Waiting patiently for my turn to vomit venom…..

25 Nov

  … “Fuck all” by Atari Teenage Riot

If I could give a somewhat accurate portrayal of what it sounds like inside my head right now, the above song is pretty damn close.  It’s not happy in there.

I have acquired 2 of the most moody, dramatic, and emotionally self-indulgent boys on the planet. Hands down.  One is a 10 year old with Aspergers/ADHD– so that’s his excuse.  The other is a 43 year old musician who’s excuse is…. well, it varies.  Daily.  Either way, I am forever put in the role of mediator/therapist/mother (to both of them)/referee/etc.  It’s exhausting.  And the “happy place” I mentally escape to is starting to rot and crumble.  Their combined Dark Force efforts have penetrated my Jedi powers and are eating them like a cancer- and Yoda’s wise words of wisdom no longer carry the strength they once did (is my Nerd showing with that statement?… that’s ok.  I have no shame.)

These boys have decided that they have complete freedom to express their anger however they see fit… and though they’ve both gotten better through mountainous efforts of therapists and self-help tools- it all still flies up in my face far too often.  One tantrum at a time, I can usually handle.  But when both fella’s let loose, I’m juggling broken glass.  I can keep the glass gracefully bouncing in the air from one hand to the other for a magical performance- but I walk away damaged and covered in blood.  And through all this, I wonder over and over, “Ok, you guys have had your turn… when do I get my chance to scream, yell, throw things and act like a rabid monkey?”.

Last night, Sully let loose.  Because he’s home for Thanksgiving break, his routine has changed.  He doesn’t do well with a change in routine (Asperger’s 101: consistency in routine is vital).  So I tried to set up days balanced with tasks and down-time so that I could keep him entertained while still getting my work done.  It worked until about 4:30 or so, then the was fully sick of my shit and started playing the “mind games”.  The “mind games” consist of him making fully insulting statements, but presented in a way that he can easily feign innocence and mock me for being “too sensitive” or for not understanding what he was trying to say in the first place.  It’s a really maddening game because if you try to tell him the error of the statement, you get slammed… but if you ignore it, he’ll keep it going until he gets a response.  He loves this game because either way, his opponent is fucked. This game starts when he is bored with my company, or with a task that I’ve laid out for us to do.  I can’t let him out of the task (because I have to have complete follow-through with everything)- but after an hour of this game, I want to break everything I can get my hands on (but nope, it’s not my turn yet…. I guess I’ll keep waiting).

Then there’s Brad.  Brad has been given many nicknames from his dear friends over the years… “The Quitter” and “The Angry Greek” to name a couple. He’s part Greek, and part Italian- and he uses this as part of his excuse for being a yeller.  If where your ancestors came from can really be a viable excuse for current behavior, I’d like for someone to let me know which cultural group is known for patience, serenity, and kindness in the face of stress.  Is there a group out there like that for me to seek out and mate with?  And if we ARE allowed to use our heritage as an excuse to act however we want- my biological grandmother was from Austria… so does that give me the excuse to get all Hitler on Brad (or anyone else who crosses my path on a bad day)?  If so, I’d looooove to Sieg Heil the shit outta my boys right about now.  Brad’s other excuse is sugar.  He’s found that if he has sugar too late in the day, he turns into a complete shitbag.  Moody and mean and critical.  My argument with this is that if you KNOW that sugar turns you into a shitbag… THEN DON’T EAT SUGAR!!!  Duh! (nope… not my turn for a tantrum yet because Brad ate a donut… I guess I’ll keep waiting).

Brad’s favorite thing to do when he’s mad is to quit things (hence the nickname “The Quitter”).  When he’s mad at his band, he quits.  When he’s mad at his schoolwork, he quits.  When he’s mad at his car, he threatens to sell it.  When he’s mad at his computer, he starts looking for a new one.  And when he’s mad at me, he quits marriage.  6 years ago, when he first started “quitting me”, it was very dramatic and made a huge emotional impression.  But now, 12 billion quits later, it has lost it’s power.  The Greek/Italian sugar induced screaming of “That’s it… I’m outta here… this time FOR GOOD” is now met with a yawn.  I’ve learned that if you’re going to quit a relationship- save it for when you really are going to quit, and then make that exit Oscar winning.  You’ve only got 1 shot at it- and if you blow it, it’s blown for good. (Is it my turn yet?  I’d really like to scream now, please…. No?  Ok… I guess I’ll keep waiting).

