The Monster Within

I try to raise civilized human beings. Really I do. But seems there are days when my kids are sort of mini-monsters, and I’m a not-so-mini-monster. Those days really challenge me.

I teach my kids that it’s not acceptable to say or do something mean to someone, simply because “he started it”. Because someone else did something wrong or inappropriate or hurtful first does not justify retaliation.  As in, you shouldn’t punch your sister in the head simply because she pinched you first. Please don’t shove your brother down the stairs again because he ratted you out. I am trying to teach them more effective coping skills (namely, ones that don’t have the potential for trips to the ER). After all, doesn’t the more mature, evolved person take the high road, rise above the fray?

They whine and cry and pout that “It’s not fair. He/she hurt me first.” Well, I feel your pain, sistas and brahs. But um…Please, Do What I Say, Not As I Do.

Here’s my dilemma: When you fuck with someone I love, I turn into a big monster. My sentences become mere profanities strung together, some of them verbs. I threaten violent acts that are grounds for incarceration, possibly the death penalty. Please, I implore, Do. Not. Fuck. With. Someone. I. Love.

So what do I do? What do I do with this anger, with this injustice, this helplessness, this inability to right a wrong? I know the answer is to put things in perspective, work directly and appropriately with the person to address the issue, use kind yet firm words, vent to others, and let it go. I get that. But some days I just want to hold on to my anger and <insert profanities here>. I want to cause that other person a world of hurt to exceed the level of pain he’s thrust onto the people I love. I want to see some suffering, folks. Here is where I truly empathize with my kids.

But I know this attitude is not very kind of me, and holding on to it is not good for me. And it certainly doesn’t help my kids in the long run. So what do I do? I put things in perspective. Assess what I can control, and breathe through what I can’t. Aerate the wine. Make my gratitude list. Pour some wine. Vent to friends and hurl profanities and vague threats to them instead. Pour more wine. Cry. Pour more wine. I’ll let you know if I come up with a better plan. But you can bet the wine stays–and over time I hope the whine goes.

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