Death, Grief & the Beast

Sun with bright rays against a blue sky

NAMI Orange County volunteer Melissa Nemeth passed on as did my brother-in-law Don. Grief that I denied myself now hits me. Now I realize how much compassion I withheld from my husband as I defended myself from pain and from being needed. My prayers go out to Melissa’s family and to my in-laws. The tears flow easily now.


Unfortunately, in my hypomanic flurry of activity of late, I lost control of my anger, my rage. Yesterday morning, I lost my temper with my son when he would not wake up and go to school. I hit him on the arm to rise him. I hurt him. I abused him. He cried. He rolled up into a ball and cried. I forced him to go to school unprepared and emotionally raw. I went into the school’s office. I spoke frankly with his guidance counselor. I emailed the school psychologist at her recommendation.

My son has given me the silent treatment since the incident. I deserve his silence and worse.

Distraught over my behavior, yesterday I twice called NAMI Orange County‘s Warm Line at (714) 991-6412. Last night, as I left the house to cool off, I made this voice recording, which I have not yet transcribed (I apologize to those who cannot hear it).

45 thoughts on “Death, Grief & the Beast

  1. gentlekindness April 24, 2015 / 2:36 am

    He will forgive you. It was a mistake but you are sorry for emotionally hurting him.
    True abusers are never sorry. They just keep abusing with no remorse.
    My mother ( I have never blogged about her and never speak about her…because it is painful to remember. ..Think of it as an offering to ease your pain) was never sorry and has never thought she did anything wrong.
    She always saw it as Me being the cause and the responsible party for her outbursts and abuse.
    She blamed me.
    The difference here is clear.
    You are taking responsibility and are not blaming your son.
    You even said that It is not the job of the abused person to forgive the abuser.. or something like that.
    I am getting tired….it is 530 am and i cannot sleep still….
    He will forgive you.
    You have to find kindness in your heart for yourself to forgive yourself.
    You can forgive yourself, the same as you would find kindness and mercy to forgive your son….if the situation were reversed and he needed your forgiveness.
    He will need you more to forgive yourself, than to punish yourself.
    Punishing yourself will not benefit him and it will not teach him to forgive himself in the future.
    I remember striking my daughter one time in anger. I think I may have had borderline when I was in my 20s and 30s but not now.
    I felt bad immediately when I realized I had struck her. I still remember the shock and pain on her face.
    I am still very sorry I did it and I wish I could remove it from her story.
    But she did forgive me and I never did that again because I remember her expression on her face of her feeling betrayed by me.
    She loves me all these years later.
    We all love you and we want you to feel better….Much love

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nicole Lyons April 23, 2015 / 8:40 pm

    Please don’t be so hard on yourself. We all make mistakes, and wish we could go back. You are an amazing person, and I admire your honesty. ❤ Sending love and light to you and yours.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. writerwannabe763 April 23, 2015 / 1:30 pm

    Kitt, Don’t be so hard on yourself. The scene you describe happened over and over when our second son was your son’s age. I know you don’t like the fact that you slapped him… but it happened while now days it is called ‘abuse’ whenever we smack our children… (I’m not talking beating here because you did not beat him) You lost your cool and smacked him, and he saw how guilty you felt and made sure that he did all that he could to make you feel worse.

    Our son as we said, did the same thing, didn’t do his homework sometimes and then would say he wasn’t feeling well come the morning and calling him to get up etc. I knew when he was sick and when he was putting it on. And it wore me out. My husband had early hours and so was gone before the time this all happened… so it was me, and then trying to get myself out to work as well. There was one year that basically it was the worst. What I ended up saying most of the time to him, was that if he was sick and did have to stay home… not allowed to go anywhere that day, to play, to go to his hockey practice or game, not t.v. … basically nothing!

    Before you worry about changing his school or classed (unless the subject IS to hard for him… for which you need to have him give you an honest answer)… but I would accept that he is a ‘teen’ who likes to sleep in, doesn’t like to do homework sometimes…. and basically is just being a bit of a nuisance (I was going to say brat, but thought that might sound harsh)

    So, what I’m kind of saying is that while I know this is so hard on you as it was on me, if you give him some consequences that he doesn’t like, whenever he does this… (find his Achilles heel), maybe he’ll think about it.

    Just as an aside, my husband and I tried to see if he needed to go to something like teen challenge (he wasn’t bad enough for that they said) so we went to something called ‘Tough Love’ and we realized that was not for him either… as the teens there were into hitting their parents and a lot worse than our son.. and we left half way through the meeting and decided we’d just have to ride this troublesome time.. through with our son… He survived and so did we… There is hope…!!! Diane

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley April 23, 2015 / 2:08 pm

      He’s basically a good kid, but definitely can be a brat. We indulge him. He also has thrown up often since he was a toddler, and he gets chronic migraines. As a result, I’m often not sure whether I should force him to school or whether he really is sick. When I do set consequences (and it’s always my job to do so), he sometimes throws a fit (something that I’ve been known to do, as well). Anyway, I’m seeing my psychologist tonight (she was first his psychologist when he was four, so this is nothing new). He’s seeing his psychotherapist next week. The evening of my post (after I left home to drive, sit in a parking lot, and later isolate myself in our bedroom), our son did 5 hours of homework. He did not speak to my husband, but he did do his homework. The next day, he threw another tantrum when I hid his video gaming controller. That night (last night) he ended up with a migraine. My husband got up with him early this morning to oversee him doing homework and took him to school. I usually take him both to and from school because of my husband’s commute, but my husband is stepping up because I need him to.