So with Hurricane Brad and Hurricane Sully tearing through my house all day, and me being the lone calming agents with these 2… I’m getting tired.  And my patience is wearing thin.  I have a really bad temper- but being a mother I have to keep it forever in check.  And when dealing with Brad, if I react to his whatever-induced anger with my own tantrum- it explodes into something truly horrific… so I must keep my emotions bound tightly in a bag with him as well.  (Um, now?…. can I scream now?… No?  Ok… I’ll keep waiting).

When do I get my turn?  When am I allowed to jump up and down on the furniture and scream at the top of my lungs and throw objects and verbal daggers in every direction?  Every day, someone else beats me to it.  For years, they’ve been beating me to it.  And for years it’s been building.  And building and building.

Sully just got mad at his Lego’s and threw them across the room.  Dramatically screaming “I’m not playing with these stupid things anymore”.

Nope…. not yet.   Still waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.

It’s a good thing I don’t own a gun*.

(*gun would never be used on child or spouse… well, maybe on spouse.  But mainly just to fire off randomly at things in the house to get the satisfaction of impressivly loud sounds and objects getting shattered left and right)


21 Responses to “Waiting patiently for my turn to vomit venom…..”

  1. hayley g November 25, 2008 at 6:11 pm #

    my boyfriend does the “I’m Italian” thing too!

  2. kasia November 25, 2008 at 7:51 pm #

    Therapy? Everyone should pay someone to listen to them scream at least once in their life. You need an outlet and some support. Bad.

  3. Kristen Ferrell November 25, 2008 at 8:39 pm #

    I can’t stand the “I’m Italian” thing. I can’t stand it when anyone uses cultural stereotypes to justify crappy behavior. Brad wasn’t raised in Greece or Italy… he was raised in the suburbs of Southern California. The “Italian” thing doesn’t fly.

    My outlet used to be art. It isn’t working as well as it used to. I’ve got this buzzing in the back of my head that is growing louder every day, and I think I’m going to crack wide open. And when that happens, the boys should not be surprised to find swarms of wasps and balls of lava shooting out everywhere.
    Or I could just snap, calmly walk out the door, and just keep walking. They’ll find me dead in the desert weeks later.

  4. Cassie November 26, 2008 at 6:39 am #

    I would say “deep breaths”, but at this point it’s probably worthless. At least you have an outlet to vent here! That’s a little bit, right?
    I’ve never bought the cultural thing. My family is Irish, I myself am over 80% Irish but I dont drink all day and blow my money gambling. *sigh* Keep on fighting the good fight lady!

    *it’s the calmly walking out never to be seen again that scares most folks. 😉

  5. HarleeQ November 26, 2008 at 9:50 am #

    watch out for that aneurysm slowly forming in your brain.

  6. christine November 26, 2008 at 11:38 am #

    ugh thats irritating..even though I break out the “i’m Hungarian we get loud” thing, coming from a guy, the “i’m Irish, we drink” thing doesn’t excuse countless drinking binges…so lame and annoying. Hang in there!!!!

  7. whitney November 26, 2008 at 1:52 pm #

    if sugar intake in the evening is the result of tantrums, he should stop eating it.
    it’s fascinating when people know the reason for their ‘excuses’ but don’t seem to want to change them. i am guilty of that too…. i think it’s the process in between the “sane” to “crazyness” that’s hard to overcome, therefore, it just becomes routine and a really bad habit. am i making a lick of sense? i suck at putting my (or others) actions into words. UGH.

    wheee, i’m whitney and i never make sense!!!

    one of these days, you should round-house kick brad in the face and use the “but i’m a lady and i’m PMSing” excuse. it’s only fair.

  8. chelsea rae November 26, 2008 at 3:58 pm #

    No, i think the, ‘i’m a lady that tolerates every aspect of your hulking, stinking manness’ is solid enough an excuse.
    Just think. When your turn comes, it will be a beeeellion times more effective/impressive threefold: (a)Rarity (b)Merit & (c)Sheer fury built up over years of being the bigger person.
    I love you.
    (And i love knowing that you do this, because now i don’t feel like a chump for doing the same thing.)

  9. Kristen Ferrell November 26, 2008 at 7:51 pm #

    I’m just afraid that when I do finally crack- there will be no survivors. Anywhere.

    And I REALLY REALLY REALLY have very little patience for people who KNOW something is destructive for them… and they go ahead and indulge anyways (knowing full well it turns them into an asshole or a monster or whatever). This goes for food, drugs, alcohol, cold medicine, watching sports- whatever. Maybe I’ve been around too many relapsed addicts, or sugar-induced shitbags. But I know that there are certain things that make me totally nutso- and I avoid them. Just like I’ve always avoided drugs because there is drug abuse in my family history. It’s common fucking sense. And it’s also simple respect for the people who have to deal with you every day.
    But my males don’t have common sense. And apparently, they don’t have the simplest amounts of respect for me or others. Mainly me.

