Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Oh Boy

My last post was pretty prophetic. I have thought almost every day that I really needed to post. Besides knowing there are some special people out there who are rooting for me and want updates, I need the outlet. Unfortunately, with the new baby and all the other problems I'm dealing with my blogging has taken back seat to my need to sleep. It sucks because I have no time to see a therapist and I desperately need one. Blogging has been a cheap form of therapy for me and I miss it.

Things are hard. Really fucking hard. So hard I find myself getting something close to panic attacks when I stop to think about how I can get out of this and realize I can't. I am living in a war zone. The fighting is continuous and only getting louder and more violent. No one has gotten hurt (yet) but the emotional toll is devastating all the same. I just can't imagine how people survive families where the fights are always physical as well.

My husband is not willing to work on the issues we have. He says I believe he can't do anything right and everything is his fault, nearly word for word what our traumatized teenage daughter says. Funny thing, though, when she says it my husband says she is pulling the "oh, woe is me" card, trying to get everyone to feel sorry for her. I called him on it and he denies that he says the same thing. I really need to record this stuff. The level of denial they both have is astounding.

I came to a couple of devastating realizations the other day. The fundamental problem is the the Professor HAS to be right. He cannot accept that he is mistaken, wrong, or responsible. That problem cannot be fixed unless he is willing to admit it is a problem, which he can't do because he can't admit the problem might lie with him. I don't see any hope in that situation for an improvement. There is only so much I can do to work around that attitude without damaging the children. I can't meet him where he is because it is borderline (and maybe sometimes over the borderline) abusive. I can't watch my kids grow up feeling that every step they make is the wrong one, that they are stupid and worthless, and that nothing they do will ever be good enough. I've lived that, it will destroy them. This led me to my second realization. Many people that don't understand adoption have suggested that we "get rid of" Flower because she is "damaged". Even if I agreed with that, which I emphatically don't, it wouldn't help. The same personality trait that keeps the Professor from bonding with her and causes all the fighting is also the same trait that is turning my sweet, funny, intelligent 6 year old into a raging spoiled brat. The way he parents there is no way my kids can grow up happy, confident, and secure. If he won't work on it then there is only one solution left to me besides watching the destruction. I can't alleviate the damage without causing more problems. I've seen what happens when parents undermine each other and the kids learn that the parents don't respect each other. There is no happy ending here if he won't get on board.

He asked me if I want him to leave. I don't, I want him to help me fix this, but no matter how many times we talk about this the ending is always the same. He's not good enough, he can't do anything right, the kids don't respect him, I don't back him up. I don't think he has ever said "I will try this new method" without prefacing it by saying "I know it won't work, but . . .". I don't have any idea how to combat that defeatist attitude and even our family therapist has said she doesn't think he will ever work on his issues or become the partner I need him to be.

Today was hell. We had an hour long argument about all this stuff before I went to work . When I got to work I called the doctor about my 6 week old's diarrhea and they wanted to see her. At the office they told us that she may have a birth defect that will require surgery. It isn't life threatening but the thought of putting a baby that small under general anesthesia has me all wound up. Not to mention the specter of a little boy with birth defects who never drew his first breath. Her ultrasound is tomorrow so I will update when I know more.

After we got home there was more arguing and then Flower and the Professor got into it again. The screaming (both of them) and throwing things (Flower) scared little Sunshine so I had Professor take Sunshine and Little Bird out for a while to let everyone calm down. I am certain one of these days these arguments will turn into fist fights and I will lose one or both of them.

12 comments:

  1. Oh honey, loads of sympathy. This is such a tough situation. Don't you just want to start squirting him/them with a water pistol like you were training a cat?

    A friend of mine shared a Lifehacker article today that addresses work relationships, but it echoes Bryan Post's lessons on oxytocin parenting. Maybe seeing it framed in a different context might help him see sense, but maybe not.

    Here's the link, if you're interested:
    http://lifehacker.com/5989656/why-your-brain-is-hooked-on-being-right-and-what-you-can-do-about-it

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    1. I have thought about the water gun many, many times. We have several because our cats won't stay off the counters. Even me yelling shut up and get out over and over had no effect, he kept screaming at Flower over my head. I really will try the water gun one day, should be interesting to see what happens.

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  2. "even our family therapist has said she doesn't think he will ever work on his issues or become the partner I need him to be." This is a very profound statement. Does your husband acknowledge that his current parenting methods aren't working or does he blame the fact his parenting skills aren't working on you or Flower?

    I am really sorry that you don't have more support or a lot of options.

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    1. He blames it on all of us. He says none of us respect him and we all think he can't do anything right (hmm... four people are saying you are the problem, wouldn't that be a clue?). He claims he has tried all the methods I advocate. He will, for a day or two, or when he doesn't immediately get instant perfect children he gives up. It's so maddening because if he would stick with it he would be such an amazing dad.

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  3. I am just so sorry. This is an astonishingly hard situation. Please know that you are in my prayers. I'm not sure where you are located but, if you are in NC, please email me. I would love to help somehow.

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  4. Oh. Jen. I am so, so sorry you are having to go through this.
    Much love. I wish there was something more I could do :( xxx

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  5. Jen, I'm sorry to hear that your baby girl may need surgery. You must be so scared and this is on top of the 100 other things that are worrying you. I hope that your tiny one will be ok and I look forward to an update.

    Look, I'm a divorcee who feels very bitter towards marriage (it's warranted after that debacle!), so that's the disclaimer for the next sentence... I wonder how things would be at home without your husband there.

    You have some decisions to make. I'm here reading and wishing you some peace (and quiet!) and supporting you no matter what path you take.

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    1. That thought crosses my mind frequently these days. It scares me because as much as I don't want to give up and throw out the last 12 years, the thought sounds so peaceful.

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    2. It is super scary and there is so much to consider.

      You are doing an amazing job keeping things together, even if it doesn't feel that way.

      Cheering you on!

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  6. I hurt for you in this situation. I have nothing to tell you other than how strong you are, mama bear. You are doing the right thing for those cubs. Sleep and peace, and an ultrasound that doesn't require surgery.

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  7. I am incredibly sorry about all of this. I also admire your bravery and your huge heart. I know there are no easy answers, but I am hoping very hard that you catch a break soon in one of these areas of your life. Hugs to you.

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  8. I am so, so sorry that this is your life at the moment. After struggling with all three aspects of ALI I so badly want you and your family to have a happy, peaceful life.

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