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Short and Sweet Summary: Even though some days it’s hard to determine whether or not you’re bat-shit crazy, there’s one indisputable reason to put your fears to rest. Crazy people don’t typically qualify whether or not they’re crazy.
So, I have this deep, guttural voice that emerges when I’ve reached my limit and can no longer tolerate the minutiae of solo parenting.
When my kids have antagonized each other into a maniacal frenzy and I’ve refereed myself smack dab in the middle of their teenage, testosterone-induced insanity, my exorcist voice comes out.
And she sounds bat-shit crazy.
This growling, from-the-depths-of-my-abdomen voice is unlike any other.
She scares the shit out of me.
Not to mention invokes terror in my children.
PAST THE POINT OF NO RETURN
God, I hate this exorcist girl.
But she comes out when I’ve passed the point of no return. When no one is listening to me. Or nobody does what I ask him to do. When everyone is out for himself in the finger-pointing, my-view-is-more-important-than-your-view, narcissistic, self-indulgent way.
After the exorcist has her say and scares the bejesus out of all of us, she disappears. I wish I could say it was a simple disappearance, but I end up feeling like a Mack truck hit me on the way out. I’m spent. Exhausted. And, of course, crying frustrated tears.
My kids run around trying to do what I’ve asked them to do because they’re afraid of this exorcist lady. Only they can’t really remember what I asked them to do that got us here in the first place because they’re boys and boys are born with the selective listening gene.
Still, they try to do something, anything, to get back in my good graces even if it means scrubbing a toilet.
In my quest to control my out-of-control life, I pass the point of no return often. I don’t have control over many things, so for the love of everything good and holy, can’t my kids just do what I ask them to do for Pete’s sake?
Exorcist mommy wouldn’t exist if they’d just take out the damn trash the first time I ask.
AM I BAT-SHIT CRAZY OR NOT?
I’ve tried ways to prevent the exorcist voice like counting to ten or taking deep breaths, but that doesn’t work for me. When my children ignore me, no amount of counting or deep breaths is going to help them out of the deep, deep hole they keep digging.
I used to think I was totally bat-shit crazy until I talked to other widow moms who have similar exorcist stories. We all have kids who don’t listen. And, since we’re all parenting alone and trying to keep it together during our darkest days, we break.
When we break, we break hard.
Does passing the point of no return mean we’re bat-shit crazy? Nope. It just means we’re human. Just because I yell and scream and shoot daggers from my eyeballs doesn’t mean I’m crazy.
THE OBVVIOUS REASON YOU’RE NOT CRAZY
The obvious reason I know I’m not bat-shit crazy is because I’m asking the question. I’m aware. Crazy people don’t try to figure out whether they’re crazy. They don’t worry that they’ll scar their children for life because of mommy’s demon voice that spews venom.
When you’re verifiably crazy you rarely know it.
So, take solace because if you’re asking the question, you probably aren’t crazy.
HAVE COMPASSION FOR THE EXORCIST
So, I fully admit I’m not capable of calming myself down in the middle of an exorcist episode. Because I’ve passed the point of no return, it’s just a matter of time until I calm down.
But, I try to have compassion for the exorcist. She’s exhausted. She’s juggling far too many things at once. She’s trying to be everything to everyone.
When the exorcist rears her ugly head, it’s time for a compassion intervention. You need a moment to take care of yourself and it’s OK.
Completely necessary. I’m talking mandatory.
Being self-compassionate is super hard for me. I’m learning. I remind myself that everyone is broken in one way or another. It’s not just me.
Here are three things I try to do:
- Acknowledge that I struggle with lots of issues as a solo parent. Acknowledgment is key. When I say, “I am suffering” it invokes a sense of calm in me because I’m not trying to avoid it.
- Look in the mirror and say, “You’re doing the best you can. Be kind to yourself.”
- Apologize. I often tell my kids I’m sorry I screamed so loudly. I also tell them that their behavior is unacceptable because it’s not all on me. I own my part in escalating the situation and suggest they own their part, too.
WIDOW WRAP UP
It’s pretty simple…if you think you’re crazy, chances are good you’re not. You’re human and are pushed to the breaking point more times than you care to admit.
When the exorcist shows up, and she will, treat her with compassion. She shows up for a reason. Her presence is a simple reminder for you to be more compassionate with yourself.