  10. Anonymous November 27, 2008 at 10:12 am #

    i fully suggest going down to your local firing range….
    there’s nothing more magical than a big bang…
    anybody who tells you yoga’s going to help with
    your stress release is a pussy….go fire some guns.

    check, right, no guns used on people…..EVER.

  11. butcherbaby November 29, 2008 at 4:55 am #

    i don’t even know what to say. you must have the patience of a fucking saint. i would have been dragged off in cuffs for assault a long time ago.
    maybe brad needs to get mad at sugar so he can quit. or just join “sugar anonymous”. i’m with you in thinking it’s seriously stupid to keep doing it if he knows it make him be an asshole. “everytime i kick this rock it makes my foot hurt so i’m going to just keep doing it, but it’s the rock’s fault!”
    it’s kind of disconcerting to think that sully can play mind games like that at TEN. obviously he’s smart, but that’s scary smart.
    have you ever taken a toy away from him after he has an “i don’t want it!” fit? or would that just trigger a new meltdown?

    i’ve been told that the firing range is pretty cathartic….couldn’t hurt to try.

  12. Kristen Ferrell November 29, 2008 at 11:20 am #

    With Sully, the throwing of toys has gotten to be less of a common occurrence. But yes, when he throws them- they get taken away. Or if he gets frustrated with something, I enforce a “5 minute break” from it so that he can calm down. Sometimes he walks away willingly, sometimes it turns into a war. It’s not the war that stresses me out… it’s the stress of never knowing if a war is going to start. That goes with both boys… either of them could be in great moods, and I let my guard down thinking we’re going to have a peaceful day… and BAM! I get sucker-punched by their crazy flair ups. So I have to be on guard. Every second. Of every day. Never knowing when a temper-tantrum will jump up and rear it’s ugly head, and being the only one to keep it from turning into Godzilla. It’s tiring being on guard from the moment I get up to the moment I go to bed. And I don’t think it’s very fair.

    Yes… the firing range sounds like a beautiful idea.

  13. Psychedelikat November 30, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

    First time to your blog and I’m blown away by your honesty. Try kick boxing or something really physical that lets you get your frustrations out of your body.

    I was with a verbally and sometimes physically abusive alcoholic man for nearly seven years. He was constantly throwing temper tantrums, following me around the house, describing wrongs that had been done to him years ago and why they were still relevant now (they weren’t). Because of the stress, I ballooned from about 140lbs to 180lbs. After nearly suffering a nervous breakdown, I found the courage to leave him. Now, I’m not suggesting you leave your husband, but it sounds to me like you’re in a no-win situation with him. You need an outlet at the very least.

    What may help is if you actually silently plan your own tantrum. I’ve never tried this, but I find the idea intriguing. If you plan to have a tantrum, where both boys are present, where you “become” irrational, yell, scream, throw a few things for affect. Then when you’re done, walk out of the house and go for a drive. They may not appreciate the outburst, but at least you will have vented.

    I am now happily married to a man with a mild case of Asperger’s. He’s never thrown a tantrum, but I totally understand the routine thing.

    Hope things get better soon.

  14. Kristen Ferrell November 30, 2008 at 1:19 pm #

    Thank you for your kind words of support!! 🙂
    Sully’s combo of Asperger’s and ADHD is what makes his anger explosive. He has gotten worlds better since we broke down and finally gave meds a shot- and I can handle his explosions when he’s the only one exploding. It’s just when I’ve got both the boys having temper tantrums at the same time, and when it happens day after day- I start to break down.

    I used to have one of those gigantic 70 pound punching bags that I would beat the crap out of when I got frustrated. But it was in the garage… and the garage is “Brad’s territory”, and he said it was invading his space. So it got taken down. Grrrrr.

    I would love to plan a tantrum. I would love to just let loose on them. But I know it would scare my son really badly because I’m his emotional rock… and I’m afraid that Brad would “fight back”, and it would turn into WW3.
    The whole things makes me so very tired.

    Thank you all for listening to me vent. The fact that I can purge it all on here might actually be saving lives.

  15. Psychedelikat December 2, 2008 at 12:03 pm #

    I’m glad to hear Sully is better with meds. My nephew also has Asperger’s pretty bad and the meds seem to help him, too. He’s now 14.

