October 30, 2011

"You never know when she's going to yell"

Today during church, I sneaked a peek at my oldest sons journal while he was writing in it.  (His new fad after reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series over and over).

This is what I read:
Here is some bad things I do not like about my mom.
1.  she makes me get off the computer right when the timer goes off
2.  you never know when she is going to yell.

I tried to keep from laughing, and turned my head when he looked up.  Then leaned over to my husband and related the entry to him.  We both had a chuckle.

I mean, I know that all kids "hate" their parents sometimes.  Especially for making them do things they don't want to do (except isn't 8 a little early?).  And I'm okay with that.  Most of the time these are GOOD things that the child just doesn't know, or want to believe, is good for them.  It's our job to enforce the good, right?

But...the more I got thinking about #2 on his list (and after hearing a report from his Sunday school teacher about "very sullen/unhappy" behavior), the more discouraged I became.  (#1's had issues with depression before and I hate to think he might be falling into it again). 

I hate that depression affects me....but more importantly, I hate that it affects my family, our home, and the Lord spirit that dwells in it.  I hate that every time I "sink"....so do they.  I hate that my children suffer, act up, and, (particularly #1 because he's the most sensitive to my state of mental health) become sullen and depressed, angry and/or indifferent themselves.  I hate that they start mimicking my behavior (even my husband). 

It's then that our home turns from "a refuge from the world/storms of life" to the center of Hurricane Katrina.

Yelling is bad.  Anger is bad.  Constant bickering, name calling and blame finding is bad.  And there has been FAR too much of it lately in our home...from both the parents and kids. 

It's amazing how quickly they learn behaviors from me and, as I see my behavior presenting itself through them, I realize just how destructive it is.  I shrink from it...want to do anything to get away from it....but when I'm not "in a good place" I feel helpless to try.  I find myself just trying to wish it away.

But I can't.  For some reason, it never works (dang it).

I have to deal with it. 

First, by changing my behavior and second, by consistently guiding theirs.

And it's a lot of work.   And it's tiring.  And it takes forever to see even one shred of improvement.  And, it's been my experience, that when I feel like things are finally going pretty well in our home...I do something stupid (like go off my medication) and things start crashing all over again. 

And did I mention that it's a lot of work...and it's tiring....and it takes forever...and that I always seem to ruin it?

But....I found one small shred of HOPE today. 

I believe I must be on the incline again...heading away from "surviving" and, hopefully, heading toward "thriving".  Do you know how I know? 

Because just this evening I was able to turn my thoughts from despair, discouragement, and hopelessness over the situation and started looking for solutions.  Not only that...but I feel ready to tackle it....maybe not quite head on, just yet....but tackle it, none-the-less. 

That must mean that things are getting better...that the medication is taking it's hold once again.

At least...I HOPE so.

For now...I'm going to try my best to "right" this "wrong" and make my home the haven that it once was (or at least as much of a "haven" as a home with four, young, rambunctious boys can be).
P.S. I love to hear from you!
Leave a comment or e-mail me at melaniesmethodicalmusings at gmail dot com

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Natalie J said...

I find myself driving the Spirit from our home, as well, on occasion. I try (try being the key word) to remember to remain calm when my boys fight/disobey/make a huge mess...sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I know you can change the things you want, Mel. You are a strong woman and can recognize your faults and WANT to work on them. Like you said, that is a good sign! Love ya!

Judy Whatilivefor said...

Yelling is one of my biggest faults...I do really well for several days and then I just become too overwhelmed and yell. But, we aren't expected to be perfect...only to try our best to exemplify the life Christ would want us to live, and that's what helps me through...knowing I can still improve.

Melanie said...

Thank goodness for forgiveness. Where would we all be without it? I just hate that my kiddos have already suffered so much...and now again. UGH! But...today has been really good so far. :)

Miss MyLa J said...

You are so beautiful. I think it's great that you care so much about how you affect your family. I am learning how to manage depression and anxiety by taking baby steps. I have sought counseling, tried various medications, books, church and self help. What works for me is having a strong support system. Your family and us, your readers, are your support system, so use us. When you feel down or dicouraged..think about why. Sometimes (for me anyway) there is no reason, it's just how I feel, but challenge yourself to understand how you feel when those moments come along. I've found that it's best to be aware of your pattern. Get to know what affects you negatively and positively and conduct yourself accordingly as best you can. I am not a counselor, but like I said, I've been there and I understand. These are just some things that seem to work for me.

Melanie said...

Thanks Miss MyLa. You guys are my support group, aren't you?

I usually do a good job of determining feelings...I'm just so overwhelmed right now with....life....that it seems hard to pinpoint just one thing.

And then I realize...I just need to focus on one thing at a time. Then it's not so bad.

Rebecca said...

Just remember life, mood, behavior is not an on/off switch - more like a dimmer switch... and can go from full brightness to dim (even in a single day).

You are a great mom!! on a scale of 1-10... with 1 being the worst mom ever (ties kids to chairs, locks them in closets, beats them for no reason, etc). certainly you are NOT NOT NOT even close to that category!!

I would say you fall somewhere around 8 or 9 (because a perfect 10 doesn't live here on earth!). you love your children, recognize when they are having problems - and try to help them (climbing out of depression's darkness yourself IS helping your children!!)

Hang in there Melanie!! Ezra Taft Benson once said... "There are times when you simply have to righteously hang on and outlast the devil until his depressive spirit leave you." (Ensign, November 1974)

Melanie said...

Ooooo...Rebecca...thanks and I really like that quote. I'm glad you shared it.

Rebecca said...

President Benson's whole talk from that October General Conference is great!! It is titled, "Do Not Despair".

Jocelyn said...

Just saw this- I don't know how I missed it before! Last night I asked my kids, point blank, if they didn't listen to me or do as I say because I'm too nice to them. This really gave them some food for thought, I guess, because they've been excellent. But on the other hand, it sparked a conversation between a friend and myself about how we're either TOO nice, lovey-dovey, sugary sweet to our kids, or we're Mommy-dearest (yes. She's depressive too). Maybe the lovey is to over compensate for when we're "evil", or maybe we just need to try to find a "common ground." I don't know and I'm a little too sick right now to think about, but really, I also know we need to realize that parenting is so, so hard. And exhausting. And gratifying. And uplifting. From what I see, I'm pretty sure you're doing just fine :)

TheOneTrueSue said...

I don't want to be a parent who yells a lot. But sometimes I do. (And sometimes they deserve it.) So I can relate - both to the guilt over having done it, and the desire not to do it as much. Jocelyn is right - parenting is hard. And the fact that you've given this as much thought as you have shows that you are a loving parent, you know?

Melanie said...

Thanks you guys. I, too, know that parenting is hard. All I can say is that I try. And most of the time I try my best. That's all I can do. Thanks for your kind words y'all.

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