For years, Nate’s behavior problems controlled my life. In the morning, he would hit me while getting dressed for school. Then, as we walked to the school bus, he would have a tantrum, refusing to get on. At school, he would lash out, hitting the staff. Then there were the times when Nate would have a meltdown in the supermarket. Also, during our Saturday morning swim, he would have a fit when it was time to leave the pool. Each behavior episode, left me angry and unhappy for days, sometimes weeks.
My happiness was contingent upon Nate’s behavior. If he was having a great day, without any incidences, then I was having a good day too. However, if he hit me, or the school staff, I would become angry. Nate’s behavior affected my entire attitude, mood, and set the tone for my life.
Not long ago, I received a report about Nate having a meltdown at his residential facility. After discussing it with the staff, and developing strategies to help him, I left feeling angry and unhappy. There was a gloomy, dark cloud hanging over my head.
As I drove home, a nagging feeling bothered me, as I wondered what was wrong. It was then that I noticed that for much of Nate’s life, I had allowed my child’s behavior to dictate my happiness. This was wrong. I could not base my happiness on my child’s behavior. Instead, I have to forgive Nate, offer him grace, and move forward.
I will admit, sometimes it is difficult to move ahead, especially when your child has pulled your hair, grabbed you, scratched you, hit you, and even spit on you. Yes! It is hard. However, I have to do my best, to no longer let my son’s behavior decide my level of happiness. Instead, I have to make a choice. I will be happy, no matter if Nate has good behavior or not.
Again, I will be happy!