Let’s talk about anger.
the other night i was putting my three year old to bed and the three month old would just not quit crying. He, the three month old, has been going to bed to at 6 each night, but not that night. i went in for what felt like the millionth time, picking him, up, pounding him on the back, pressing him against my chest and bouncing to get any burps out –and he began to scream like nothing i have heard before. Like I had cut into him.
i thought i had caused brain damage.
i took him into the living room where the lights were still on, stripped him of clothes, couldn’t see anything wrong, but his eyes were shut tight and his whole body was shaking and he was shrieking. Shrieking. My other son had never shrieked like this, not ear splitting. i remember inconsolable nights, but not like this.
i pressed him to me and rocked and rocked and rocked and thought this was it: i have accidentally shaken my son. i have done that thing that you know not to do, that everyone knows. and how am i going to explain to the ER, this was an accident. An accident? Are you always this rough with an infant?
with this one, yes.
not always, no. of course not. only in movies and shitty made-for-tv specials are abusers absolute in their brutality. most abusers are more like me, fine, fine, fine–
i’ve held my other son down to put on a diaper. i’ve grabbed him, roughly, over and over and over again, because i was so frustrated by his toddler behavior. have i hit him? no, never have i hit the three year old anywhere but on the bottom. but ive done that in anger. i’ve done that angry, hysterical, unsure of how to make him comply, to make him obey.
the other night, terrified of my size over his small body, having already dragged him into his room, we fell asleep, the two of us, curled head to lap like a yin-yang, with me saying over and over again “please shut up please shut up whatever you want but please shut up”.
and i get fully, that this is being a monster. but i don’t know what to do with that.