Handing in my “I’ve never hit my child” card
Yesterday things got out of hand and I hit Bunlet. Since detail matters, it was a slap, hard enough to make him cry, on his shoulder. I could tell you all the shit that led up to that moment, and oh, it was endless, but ultimately it’s not important, because nothing excuses it. I believe hitting children is counterproductive, and also wrong, but I did it. I was completely out of my mind with anger.
The sense of shame is so heavy that I feel like I can’t breathe. I did something I never ever wanted to do. It’s been this line that I could tell myself I had never crossed when I was feeling awful about yelling at them or being mean to them. I honestly never thought I would hit my child. I feel like there’s no one I can tell, but I have to tell someone, or else I’ll just suffocate under these horrible feelings. And I have a lot of work to do, so no time for suffocation.
I also know that it’s not the end of the world. I have apologized to him and explained that what I did was wrong. I am not now a person who hits children. I hit my child, and now I have to make sure it never happens again. Feeling horrible about it is actually going to make me more likely to do it again, not less. So I have to forgive myself.
The making sure it never happens again, though, that fills me with despair. I know how it works, in principle. You figure out your triggers for anger, you get better at recognizing them, you find other responses that you can plan for before the situation arises. I know this because I went to a therapist to help me deal with my anger. I feel so hopeless. I put in all that work and I’m still this angry, hurtful monster. It’s almost like it’s an ongoing thing that can’t be cured by a few month’s work.
I’m not sure I want to post this, because I know some people will be horrified. People who will never do this…and people who will, but just don’t know it yet. Like Yesterday Me. Some people may even say hurtful things. But I don’t want to write if I can’t tell the truth about shit like this. So I’m putting it out there, banking on those of you who have my back to, you know, have my back.