Currently I?m reading a book by Julie Barnhill called “She?s Gonna Blow“. It?s written specially for mothers dealing with anger by a mother who also has to deal with it.
Frankly- it?s frightening. It describes in detail the kind of “explosions” moms can have, from the gently but permanently simmering rage to the explosive murderous episode and she equates them to types of volcanoes. It also gives detailed descriptions of the types of abuse our children are subjected to? the loaded silences, the nasty sarcastic comments (the list goes on)? by us, their mothers AND describes the emotional these things can do. She also suggests ways of identifying the underlying causes of anger. And it?s a good book whether you?re a stay at home mom, a single mom, a work full day mom, a stepmom, it doesn?t matter?. The main “theme” that I have found throughout the book (I?m halfway through it) is one of hope and that I?m not alone- that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If I hadn?t seen so many of these books piled on top of each other in the bookshop I would swear she wrote it especially for me, personally. I feel like checking over my shoulder to see if anyone has registered my shock or horrified expression when I read a particularly accurate passage. Of course there?s no-one in the flat but me and Damien, but I still feel guilty as hell. The book also suggests ways to control my outbursts that actually work! If you?ve had days when you are ready to put your kid on the corner with a ?free to a good home? sign around his/her neck (and we all have) then this is the read for you. It?s also really funny and touching- definitely worth the time.
Thank you for giving me this book sister C, love you.
I love the fabulous bill of rights for mothers on “mominthemirror” and it made me think of another bill of rights, this one thatmy son’s doctor gave me when we first started seeing him.
HELP ME TO FOCUS*
Please teach me through my sense of touch. I need “hands on” and body movement.
I NEED TO KNOW WHAT COMES NEXT*
Please give me a structured environment where there is a dependable routine. Give me an advance warning if there will be changes.
WAIT FOR ME, I’M STILL THINKING*
Please allow me to go at my own pace. If I’m rushed, I get confused and upset.
I’M STUCK, I CAN’T DO IT*!
Please offer me options for problem solving. If the road is blocked, I need to know the detours.
IS IT RIGHT? I NEED TO KNOW NOW*
Please give me rich and immediate feedback on how I’m doing.
I DIDN’T KNOW I WASN’T IN MY SEAT*!
Please remind me to stop, think, and then act.
AM I ALMOST DONE*?
Please give me short work periods with short term goals.
Please don’t say “I already told you that.” Tell me again, in different words. Give me a signal, draw me a symbol.
I KNOW IT’S ALL WRONG, ISNT’T IT*?
Please give me praise for partial success. Reward me for self improvement, not just for perfection.
BUT WHY DO I ALWAYS GET YELLED AT?
Please catch me doing something right and praise me for the specific positive behaviour. Remind me * and yourself * about my good points when I’m having a bad day.
I don’t know why it never struck me before. Tonight I saw a trailer for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, the original of which I loved, as well as devouring the book… no pun intended, and I realized that I have seen and loved a lot of Tim Burton movies. Did you know he worked for Disney? Needless to say his creations weren’t exactly what Disney was looking for- but they recognised artistic talent.
It must have happened the first time I saw my all time favourite Burton flick, the inimitable “Beetlejuice”, man I loved that movie. I think I must’ve seen it five or six times. My second favourite Burton flick- brace yourself- “Mars Attacks” which (to quote a website) “…is irresistibly perverse in its state-of-the-art tackiness…” A perfect description, couldn’t have said it better. Also a favourite of mine is “A Nightmare Before Christmas” which I think was very lost on South African audiences but Damien and I adore it. My brother worked in a shopping mall a while back and come Christmas they had a window dressing competition in the mall. My brother and his colleagues opted for “…Nightmare…”, I loved the idea but it didn’t go down too well, like I said- lost. Burton’s version of “Sleepy Hollow” was fabulously scary, and need I say it, another favourite of mine and Damien’s. And of course there was the unforgettable “Edward Scissorhands”. And two movies we thoroughly enjoyed but never knew were his were “Batman” and “Batman Returns”, and now all of a sudden The Penguin character makes sense… go figure. The one movie of his which I enjoyed but won’t watch again in a hurry (unlike his others, most of which I’ve seen many times over) is “Planet Of The Apes”. The special effects were fabulous, and it was a good movie, but not like his others. The fact that most of his movies star the delectable Johnny Depp is beside the point of course (loved him in “Pirates Of The Carribean”). Oh, note to self: rent “Ed Wood” from video shop ASAP. I have long known and stated that I am a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino films, but I never registered how much I loved Tim Burton movies as well. In the process, I have inadvertently turned my son into a fan (of Burton not Tarantino).
