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Language Log

Thursday, Nov. 02, 2023 - 8:14 a.m.

It got worse in that while I was giving him a serious talking to about not saying things that would hurt his sister, she went into his room and knocked his bowl of tomato soup on the floor in a way that splattered it across the wall and onto some of his pictures he’d had hanging up for years. This was bad enough but it was a massive problem for his OCD, and now he’s in a catch-22 where things don’t look the same if he leaves them, plus it’s a reminder of that hurt and violation, but if he takes them down it’s even worse. He fell asleep in an agony of distress. My only success is that I think I successfully emphasized to him that retaliation is about the worst thing ever and nothing good ever comes if it.

As for her, all I could do was go and tell her how disappointed I was in her that while I was telling her brother how he needs to not be mean about certain things to her, she was in his space ruining his things. The response was, I said, disproportionate, and now he has a permanent visual reminder of that. Not good. She told me to go away. She was upset and probably remorseful, I’m sure. She probably didn’t mean to do all that, just knocked it lashing out and it went further than expected.

I don’t really know what to do. She really does have a really black and white way of thinking, classifying people as evil if they even unintentionally hurt her, combined with an inability to process her emotions, plus a penchant for revenge and an impulsive habit of lashing out physically. She has to find ways to cope. She HAS to. I know she’s at an age which is more volatile, and perhaps some of it will resolve, but course corrections are needed somehow. And it’s hard when even thinking about an upsetting event makes her feel all those emotions again, no distance at all. Meanwhile she tries to be super mean to anyone who is upsetting her and sounds like a B-rated Disney villain knockoff. It’s absurd but also is seldom called for and makes her sound super mean. She’s hurt and angry and unable to communicate and I don’t know what to do to help with any of it.

I still don’t like parenting. I’m not qualified for this. Anyone who says they are is full of shit. With three of them, if I show compassion to one the other one thinks I’m playing favorites and then doesn’t give me a chance to do the same for them. They’re going to end up killing me probably.

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