He walked up to me, his eyes filled with anger. His face was red. I had to lift my face up to look at him. His hands had formed fists. I wondered if he was planning to hit me. As an adult, I had been pushed once and that person learned there was a boxer in me on standby just waiting for a bell to ring. I have never been touched since.
Steely eyed I looked at him, silent, praying:
“Dear God, please restrain his anger, I do not know if I can react without taking his life.”
“You ruined my life! You don’t care about me or him. You’re supposed to take care of him. You ruined his life too!”
Me in a low growl,
“Step back and get out of my face. I am not your friend and I am not your enemy. This is not a playground and if putting your hands on me has crossed your mind for even a second I suggest you go to your room and calm down. I will hurt you and you will regret it all the days of your life.”
“I don’t care! Why should I care?! You don’t care! I have nothing!”
My oldest son.
I turned and walked away. My other children were listening, now crying. I needed to force de-escalation and demonstrate myself as leader. He followed me, still screaming. My other children now crying louder.
Me now yelling,
“You will not follow me around yelling at me! I understand you are angry and it’s okay to be angry but I’m not going to listen to you until you calm down. Watch yourself. I run this house, not you! You have a choice, go to your room and calm down or get out!”
What caused this eruption of pain?
Mom cutting Dad off at the door, quite literally. It hit my kids in the gut. This act was the nail in the coffin of their dying hope. They were punch drunk in the realization that we would no longer be eating at the same table, converging or conversing together under the same roof. They each handled it quite differently.
~ Boy one erupted in anger.
~ Boy two had in increase in migraine auras.
~ Boy three ended up very sick and in the hospital.
~ Girl reverted to talking in ‘baby speak’ and increasing her storytelling writing.
What am I grateful for?
That boy walking out. It took him thirty minutes of fresh air to come to his senses, come back and apologize.
It is days like this where all of my heart is poured into peacemaking while wars wage within, wondering how on Earth I’ll be able to teach all that needs to be taught. Days when once I’ve achieved a state of environmental calm I run to the bathroom, sit on the floor too heavy to stand and turn on the shower to muffle my crying.
Grateful to recognize traces of “I can’t do this” energy, telling me I have work to do to let that go, remembering that I can do all things.
Grateful for grace. That it gives me strength to stand, turn off the shower, face my children, smile, hug them in reassurance and tell them Mom is just tired when they ask why my eyes are red.