So yesterday my husband was off work and we decided to run a couple of errands. My van (we just bought, already broken!) is in the shop for repairs so we are stuck with the hubby’s Honda Accord.
Anyway, as I’m sure it’s pretty obvious cramming 3 kids in the back seat isn’t exactly easy, it’s even harder when one of them is 14 and all long-legged. My almost 4 year old daughter decided she wanted to sit by the window which in turn spawned a horrible domino effect that hit every one of us straight to the bone!
We got a mile up the road when the scream reached the core of me and rattled me into an anxiety attack. I reached back and I could have threatened to hang her out the window and that still wouldn’t have hushed her up. I tapped her cheek (more of a listen to me, not even a hit!) and that was the end of it! I felt as though I was in a cartoon at that moment and I was just going to explode and land in the front seat as a huge pile of ashes.
I demanded my husband turn the car around, plugged my ears and began humming some odd series of humming sounds which probably made me sound as nuts as I felt. I wonder what other drivers thought as I sat there with my fingers in my ears, my eyes closed, rocking. I would have paid to see that, I am certain it was pretty funny.
Well we got back to the house and I snatched her up took her inside and spanked her little hiney and stuck her butt in her room. Of course, it accomplished nothing at all except for pissing her off even more. I was in such a rage and in the midst of a severe anxiety attack that I just went to my bathroom and slowly concentrated on my breathing, staring at myself in the mirror telling myself that I was entirely too good to let this moment take such control over me.
I calmed down enough to take some ativan, and stood there for what felt like forever just staring at the monster in my eyes. I’d rather look at it myself than force my children to look at it.
My husband had also fussed at my daughter and then had to give himself a timeout as well. My sweet (yet obnoxiously selfish) 14 year old tells me that he will gladly give up his seat and let his little sister have the seat by the window. I admired his willingness to keep the peace. Sometimes he still does surprise me with that good heart of his.
My head was pounding, my eyes hurt, my chest was tight and I was almost in tears. It was a moment that I am not proud of and while I wish I could take it back, I can’t. I can say that I am a little proud of myself for fighting the ugly and calming myself down, alone. While fighting my temper gets a little easier when I can focus, I don’t think there is a lot that can unnerve my core quite like my screaming daughter.
Photo by Christine Szeto, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.
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Mental Health Social (February 10, 2011)
Last reviewed: 11 Feb 2011