Thursday, January 22, 2009

Anti-Suck Protection

I live in a house full of vacuums. And it never fails. As a parent of multiple teenagers, many of them with issues, I simply cannot stop myself from getting sucked in some times. I try. I do all the self-talk in the world. I coach myself. I deep breathe. I ignore. I joke. Everything that I know to do, I do it, but there there are days.....

Yesterday was one of those days when I got sucked in to drama. Salinda spent the whole day texting me between classes about how she needed to transfer schools. The threats and demands and insolence popped into my phone every 45 minutes or so and by the end of the day I had cleared an hour in my ridiculous schedule (caused by some unforeseen minor work crisis) to spend time talking to her. But when I picked her up, she refused to say a word.

I worked myself out of the desire to explode and calmed myself but I'm still agitated by the experience. She is unpredictable and who knows how she will be this morning. She may be up and ready early or she may refuse to go to school. And I could do without the stress of her drama for sure.

Another person who constantly sucks me in is Tony. Inevitably each day he will say or do exactly the thing that pushes me over the edge -- or at least to the very end of the edge. He has the skill of either consciously or unconsciously saying just the wrong thing and I find myself having to almost physically restrain myself during particularly stressful moments (mental image of myself attempting to restrain my own body in Jim Carey-like comedy).

And then there is the 175th time that Dominyk announces that he needs a vitamin water (he's no longer allowed to have pop). I think my limit might be 173.

It really shouldn't be that someone is required to use all of their emotional energy during the first 75 minutes of their day. But lately mornings have been like that.


Angela :-) said...

I hear you. If someone else would do morning & evening, I'd be good to go, bring 'em on. DH commented last night that he had told me yesterday morning that one of the boys had wet his bed. I hadn't changed the sheets, oops! But, my mental energy in the mornings is spent on another of the boys. There were no brain cells remembering wet beds at that time.

Angela :-)

Yondalla said...

You know, it occurs to me that doing care is so much more difficult than it sounds not because it is different than they tell you it will be, but because it is exactly the way they tell you it will be.

It is just that you can't know how really crazy-making it is to get a text message every 45 minutes until you are on the receiving end.

Claudia said...

And the other part of it is that we all were so convinced when we went through training that we were going to be the EXCEPTION.

Who me? Oh no, I'm educated, and bright, and experienced. I would never let a silly teenager get under my skin.


Lisa said...

When I "ignore" my 14 yo son's dramas he will literally follow me around poking me in the back with his finger saying, "Mom? Why won't you answer me? Mom? WHY WON'T YOU ANSWER ME?". He demands some kind of reaction and cannot take the word no for an answer (ever) so if I do respond and tell him no he'll start all over asking the question. Then the other kids get in on it, telling him that I already answered him so be quiet and he screams, "No, she did NOT answer me!". I guess No is not an answer he can acknowledge. Sometimes it's easier to just soothe my nerves with some kind of one-liner that I use on everyone that day like, "Oh, you've decided to ______" about whatever is going on or "Well, how is that working for you now?" and not really pay much attention. It is very hard though because if they see I'm not really on board with the drama, they'll amp it up until I am. They are just determined to win (when I want nothing to do with their games).