Toughen up…

Walter’s in the bath so I thought I’d get out a quick update.  He’s doing good for the most part.  The fits of rage are less frequent and intense.  Dudette and he still struggle with boundaries and communication.  After spring break this week has been tough.  The amount and intensity of the abuse he can turn on will make your head spin.  I have a thicker skin and have less expectations and desires of how we will be as a family so I am less bothered by this.  Dudette after infertility, two lost foster babies then a long break for me to figure out how to “Abide” she’s waited a long time for this dream.  A dream that frequently goes nightmare.  I gave her two rules last night:

  1. Don’t take anything personal.  This is hard and some days it’s easy and you are a rock.  Other days you end up in the bedroom with door locked cause Walter wont play nice on the PS3.  (Guess who? This Dude)
  2. Quit beating yourself up.  Which relates back to the don’t take it personally.

I’m proud of her.  I’ve got to find a way to support her without sounding like I’m belittling and talking down to her.  It’s not easy but we know we need to work on it.  We’ve said that to each other.  That’s the majority of the battle right there.



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3 Responses to Toughen up…

  1. Allison says:

    That part about supporting the Dudette without belittling is huge. Being the Dudette in our family has meant living with targets pinned all over me. It’s great to talk about not taking things personally, but something about the way we dudettes are wired, combined with the target-suit, makes that really hard at times. It’s like if we can’t detect the love coming back from our kids, we don’t feel like we failed to transmit our love to them right. A busy-signal or dial-tone from our kids once in a while would be fine, but with injured kids, you do a whole lot of dialing for every one time you get through. It’s like trying to vote on Finale night on American Idol.

    My Dude just wants to fix everything and have it stay fixed. That includes wanting to fix me when I’ve had a really tough time with the kids. He’d be even happier if he could just fix the kids. He does check in with me every day on his lunch hour, to see how it’s going, and that helps. He also tends toward sarcasm and remarks about the things I haven’t been able to get done–and that doesn’t help. He may mean it as humor or an observation of how rough my day has been, but it sounds like criticism to me. And at the end of a long day of target practice, my skin gets a bit thin. A critique of the consequences I’ve imposed (or not imposed) for bad behavior or the way I’ve handled the latest crisis seems too much like Monday-morning quarterbacking. The things that help the most are the Dude’s help getting the kids to bed, a warm chest to put my head down on, kind words, a back rub, and the Dude’s taking care of himself, rather than wanting me to take care of him–at least long enough for me to wind down a little and regroup.

    This adventure takes a lot of being married on purpose and going out of our way to feed and water our marriage so that we can be a unity in our kiddos’ lives. After we’ve weathered the kids for the day, we don’t have the energy left to carp at each other. It’s a luxury we can’t afford and really don’t miss.

    For what it’s worth, I’m proud of both of you!

  2. Allison says:

    Oops, should have read: “It’s like if we can’t detect the love coming back from our kids, we feel like we failed to transmit our love to them right.”

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