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     WARNING: This post is not for everyone... it is for people who can appreaciate a mother at her wits end and understand the desperation that leads her to the state she is in. It isn't for the judger or the Perfect Mom or the "Love is the answer" person. It IS for the parent that can't see straight, who doesn't know where to turn, and who is pleading to know he/she is not alone.

     After two months of out-of-control behavior from my children, I've resigned myself to the reality that I am no longer a mother, but a correctional officer. I'm so good at it that it makes me question my current occupation with fresh eyes. Perhaps I missed my calling? Instead of spending so much energy over the last year-and-a-half trying to empathize with my new kids, trying to help them with their emotional and behavioral issues, and trying to get them to love me, I'm realizing that I could've used half the energy and just let the kids hate me right out of the gate!
     Despite my frustrations, believe it or not, I can still look at my situation "therapeutically", recognizing  they just lost their baby brother who was supposed to be adopted to us, and now we're going to be gaining a new baby in the family. All this change throws kids like this for a loop. But when I am truthful with myself, the problems we're facing now are really the same problems we've faced all along.... I am just now ladened with morning sickness, pregnancy fatigue, and a whole heap of hormone changes to boot! It seems that in order to make it through this alive (not even sane... I think I may have given up on that one!), I need to wear a uniform, carry a loaded weapon (just for effect... no shooting of children... today), and stop trying to have a relationship with the inmates. You want to carve words into the hood of my car (large AND misspelled... I'm not sure which I find more offensive)? Then meet Officer Mom. You want to take my deceased grandmother's jewelry after I've told you repeatedly that it's not for children? Then prepare for your bunk to be stripped and searched. You want to pee all over your room because you're upset with a decision I've made? Get ready to scrub that floor on your hands and knees.... with a toothbrush. Feel like hiding from me at 6am, making it look like you ran away in the night after ransacking the house? Prepare for a whole lot of time in your cell.... which will be complete with nothing but your bed and your clothes. Toys are for children, not criminals. Don't like what we're eating for dinner and want to complain repeatedly after you've been told to stop? That's fine. A mother would argue. But Officer Mom will tell you goodnight and that you can try again at breakfast time.
     My favorite is when people tell me, "Aren't you being a little rough on your kids? They're only 5 and 7, and they've been through so much already." But when your 7-year-old takes a threatening stance in your face with his fists balled as he screams bloody murder at you, and your daughter weilds weapons out of school supplies to destroy the window in the living room, you start to recognize your place. Your house is no longer a home and you are no longer in charge when you're a parent. The only way to gain back control is to buckle down and enforce the law. In the last week, I tried the loving approach (very heartfelt, tearful, laying myself out there in such a real way) and then was stabbed in the back with even worse outlandish behavior. I WILL NOT BE THE PRISONER! I'm tired of sleeping with my door locked, waking at every sound because of what things of mine they're breaking. Coming home to bad news and bad attitudes every single day. Perhaps a little juvenille detention is just what the therapist ordered.
     I read an article months back that said when you can't find it in you to be a good parent that day, just try to be a good babysitter. And on some days, that was relief enough. But on days you can't find it in you to be a good babysitter? Then let Officer Mom come to the rescue. Emotion-free living mixed with the simplicity that comes with it.... Except.... feelings do come with it. Feelings of failure as a parent, therapist, and person. Feelings of rage that my life has come to this. Feelings of deep sadness that children I wanted so badly hate me with a passion. Feelings of fear that these vindictive beings will harm me, my dogs, or my Bean. When I'm not busy feeling numb, these are the things that haunt me. These are the things that make me cry myself to sleep at night. Normal children have some sort of end point... a line they won't cross, a move they won't make. Sadly, my kids are just warming up. Not only that, they don't care. I asked my daughter why she ruined my car. Her answer? "Because I wanted to." I asked her if she thought about how that would make me feel.   "Very angry." Good... she knows the right answer. So when asked why she did it anyways? She responded with, "Because I didn't care."
     I'm torn between honest worries that my children are either demon-possessed or sociopaths. I don't know that I believe "human" describes them accurately, so I feel forced to look outside the box. I don't remember pods in the backyard the day they came, nor do shining UFO lights ring a bell. What I know? I'm terribly and fearfully unhappy. (And therefore, so is my husband.) Therapy, medicine, church, prayer, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, behavior charts, time outs, incentives.... nothing is making a dent (visible dent anyways... I know God is always moving and moves quite mysteriously at times, so don't take my rants as wonderment at his Soverignty.... once again, I am just a desperate Mother that wonders if she made the wrong choice at times... ok often.... ok DAILY.... HELLPPPP!!!) But until the invisible becomes visible, I'm going to keep my official badge and hat and pray till bedtime each day. Pray that we all make it there, alive and unharmed, and that those few hours of rest each night will be enough to get me through the next shift.

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