    It sounds like Brad is actually threatened by you, in his insistence that you take down the punching bag. I honestly don’t know what to say about that…

    I’m going to risk your ire (because I don’t know the totality of your situation), but it sounds like your man is an emotionally abusive bastard and you’re making excuses for him. I’ve been there and wouldn’t wish it on anyone again. Emotional abuse, in my opinion, is ten times worse than physical, because it’s the mind games they play on you. It’s all about control. He doesn’t like that you’ve invaded “his space.” So he kicks you out and removes the one outlet that allows you to relieve your frustrations.

    I took a trip alone while married to my ex-husband. I had forgotten what solitude and peace felt like. It was cathartic. It felt good. I was re-energized.

    After I left my alcoholic, overly aggressive “let’s blame everyone else for my bad behavior” husband, he went into a tailspin and ended up in the court-ordered looney bin. He entered my apartment without my permission while I had a friend over, stalked me, bad-mouthed me, blamed me for everything bad that happened, and when he couldn’t find me, he lashed out at others for no reason. He ended up threatening people in a class he was taking, screaming, yelling at the top of his lungs, and had to be physically removed, banned from campus, and thrown in jail. I haven’t talked to him in well over a year.

    I feel your pain. Honestly, I do.

    Keep writing. Spill everything here. We’ll be here! Your writing is great! 🙂

  16. Lex December 3, 2008 at 6:59 am #

    Wow, kudos to you for letting it all out. I seem to channel my familial rage into other projects, even on the blogs. You let that out nicely. We Greeks do get loud though, that I must admit. Not as loud as Cubans though, so at my house it was a great contest of decibel levels especially come the Holidays. And with the Asperger Greek Grandmother thrown in. So, in a way, your post reminded me of my childhood.

  17. Anonymous December 4, 2008 at 7:26 am #

    Aahh Kristen I can totally empathise with not being able to vent your frustration. I don’t have a son but I’m constantly surrounded by boys who just expect you to look after them and tolerate their needy ways.

    Obviously this gets incredibly stressful but for some absurd reason they never seem to get it. They give those ever so charming one liners such as ‘whats wrong with you today?’, ‘you pmsing?’…and thats if they notice at all.

    And to make the situation all the more delightful, when you do say something you feel an overwhelming sense of guilt that you just bitched at someone who for all intents and purposes is just a clueless boy!

    One day we WILL be rewarded for being patient and wonderful people! 😉

  18. M December 4, 2008 at 7:26 am #

    Aahh Kristen I can totally empathise with not being able to vent your frustration. I don’t have a son but I’m constantly surrounded by boys who just expect you to look after them and tolerate their needy ways.

    Obviously this gets incredibly stressful but for some absurd reason they never seem to get it. They give those ever so charming one liners such as ‘whats wrong with you today?’, ‘you pmsing?’…and thats if they notice at all.

    And to make the situation all the more delightful, when you do say something you feel an overwhelming sense of guilt that you just bitched at someone who for all intents and purposes is just a clueless boy!

    One day we WILL be rewarded for being patient and wonderful people! 😉

  19. Anthony in KC December 13, 2008 at 4:50 pm #

    I can sooo relate. I think Nick might be Brad and Sully in one. He blames a lot of things on his German and Irish background. He quits things left and right(jobs, school, dj’ing). And he throws tantrums like when he took the iron and pounded it on the ironing board until I had to replace both.

    Oh and on his Christmas list this year… Legos…

    No shit…29 and Legos…

    Of course I’ll get them because I want to play with them too…but that is besides the point.

    So I feel your pain! Sadly, no badly needed therapy here.

    He does have good points though. I should probably mention that 😉

    Love ya and you deserve to scream too!

  20. Dawn March 4, 2009 at 10:55 pm #

    I want to kill my family too! Just kidding, of course, but a good beating couldn’t hurt. 11 year old step-son with Tourette’s, OCD, and ODD and a husband diagnosed with frequent, yet well-meaning assholery. Melt-downs are the norm around here, at least for THEM. I wonder what they would do if their yoga-posing, mediation-prescribing saint of a mother-figure let loose with a hissy fit of her own? Glad to hear other parents are also in Hell. I know you’ve struggled with prescription drug guilt, well this family wouldn’t make it through the day without a little help from Uncle pillbox.

    • Kristen Ferrell March 6, 2009 at 11:56 pm #

      As much as I can relate and feel bad for your stresses, it makes me feel better to know that I’m not alone in wading through my boy’s bullshit. Thankyou!!!!

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