The most hateful hate I have ever known erupts like lava from the volcano that is Eve. Accelerated by the steam of fear and frustration inside this eleven-year-old body it destroys all in its path indiscriminately. It is not about chores or homework or curfew, although that is the story. As her mother, I want to know what lies at the core, what is driving this fear and sadness.
The sneer of derision. She looks down on me for my ignorance, but beneath that is the stark terror that I might not “get it.” That it may be that nobody will ever understand how she feels.
I never imagined being the recipient of such anger. And I’m sure she feels justified, or if she doesn’t, she would never let on. And now I know that her bravado is surely false, its roots deep in fear and uncertainty and an overwhelming rush of emotion that is too much to contain. When I ask her to sit with this anger and fear and frustration, her body sheds kinetic energy – her feet stamp the ground like a wild stallion and she twists in her chair as if being wrung out to dry. Her teeth grind and she begs to be let go. This emotion is too much to bear. “Please let me go!” she screams.
It is all I can do to deflect the energy instead of letting it penetrate. This lovely, perfect creature, flesh arisen from mine, whose heart beats with a measure of my blood, is in such pain and to take it on would only destroy us both. My gift to her lies in attempting to shed this incredible energy and replace the void with love and light.
I wish it were easier.
"This lovely, perfect creature, flesh arisen from mine, whose heart beats with a measure of my blood, is in such pain and to take it on would only destroy us both. My gift to her lies in attempting to shed this incredible energy and replace the void with love and light."
How wonderful! To be so wise is a gift. I, too, felt that anger as a child. We were unable to express it as we were never supposed to do anything to embarrass our family.
You are giving your daughter permission to ride through the anger rite of passage now instead of carrying it around like a clogged artery. Terrific!
So true. Good luck to you both.
Incredibly beautiful writing here. I'm really sorry for both your pain, but know for certain how fortunate Eve is to be so well-understood.
I had to laugh at the picture of a young you watching soaps for examples of how to be angry. 🙂
Wow. Thank you for this beautiful post. I struggle daily with the overwhelming anger of my tween. I know I am her safe place but between the normal tween anger and her anger at her absentee father, I sometimes feel like I am drowning in it.
Oh boy, do I remember days like these. Much worse, actually, but perhaps yours are, too. I alternated between begging her to be reasonable, to angering her further by being unreasonable myself, to eventually, somehow, her agreeing to counseling. It took a few years, however, before she would willingly go. I had to accept I was not in control of her life, and allow her to make some really bad choices. She was diagnosed ADD, and surprise, surprise, I discovered I was also. Neither of us used medication, both of us used counseling and learned to manage our lives a little better.
Now, she is my treasured friend. We understand each other perfectly. 🙂