I was up at school today to work on my room....ended up chatting with a teacher from another department for a while. At one point, we were talking about how, although you may not have experienced the exact pain a person is going through...if you engage the heart while you're listening to the person, you can get it. To a degree.
That's what yesterday was for me.
I spent a considerable amount of time listening to Buggy process through his anger toward his mom. I had been hearing for a while, from a couple different sources, that she's a totally different person than she lets on in public. I thought, "well yeah...whose mom isn't?" (Because we all have memories of our moms YELLING AT US...M.A.D. with every fiber of their being....only to stop mid-word and answer the phone -- sweet as pie.) Right?
Apparently I was wrong. Turns out there are family dynamics at play that, although they don't constitute child abuse, definitely make for a drama-filled household. The more Buggy shared, the more I "got" why his temper has such a flashpoint. And why it was so natural to react reflexively to his anger....his role model, Mom, has shown him that yelling is the best way to respond. You add to that the fact that he doesn't engage in arguments with her, because he knows nothing is going to actually get resolved...and he chooses instead to bottle it up...and you have the makings of a lot of stress and pent-up emotions roiling around inside. Way more than inside your average teenage male. Soooo....all it takes is one guy in the hallway at school looking at him sideways, and WHOOSH.
I have a pretty good handle on the situations and factors affecting why she's acting the way she is...why she's making some of the choices she is, and how that's probably impacting her emotions as a result....because although I've never been in her exact situation, I can understand feeling pressure and guilt and being trapped.
What I can't understand is why you would vent that directly onto your kid. Your kid who is trying to do the right thing...and straighten his life out...unlike everyone else around him. If you're going to yell at one of your kids...how about yelling at the one who frickin' dropped out of school, and still lives at home at the age of 19?!?!
I am heartened by the fact that Buggy's making better choices with how to deal with "episodes" like this. Rather than go out and find someone to fight with...or find a 'questionable' means to "escape" for a period of time....he went to adults he trusts to talk through it. It seems that both his aunt and I were willing to listen, and help him problem-solve so that he was able to work through the feelings to a certain extent, rather than just tamping them down while he looked for a place to release the adrenaline.
I am so very proud of him, because this is what we've been discussing and "working on" for a while....and is exactly why I didn't flashback at PissyAP when he chewed my keister that day in the hall. I knew that the process of getting Buggy to ease up on the hairtrigger of his temper was going to be long and require much more than just talk. If I truly wanted him to "hear" me...I had to let him "see" what I meant.
I think he may be getting it.
Speaking of PissyAP....it seems that next year may involve more interaction with PissyAP. He is going to be my liason for my computer teacher-training gig. I had to make a big decision as to whether or not I was going to step down....not because any of the administration asked me to. Not at all. They were all very vocal about how much they wanted me to stay in the role. I just wasn't sure if I wanted to expose myself to the possibility that he could negatively impact my job record. I struggled with the decision for a couple days...and talked with a few members of the administration. They reassured me that my contact with him would be minimal, and he would have to go through my appraiser to place anything in my file. (Granted, I have yet to be documented...knock on wood...but PissyAP spent a LOT of time last semester threatening people with letters in their files.) I trust my principal and my appraiser...so I'm sure that, if PissyAP wants to place anything in my file, they will scrutnize it to see if it is appropriate. If it is, in it goes. If not, I'm protected.
On the way to school today, I went to my doctor to get my knee checked out. The past couple workouts with TrainerDude have resulted in some pretty rough pain in my left knee. Kneecap, actually. I am incredible squeamish about anything knee-related, so this is not only painful, but just creeeps me out. The idea of bone rubbing against bone....BLECH. My doctor said that I need to curtail the squats and stairs...use ice...and get one of those funky looking knee-braces. Not the big one, but the little band one that I always thought was totally worthless. I got one at WallyWorld, and finally put it on a little while ago, expecting it to be a 7 dollar exercise in futility.
HOLY SCHNIEKIES BATMAN!!! It really does help!!
We'll see how the knee is after I fly to Colorado tomorrow.
Yep, I'm leaving on a jet plane.
I'm going to see Preggo and BabyGrape. (The former roommate(s) who are now living in Colorado with Papa-San who is back from Iraq.) I'm looking forward to catching up with her, and spending time with my kiddo...it'll be just the thing to recharge the batteries before I go back to work.
gotta get packin'....hasta.