it has been stewing, festering, locked down tight, held in check to seep out only in moments of private anxiety.
Last night I got my work's emergency pager for the week. Even though it's only once every month or so that I have to carry it, it's an immediate ball of anxiety. I don't sleep well for fear of client emergencies or late night call outs. So I carried this Albatross home, to the immediate complaints of two cranky children over my choice of dinner. For G, these complaints soon escalated into a full blown fit.
Now please understand, I am patient with G's Asperger's. I've read the books, done the research. I do my best to be flexible, adaptable in the face of his rigidity. I try to hold him, sooth him. I try to ignore the screams the verbal abuse. But yesterday? I just couldn't do it. As G lay screaming on the floor, telling me how wretched the dinner I was preparing was, how I never fed him anything he liked, I'd had enough. I shouted for him to get up to his room. I resisted the urge to haul him up off the floor and march him to his room, knowing the level of my temper at that moment.Instead I snarled my way to a count of five, and he catapulted himself up the stairs, pausing to scream at the top of his lungs how much he hated me. I shouted back that he could just stay in his room. Not my proudest moment. I was rewarded with the sound of his feet battering his bedroom door, and screams that he hated everything, wished I would die, and so on.
So, hoping to recoup a few parental points, I took a deep breath, forced a smile, and sat on the couch with K. As I hugged her, and attempted to ease the suffocating Rage Beast that was burrowing in my chest, she proceeded to tell me that GH and I didn't spend enough time with her. She went on to bemoan all of the time we spent at work, cleaning the house, cooking dinner.
The Rage Beast gnawed at my insides, and I asked K if she would like it better if the house was even more filthy? Or maybe if I stopped working, she wouldn't have to worry about me making dinner because we wouldn't be able to afford food. Before I could go any further, I removed myself to the kitchen to check on the dinner nobody wanted, and then, to cry on the kitchen floor. It was pathetic. I was pathetic.
And so today, I try to forge ahead. This morning was greeted with yet another G fit, and a teary moment at work. Right now, with some advice from a beloved co-worker, I'm researching Asperger's support groups. Today I will fight the Rage Beast once again. Today I may even win. Today, I will take solace in the blogs of others, as they struggle with parenthood and bare their flaws. Today will be better. Today I will make it through....