      Liked by 2 people

      • writerwannabe763 April 23, 2015 / 7:52 pm

        Each child is different and with your son having some physical and perhaps other issues, of course it would concern you whether or not it was connected, or perhaps him just acting up. It’s a real conundrum… Sometimes…(okay more than just sometimes) this parenting business is complex. .. especially during the ‘teen’ years… not a child still and yet not an adult either… take care Kitt….

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Zoe April 22, 2015 / 7:36 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear things are so tough for you and your family now. I’ll be praying. It’s really hard to be a parent. I love how you’re able to realize these mistakes and try to make amends. I’ve met so many parents who act so high and mighty that they never feel remorse or apologetic to their kids. (Yes, there are awful people and some are “normal” too.) It may be tough for him, but I know deep down he understands and forgives. It’s just hard to get over the pain sometimes. It takes a little while. I’m sure things will work out soon. In the meantime, sending lots of warmth and comfort vibes your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. shoe1000 April 22, 2015 / 1:15 pm

    I am sending love your way Kitt. The hardest thing for me to overcome emotionally is the fact that my 8 year old daughter saw me beat her puppy because it would not mind. That shame may not be much to others but it does mean so much to me. I am with you in prayer and thought.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley April 22, 2015 / 5:09 pm

      I totally understand. Let’s hold each other in prayer and in thought. Let’s pray for our children and even for that poor puppy. So challenging when we are expected to make another free-willed creature – human or canine – obey our commands. Why the insistence on obedience and conformity? We do so much harm to ourselves and others when we force our will and expectations on others or even on ourselves. God bless you. Peace.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Just Plain Ol' Vic April 22, 2015 / 1:01 pm

    It is easy to beat yourself over this situation but the important thing is that you are emotionally and intellectually aware of what is going on, so you are not in denial. As long as you can acknowledge what is going on and take responsibility for your actions (as you have) then you have put into place the foundation for healing and moving on. It is tough now but your son (and family) know that you love and care for them, so time can and will heal this wound too.

    Take care! Sending positive vibes your way.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley April 22, 2015 / 5:04 pm

      Thank you, Vic. My son moved from total silent treatment and sitting in the back seat of the minivan when I picked him up from school to silently sitting in the front seat when I picked him up today. He even spelled out a request for Gatorade writing the word out in the air. I’ll take his acceptance of a Gatorade from me as the first step towards him accepting some sort of peace offering from me. I do not expect my son to forgive me. It is not an abused person’s responsibility to forgive their abuser. But, I do want to make amends. That is my job – atonement.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. stockdalewolfe April 22, 2015 / 11:54 am

    So sorry, Kitt. Sounds like a tough, really tough situation. Think you are handling it well. I am not a parent but can see and hear how hard it is, especially in today’s world. My brother’s family fell apart after he died. It’s tough, really tough. Don’t think I could have handled kids and there is so much mental illnesses in my husband’s and my family. But being childless is sad. I will pray more for your whole family. You’re in my heart.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley April 22, 2015 / 4:58 pm

      Thank you, Stockdale. We will survive this. We are a particularly sensitive and highly strung trio. My son still isn’t speaking to me, but at least he spelled out “GATORADE” in big letters with his finger, and he accepted a Gatorade from me – it’s a start.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. bpnurse April 22, 2015 / 11:03 am

    Aw, I’m so sorry Kitt. It is tough being a modern mom. I remember going through some of this sort of thing with my older son who had emotional problems. He was, and is, very smart but can’t focus on more than one project at a time, even though he tries. He ended up getting a GED because he couldn’t handle regular high school and I took him out in his junior year. But oh, the battles we had before then—I yelled at him constantly and once even beat his ass with a belt. That was the only time I used more than the palm of my hand in all my years of being a mother. I still feel bad about that. Talk about a parenting fail!

    Anyway, try to forgive yourself. These things have a way of working themselves out on their own. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley April 22, 2015 / 4:54 pm

      Thank you. I hope and pray that things will get better. He gave me the cold shoulder again today, but my husband thought we should let him get on Xbox with his friends, since he worked for five hours straight last night doing catch up work while I was on my drive and then holed up in my room.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. dyane April 22, 2015 / 10:12 am

    p.s. I just listened to the recording and it brought tears to my eyes. I don’t blame you for feeling fed up! Anyone with a beating heart would be at his/her wit’s end about this, Kitt. Sending you even more love. Thank you for sharing your soul with us that way.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. dyane April 22, 2015 / 10:00 am

    I’m so, so sorry….I know I’d react in a similar way, i.e. the spank & anger/losing control. Many, many other parents would react that way too, but they’d never admit the truth so bravely as you do here.

    As I shared with you yesterday, I am so glad you’ve been proactive about this entire situation, such as contacting his counselor, emailing the school psychologist etc.

    Sending you my love and strength to get through this incredibly challenging time.

    Liked by 2 people

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