You Want a Piece of Me?

Sometimes as parents we just don’t know what to do. Today is one of those days. The last week has been one of those weeks. Actually this past year has been one of those years. Who am I kidding? I’ve really never known what to do. I did the best I knew how most times, and sometimes I didn’t even do the best I could. I was too exhausted, too warn out and sometimes took the easy way out by letting the kids have their way. It happens. I am going to be posting a few short blogs to ease the load or overload of frustration and anger building inside me. I hear anger causes illness and disease and who wants those things, right? Stick with me through this (or don’t if you’re a person who can only hear positive things). These blogs are real. I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect and we WILL survive this stuff, even in spite of the blame and judgment directed our way by others, or more importantly ourselves.

I picked the girls up at their day program today as usual. You may need a little background here to understand. My daughters, Hannah and Melissa, attend a day program for adults with special needs. For those who haven’t had the opportunity to get to know Hannah she is dynamite packed into a four-and-a-half-foot, eighty pound package at age twenty-six. She looks so darn sweet and innocent and then when you’re least expecting it she goes in for the attack. She grabs clothing, pulls hair, scratches, head bumps or grabs and throws glasses off unsuspecting victims.  I mean this with a sense of humor, but it’s anything but funny if you are on the receiving end. I have never been on the receiving end, but lots of innocent folks have been. When asked what I do about it I don’t have an answer because she doesn’t do this to me. I don’t understand this behavior, can’t seem to find a trigger, a reason or a way to stop it, and it comes on quickly and goes away just as fast.  

When I picked up the girls today I got into a conversation with Melissa’s aid and for a moment let Hannah slip out of my view. There was someone else picking up a client from the program at the same time and apparently Hannah grabbed her clothing. She didn’t hurt her, but the woman was obviously angry. I really hate these awkward moments, when my child has done something which seems so blatantly and intentionally planned and cruel. I asked if Hannah got her and the response from the woman was first directed at me with anger, then at Hannah. She put up her fists to Hannah and said, “You want a piece of me?” She was not kidding. Well, maybe she was kidding about the actual brawl, but she was visibly angry. I don’t blame her, but I didn’t like it either. I apologized repeatedly, but as I walked away I visualized myself rolling up my sleeves and going back over to her and asking her the same question she asked my daughter. Then I took a deep breath, walked on, loaded the girls into the van and went home.

I don’t really expect people to understand, especially things I don’t understand myself. It’s a frustration that will likely be with me forever. It doesn’t feel good to be the one blamed for her behavior but how can I not feel responsible in some way? As her mom, I would like to be able to stop it, explain it, or make it go away. I would also like to find out why she does these things so I could relieve whatever it is inside of her that causes her to lash out. For all the pain she causes others, there may be pain inside of her, physical or emotional, I don’t know about. There is certainly a history of which I will never know because she is adopted, some of which includes abuse and neglect. Is this the reason for her behavior? Is it physical pain? Is she trying to tell me something? I don’t know. There is no conclusion to this blog. It’s just me, once again, trying to express…