We went to court- we saw the probation officer / social worker- we saw the magistrate* and we survived- it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. They didn’t take my child away and they didn’t lock him up. I prayed all week for the people who would be deciding Damien’s fate to be fair, and for the whole thing to be over quickly. Well, we spent almost all of yesterday at the magistrate’s court. We arrived at 8am, with the court due to start at 8:30am. The probation officer only called for Damien at about 11am. So after freezing our backsides solid on uncomfortable chairs in the open corridor outside the courtroom for 3 hours, with all the other waiting juveniles, we almost had to run to keep up with the probation officer. We went down to where the probation officers are “holed up” which is also where the holding cells are. It was also freezing down there, and gloomy and scary. She asked Damien a bunch of questions, like why did he do it and did he learn anything from it* and was he scared? Boy was he scared! Needless to say we were both absolutely terrified. I am surprised my heart didn’t give out on the spot when they called his name. Damien clung to my hand while the social worker quizzed him, then she told him that he would have to attend a two day “youth crime prevention” programme where his attendance and attitude would be reported on (I have to be there too, on the second day), and then report back to the court, where we’ll sit for another day waiting for our case to be called. If his attendance, behaviour and attitude at the programme are good (according to what they are looking for), then his record will be expunged. We then had to go back and wait outside the court room for the actual magistrate to announce what the social worker had told us. God answered my prayer in this instance- we were literally in and out of the magistrate’s court in less than 2 minutes! We left the court house at about 1pm! We hadn’t had anything to eat or drink while we were there- we were too afraid to go anywhere in case they called Damien and decided he hadn’t arrived. He gets a second chance because he made a mistake. If he gets caught again however, there will be no second chance. He will have to plead, he will be tried and he will have a record. It’s a horrible experience. There is no sympathy, no leeway. I truly hope Damien learnt his lesson. I am so relieved that that part is over.
I slept a little better last night, but I am still worried- obviously. Damien was literally released into my custody as his mother and guardian, now I wonder how long it will be before I can let him go anywhere alone again. Before I can trust him again* it’s going to take a lot of work from both of us.
I don’t think I’ve found the lesson God wanted me to learn/ find in this yet* I’m still looking/ listening though.
i didn’t sleep last night, my back is killing me – no matter how i sit or stand, it hurts. when i stress, my back gets sore… now thats driving me mad too. my mind hasn’t stopped – i am taking a short break from work to type this – to get it off my chest – so to speak. i don’t want to stop working because then at least my brain is occupied with other things. i don’t want to see anyone because the few people who know what has happened treat me differently now and want to talk aout it and i don’t want to talk about it yet. i want to ask my housechurch to pray for me and damien but i don’t want to tell them why. i don’t want to even go to housechurch but i do want to go because i need it and i will probably feel better… my mind keeps harping on the consequences. what about his future career? will he ever be able to leave the country? will he ever be able to get the job he wants? will this be with him forever or only until he’s 21? what about high school, and his current school? do i need to tell them – will his high school still accept him if i tell them he has a record? will his current school let him stay? if i tell friends and or family what happened and whats going on – will they ever be able to look for something thats missing without wondering when last damien was in their house? what if the social worker goes to the complete extreme and decides i’m not good enough for my precious child – i don’t even want to finish that thought. i don’t want social workers watching me period! what if damien gets so worried about all of this that he runs away – i don’t know why that one keeps coming back, i am completely paranoid about where he is lately. i think i a hundrede times last night to make sure he was still in his bed.
i really hope tomorrow is quick and “painless”. i don’t know whats going to happen when we get there – or how they do this…
can’t think about it anymore right now…