I'll just say this upfront. This is a whiny post. I'm having a difficult day and I want to complain for a while.
I'm exhausted. S is still raging. She saves them for me. I know this because I have seen her turn it off like a switch when she hears another adult come into the house, whether that's Mr D coming home from work or one of the myriad of social workers and counselors that drift into and out of our home on a semi-regular basis.
She's not throwing things at me any more. Well, not physical things. Now she's hurling words at me, as though she is desperately trying to break me. I don't know if she's trying to lessen her own pain by forcing it onto me or what is going on.
I'm trying to implement the things I've learned in training and from reading The Connected Child , but she keeps finding ways to react to them that aren't in the script. When I get down on her level to talk to her, she runs away from me. Do I follow her, in which case it turns into a chase around the house? Or try to honor her desire for space and have a conversation from across the room? She won't give me eye contact.
She resists complying with rules and requests by me with violence and anger...until the moment comes when she realizes that it's "too late" and then she tries to backtrack and begin to co-operate. My instinct is to say that she's missed her chance to make that choice and move on. I don't know if this is the right decision or not. Sometimes that choice is out of my hands anyway, depending on the reason it's "too late."
An example. She wanted to color today, and we had 30 minutes before we had to leave the house for something. So, I got out the crayons and put a piece of paper on the table. She demanded more paper, saying it wasn't enough. "Ask, don't tell." She Would Not Ask. She kept yelling "I want more!" I tried cueing her the exact words to asking, she kept resisting. When the 30 minutes were up and I declared it time to go, she finally said "Can I please have more paper?" I put more on the table for later, but there was no time left to color. She cried for 20 minutes in the car. No, she didn't cry. She sobbed, yelled, kicked, screamed and shouted things at me in the car. (Things like, "You're mean!" and "Nobody likes me anymore!")
And the most exhausting part is that she only does it with me. Oh, other adults get the occasional uncooperative moment, but not the violent acting out rages that I get. And that I only get when there are no other adults present.
I'm trying to believe that doesn't mean I'm doing something wrong. I'm trying to believe that means she's resisting my authority as the replacement mother figure or that she trusts me enough to try to push me away. But it's wearing me down.