I was a nice dad. I remember caring deeply and taking everything my child said seriously. This was before I was subjected to over six hours of screaming a week for months on end and next to no help from a behaviorist. No, six+ hours a week is not normal for a child, and yes I timed it, and that was about the bottom of the weeks.
It’s actually been better recently. The screaming and temper tantrums are down to verbal hissiness and attempting to fish for attention and I realized there’s just something not there in me any more. I’m trying to rekindle it but I think it’s going to take some time.
I mean it’s there, it’s just been used up by the oldest and it doesn’t have any time for her shenanigans any more. I mean, I now have time that the screaming is under thirty minutes a day, but she is attempting to trade tantrums for “nobody loves me,” around bedtime and there’s just nothing left to give.
That there’s the beginning of a game. This game goes nobody loves me, oh now I make you list a series of times you loved me, now I get to hear how I have more things done for me than baby sister has done for her, now I get to play the “I’m scared” game in which I can’t even come up with things to be scared of any more because they’re all played out.
And I just am standing there and she’s saying “nobody loves me” after a day of doing thing after thing for her and I’m like. OK, you can believe that if you want. I’m not arguing anymore. I’ve been fighting your attitude for over a year (11 school kickouts, 31 calls, 14 visits, unmotivated temper tantrums at least three times a week,) and whenever we do anything fun you end up deciding that nobody loves you after you’ve been playing nonstop all night with friends we brought in for you.
So yeah, there should be a caring parent in here somewhere but I think he’s huddled in the corner holding his ears and wondering when the next blow up is happening.
“Nobody loves me,”
Oh, ok, I guess you’re right, I’m going to take this dolly I bought for you and this… oh, you want it? Only someone who loves you give you this… that’s what I thought.
I became the kind of parent I really don’t like, and that’s… well, it’s a coping mechanism, we’ll see if I can get back to the type of parent I liked being now that we’re in different woods at least.