Parenting with PTSD

He triggers me and I’m lost. Oh, the shame of not being trigger free, free of anything that would make my body and mind seize up, relive, react.

He flings his hands in my face and that would be fine but when he doesn’t stop after I say stop. When he still doesn’t stop touching my head, going after my face, poking, poking, after I say stop again, when he keeps on pushing until I lose my shit. Why does he do this. I don’t understand. We’ve had a thousand conversations. I’ve told him a hundred times. I have PTSD, you have to stop when I say stop. He doesn’t and then I’m triggered and then I’m fighting for control of my body again. My mind is wondering why I live in a world that keeps hurting me. My rational mind says, you weren’t hurt. You’re not being hurt. This is just a memory. And then I spiral in shame because I yelled stop at my kid. Yelled, ran to my room. Pushed his arm away, the opposite of playful mom who embraces and giggles and loves the rough housing. He’s almost 14. Why doesn’t he stop when I say stop?

“You’re a horrible mother,” he says.

“Well, that’s already been established,” I reply.

What else can I do? Accept my shame. No matter what has been done to me. It is always my fault for not living up to some manufactured ideal. I feel pain. Bad mom. I have boundaries. Bad mom. I have special needs and expectations. Bad mom. The abuse affected me. Bad mom. It’s like my childhood all over again and society’s pointing fingers, following me everywhere, pointing their shame on me through my kid’s finger. Can’t do anything right. There is no reward of safety. No place to be accepted for natural reactions which seem rational. Maybe I’m wrong. Why can’t I be normal? I have nothing to compare it to. I’ve never had any positive feedback. There are no friends. There is no family. It is me and my hope that I am enough. He doesn’t understand. I’ve done the calculations. I am his best shot. Even with my hang-ups. Even if I have to drag him kicking and screaming.

There is no such thing as a good mom. You can’t throw this one out and go buy something better. There is only the mom you get. You make the best of it. Come what may. What else can any of us do. He felt bad for triggering me and then I felt bad for making him feel bad and now we’re both sitting here in a shame spiral. He won’t listen to what I tell him helps for getting out of it so I get freaked out again. Will this one make it out alive? Will this one have a life he enjoys? Will this one be ok? How can I prepare him for a life if he doesn’t trust me? How can he trust me when I still have emotions? Aren’t emotions the enemy? Isn’t feeling the crime we aren’t allowed to commit?

I know I live in a world that makes it hard to find others who are doing more than surviving, but that have healed the deepest wounds and are trying to learn how to become creative and inspiring and renewed. How much collateral damage is acceptable?

For the longest time if the façade of having it all figured out ever dropped. If your own righteousness were ever in question, the accepted conclusion was that you must therefore expect retribution, it stated emphatically you were ripe for the picking, without the moral standing required to be treated with respect and equal footing in society. It was proven, mathematically possible, and a-ok to further abuse and misuse or allow to wallow in poverty and the accompanying misery, anyone who could not without a hint of need or whisper of discomfort, rise above the pain of childhood abuse or domestic violence in adulthood.

And then the inevitable collapse of the soul as I look anywhere else to place the blame, to hide the shame, to press end on the impossibility of ever being ok, staring into the abyss of fifty more years of this confusion. Isolation. Imperfection that grows like a snowball in hell which defies logic and therefore can’t be defeated because it isn’t real to begin with. The weighty prospect of trying to defend or compete when I am already being eaten alive. Get up and compete for some goddamned money woman what the fuck kind of asshole are you not to keep trying harder even while they gnaw on your legs, gnaw on your arms, the invisible demons they call you crazy for not pretending aren’t there.

I don’t accept your shaky grounds of moral superiority built on lies, deceit and a desire to further exploit the difficult emotional valence of my life’s experiences. A lifetime of being told to drug myself if I feel too much. Silence myself if I feel compelled to speak up. Sit down and keep my head low so I am not lambasted for all these mighty imperfections. I do not accept. Return to sender.

Spiral of shame, I know where you lead. One trigger and three days of unnecessary self criticism later, you’ll finally exhaust yourself. I’ve learned. No one cares. There is no charge there. It wears itself out. It leads nowhere. Oh spiral of shame. You do not exist. I banish you. I revoke all your privileges. I wipe you from the television screens, from the satellites, from the minds and hearts of the confused. Oh spiral of shame. You do not exist. You have become nothing now, nothing, a slight odor in the breeze that will soon be washed away, washed away, transformed and forgotten.

They use our triggers when we disagree. It’s so easy now. Isn’t this new technology fun? All the old rules are out the door. I’ll sit over here and play dumb. Let my kid call me an asshole. It will all be forgotten. It will all be forgiven. Cause there is no way he knows what was already on my mind this morning before he pushed me too far. And there is no way for me to tell him. Heaven help us. Waking up may not be enough.

I do not accept the shame assigned to triggers. They are a calling card that come around less and less frequently. But while they are still interrupting my peace, I will use them to heal my wounds, transform, rearrange and move the energies that have kept humans mired in whatever war is the most profitable at the time. I am the soul. I am the spiritual authority over my reality. I don’t need to wait ten thousand years to learn the lessons required to evolve. That is the gift of Grace and consciousness. I do not need, nor will I ever accept, the ideology which suggests I must first attain perfection before I am able to wield the authority and power which is held, inherent within the being of a conscious person. I use this power to perfect myself. To acknowledge and forgive wrongs and acknowledge being on the right path does not mean someone else’s idea of perfect. Not now and not ever.

I am good enough. Even when I piss my kid off. I pray for sangha, for community that stops blaming the victim, quits condoning the behaviors of sociopaths and admits we can’t wait to start doing better by each other, There is no reason to delay building true connections and honest support rather than accepting as normal or rational, living in isolation and fear of perpetual judgment.

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