I am writing this all out of order — I want to write about the unusual method we’ve been using in my EMDR, but something momentous happened that showed me I am making tremendous progress.
(Before I tell my story, please don’t comment anything negative about my kid. He is autistic, has Tourette’s, is thirteen, just got on his bottom braces, was overtired, and his parents are going through a divorce.)
Anyway Wednesday night was, conflictwise, the perfect storm: my son was not doing his homework and instead was dicking around online (I have a HUGE emotional tweak with homework for reasons too boring to get into right now), and when time came to go to sleep, he announced that NOW he would begin a huge project that was due in two days.
No, you will not, I told him. We are all going to bed and you had hours to work on this.
“I’m sorry, mom,” he said in the snottiest (and tweaking-mom’s-rage-worthy manner) “but that’s just how things are going to be.” He turned arrogantly toward the computer.
I felt a wave of helplessness wash over me, but I took a deep breath and leapt into action.
I took his computer.
He launched himself at me.
“Do not assault me,” I said. “Do not do that.”
I stumbled, crutchless, down the hallway.
“You come back here, cunt!” He yelled.
I kept stumbling away from him and opened the front door.
He raced after me. “Bitch! Cunt! Fuck you!”
All of these words have been triggers for me in the past for violence.
I opened the door and staggered, still crutchless, down the stairs to my apartment building.
(And I am still SO GRATEFUL to my partner, who put a hand on my son’s chest to prevent him from following me, and dealt with his screaming and swearing as I was gone.)
I wrapped the computer in my hoodie and stumbled, limping, to my coparent’s house (did I mention that feeling helpless and crippled without my crutches or a wheelchair is also something that tweaks me into rage?).
I knocked on the door and handed him the computer. We talked briefly, and I headed back.
My son was calmer but still angry when I got home and kept trying to fight with me: “I hope you know that I will now be letting down my whole group by not doing my part and we will all get an F,” he said, and: “I’m not sorry for the things I said.”
Eventually, I got him and his brother in bed and I turned off the light and shut the door and started doing dishes, shaking with adrenaline and nausea and rage.
But something was missing.
My throat was not sore.
“Honey,” I asked my partner. “Did I really not yell during any of that?”
And then I realized something: not only had I NOT hit this kid, I didn’t even have the DESIRE to hit him.
This is literally the first time in my life I have been furious and not had the urge to hit someone.
This EMDR is changing my neurology and basic, animal responses to stress.
IT IS WORKING, you guys. IT IS WORKING.