Saturday, May 7, 2011

Time-Bomb Mom

I had an unexpected early Mother's Day present today.

It started with a tantrum.  Not a huge one by Miss M standards, but a tantrum nonetheless.  I was doing a really good job of controlling my anger, until all of a sudden, she pushed me too far (I don't even remember what she did), and for a moment I snapped.  Instead of the calm and controlled exterior I've been working on so hard this past year, Miss M found herself faced with a slightly-crazed Time-Bomb Mom. 

Time-Bomb Mom is my alter ego.  I wish she didn't exist at all, and while she doesn't visit as often as she used to, she sure doesn't stay away for as long as I'd like.  One second I was calmly saying something to a raging 8-year-old (even though I was boiling inside), and the next I was picking her up to carry her to our "tantrum chair" (affectionately called the blue chair), nearly in a rage myself.  In the midst of Miss M's kicking and screaming, Time-Bomb Mom thought it would be a good idea to yell something like this: "Do you hate me so much that you're going to treat me like this for no reason?!  Is that how much you hate me?!  Because you wouldn't do this if you didn't hate me!  Why do you hate me so much?!"

Not my proudest mothering moment, true, (Time-Bomb Mom is a lousy parent) but the strangest thing happened when I repeated those words.

Miss M said she didn't hate me, and she stopped throwing a tantrum.

This may not seem like a big deal, but it is.  Scott and I have often tried to explain the ferocity of these RAD tantrums to other people.  We've always said (completely hypothetically) that if Miss M was in one of her rages, and if we told her that if she didn't stop we would cut off her arm, and even if she completely believed that we would do it, she would still be powerless to stop. 

Yet today she stopped because she didn't want me to think she hated me.  Which means that the love between us is stronger than her anger.  It's stronger than her tantrums.  Her love for her mom is stronger than the Attachment Disorder that often rules her life.

Which means that there is still hope for my little girl.  And that is a priceless gift indeed.


  1. wow. i am stunned. praise be to God for the healing he so loves to give. happy mother's day, lisa! you are an agent of his healing.

  2. Wow--that's pretty those little/huge moments! They give us wonderful hope!

  3. Wow... I'm just being introduced to your blog but I know you from FOL.... You would know my face but doubtful my name. I had one of these girls in my home as a teenager... After two years, no progress and the other 3 girls I had living here informing me they could no longer live with her... or do what I asked them to do which is just love her - not like her but love her. I wish I had the opportunity to raise her from the younger years... I got her at 16. I had to ask her to leave when she was 18 1/2 after many many hours of prayer and seeking wise counsel... I had to ask her to protect the rest of my girls and myself becuase like you said - I had an alter ego... and she could bring it out in a second. Since she's moved on - she's living with a family and the only child -and she's doing wonderful. My house and my girls - are doing wonderful. It was definately a God thing to make the best for each side but it is difficult.... Keep going.... Stay strong...

  4. Beautiful, strong, powerful love! Which is how we time bomb moms overcome, too, right? Thank you, Lisa. This is so inspiring!