I have always been a person with a temper and a "sharp tongue". Are you surprised? I don't let that side of me show on Facebook (normally) or on this blog. And yet, it's something I have struggled with since I was a child.
Let's see if I can come up with some delightful memories for you.
I was always being reminded of my tone of voice: "Becky--tone." "Becky--sharp tongue." I hated that. And yet, some of my kids have inherited this dreaded trait of mine and I am now reminding them in the same way.
I remember one day thinking I was going to change all that. After a moment of inspiration, I walked out to the family room where my two brothers were playing and announced, "I am never going to be mean to you again!" When they barely acknowledged me, I again made my announcement that I was a changed person. Again, they seemed unimpressed. I stamped my foot. "Fine!" I shouted, "You had your chance!" And I stormed off.
Ah yes, that little girl inside of me still stamps her foot and shouts from time to time.
I have heard people blame the devil saying that he created a situation that caused them to fall into their faults and sin. Well, while I do believe the devil attacks us (probably more than we are aware), I also believe, that he is like a mud puddle just waiting for someone to fall in. And mud puddles don't chase after people--it's the people who step into them. I have stepped into a few mud puddles today.
I made a fool of myself today at Target while waiting to back out of my parking spot. What is it with Sunday shoppers, I don't know. They all just got out of church and yet they are at their worst. I normally try not to shop on Sundays but we were out of toilet paper and I'm sorry, but with 5 kids at home, that is a necessity. I also had to order Anna's birthday cake since Target will be closed on Thanksgiving and I know from past mistakes that the bakers need 3 days notice before baking a cake.
(Please don't point out that I could've made my daughter's birthday cake myself, I am feeling bad enough.)
So with all those reasons, I went. I needed to hurry though, because I had Max waiting in the car. He didn't come in because he's sick and wasn't feeling up to it. So of course, it took forever with the kids I had coming with me, to pick up toilet paper, milk, put in the order for the cake, and then get everything checked out. I hurried back to the car, got us all in, began to pull out slowly, and then someone began to honk at me. I realized through my dirty rear window that someone was pulling out at the same time. Oops. So I pull forward and wait patiently for my next chance. So as soon as it looks clear, I begin to pull out slowly again only to be honked at again! This time, it's someone else who was 3 parking spaces up from me who decided to pull out. Well, I should have just pulled in--again--and waited--again--but my patience was already up.
I honked. I honked and honked and honked my horn. Man, it felt good. It was not the right thing to do, I know, but it made me feel so much better.
So after a few seconds, I begin to pull out slowly again--and it's like the entire parking lot froze. There were cars with their rear lights on that look like they were about to pull out but didn't dare to until I got out first. I was so embarrassed. I had made a complete skeptical of myself, not even realizing that I had captured everyone's attention. A guy who witnessed the whole thing passed by me with a big grin on his face. I'm pretty sure I am or will be on his Facebook status today.
All I could say to my kids who witnessed the entire thing was, "Don't copy that!" and zoomed off.
Of course, I am sorry now. Four hours later. I can see that I was in the wrong, that I should have been more patient. Everyone was in the same boat, impatient to get going, in a hurry for something, but we all have to be patient in the parking lot.
Later today, I cut the strings off of a group that I had created for myself and anyone else who was looking for support for Autism in a Catholic environment called "Catholic Autism Support". I won't get into that one. Perhaps one confession is enough. I will tell you that there was a disagreement about medicating your kids. I had posted for advice asking if anyone knew of any safe medications that they found to be successful for their child. Not one response.
Except for today, when someone simply replied in all caps: "DON'T DO THAT!!!!!!" That was it. That was my support?
When I replied, I simply asked the commenter what he would suggest then. (Along with an explanation of why I wanted to put my kid on medication in the first place.)
He replied that he never was put on meds because he wouldn't purposely make himself an "emotional drone". Oooh, that did it. Little Becky who stomps her feet got angry and defensive.
For one thing, I HATE medication. HATE HATE HATE. I was on it as a child and HATED it. However, I was also unbearable to be around. I have no idea what it was I went through, all I can tell you is that from the age of 11 years old, I became hyperactive one moment--loud, laughing hysterically over everything, to a downward spiral of emotional outbursts, crying, rage, suicidal threats. No one knew what to do with me. No one wanted to be around me. My family couldn't stand me.
After dealing with all this for months, my parents finally put me on medication. While it did "mask" some of what was going on, it also healed relationships with my family and with myself. They loved me but whatever I was going through was too much for all of us. The medication helped me get through a period that would have ruined us. Eventually, a few years later, I did get off the medication and haven't been on since. I personally try really hard to stay off of medication (I still struggle with ADHD and depression) because that is the way I choose to deal with it. But if I found myself ever getting to be *that bad* again, to the point where no one could be around me, then I would go back to the medication.
The point is, I don't like to be judged and no one should judge someone for being on medication.
This is what this group was doing to me for considering putting Luke on medication for his ADHD.
Luke--my seven year old who cries because he knows that no one likes him. The boy who is *always* in trouble at school, on the bus, and at home, because he can't seem to contain himself. Does he get disciplined? Of course! Does he get cool downs/time-outs? Yes. Have we reduced his sugar? Absolutely.
However, he still has ADHD. What I or his teachers and therapists can do for him is simply not enough. I am tired of seeing my little guy in trouble all the time. I am tired of him crying that he sits alone at lunch. It is not fair to him. This is why I consider medication for him---to get him through a period in his life that just might too hard to handle for his age.
Anyway, this is why I left the group. I had created a group of what I thought and hoped would be a safe place to talk about these sensitive subjects and somehow found myself defending my actions as people began to argue that I shouldn't put him on meds at all. Have they walked a mile in my shoes? I thought because we all have similar problems, they have but I guess not. So I did the easiest emotional thing for me to do--I left the group. It was hard and I'll miss it. But it's not my support.
I don't really like how I handled the situation. Perhaps I reacted too quickly. Maybe I shouldn't have been so defensive. Maybe I misunderstood what they were saying. These are the things that run through my head after I step into the mud puddle.
Those darn mud puddles.
I am glad for the showers of confession where everything becomes clear again.