Today I am tired.
I am tired of being yelled at.
I am tired of having to implement token systems to reward appropriate social behavior, which really means that I'm trying to find a carrot big enough to help my child treat me with some basic respect and decency instead of growling (yes, real growling) when she's asked to do her chores, pick up her socks, do her math.
I'm tired of seeing the way it affects the little ones, having someone stomping and yelling around the house. I'm heartbroken and proud at the same time to see how they are all usually able to accept this as normal life and treat their sister with love and grace. And worn out by redirecting and disciplining when they start trying out the same kinds of things.
I am tired of feeling edgy and irritable by evening because I've been screamed at off and on the entire day.
I am tired of hearing "I hate you!" and "You hate me, don't you!"
And though I never tire of saying, "I still love you," to the first, I am tired of fighting the temptation to respond to the second, "I always love you but right now I sure don't like you much."
I'm tired of autism, pre-teen attitudes, the hormone roller coaster, having to establish and re-establish appropriate boundaries, and temper tantrums.
I'm tired of holding it together.
On a normal day, lovely lady's unpleasant behavior rolls right off my back. I am able to be firm, loving, direct. I don't take it personally. But every once in a while I have a day like today where I just. don't. want. to. deal.
Homeschooling has helped. Fewer demands, more support when learning new things, less energy expended blocking out busy-ness all day, lower anxiety has helped lovely lady's moods and behavior even out.
Maturity has helped. I remember when she was flopping on the floor and screaming over every little thing, no matter where she was or who she was with. Now she has learned that it's not appropriate behavior around friends, or with other adults, or in classes and activities. We still deal with the behaviors at home, but it's mostly with me and even that has improved slowly but surely. Most days knowing that makes it more bearable, but not today.
Loving kindness has helped. Responding with flexibility, humor and love helps us all weather the storms. And today I'm not sure how much loving kindness is left in the tank before I get to losing my temper and having a tantrum myself.
By tomorrow things will be better. My charming lovely lady already came into the kitchen and danced with me just because. For her once the storms are over it's as though they never were. But those storms leave my spirit battered and my heart bruised.
Most days I focus on lovely lady's many victories. It's a joy and a blessing to have this wonderful child in our lives. It's an honor to help her grow and learn. I try to keep my thoughts directed toward the positive so that I can truly celebrate her life.
Today I'm tired.
Now I've got that out of my system. Excuse me while I go have a good cry. Tomorrow, or even today, I will see something in my lovely lady to celebrate that will make this all worth it. I'll write about that too.