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Life of a mom, installment eleven: finding peace

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I’m a mom with a spoiled ten-year-old (my fault) who has a diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder, which translates into an angry, sullen child who is a mere two inches shorter than myself who has such little respect for me and my husband that she regularly breaks things belonging to us and is physically violent toward us. We had about a six-month reprieve, a time of relative peace and fewer outbursts. When my husband lost his job in April, tension rose in our household. I am well-paid for a receptionist, but let’s face it, I’m still just a secretary and it’s not easy to support a family on my income alone. I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure to make ends meet, to try to be my husband’s cheerleader and the stress is making me feel physically ill. So it’s no surprise to me that the child who has always been overly attuned to my emotions is back to her old ways. In the past week alone, she has nearly caused us to crash by kicking my husband while he was driving on the highway, punched my forearm hard enough that I lost feeling in my left hand for several minutes, broken a lamp in our living room and threatened both suicide and homicide (verbally only).

I’m tired. I won’t lie. In the midst of all of this drama, my stomach churns, my head aches as badly as my heart and I can’t even cry anymore. I’m trying very hard to maintain an attitude of gratitude, as well as my sanity, but I’m not sure anymore where to find peace. If I cannot find it, what hope have I of teaching my children the art of inner peace despite outward chaos?

I am just so very tired.

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