This is about my wiser-than-his-age son who turns 9 today.
Just 2 nights ago (or was it 3? #foggybrainme) I had a long talk with my son, UZ. But before I start, let me just give a little background of the story.
You see, as I have mentioned in a previous posting, I have GAD. Because of the stress and depression that normally comes with GAD, many people with GAD have a bit of a problem controlling their emotions. And for most of us, anger is the hardest to deal with. For me, I have always had a short fuse to begin with, and this is not unknown within my family circle. Top that up with GAD, I evolve into a different creature altogether lol!
But jokes aside, despite knowing that this would affect my family negatively, I failed many times to keep my temper in check. My kids get scolded regularly. And UZ, being the eldest boy (he has an older sister HS who is within the 'kelainan upaya' category so she gets away with a lot of things), gets most of the the backlashes. I know this, I am very much aware of this, believe me, I've tried so hard... but it is a struggle for me. That, I have to admit.
So, back to this conversation with my son... we were getting ready for bedtime and got into small talks. Then he asked me things like "what do you feel when you're angry?", "why are you always angry?" and so on, and so on (tak ingat lah the exact questions but something like those lah). So I told him about my illness, GAD (and thyroid issues, believe it or not?) and that these diseases disrupt my hormones that control a lot of things in my body, including my emotions. And as such, when I get angry over small matters, these hormone imbalance amplifies that anger to a point that sometimes, I just couldn't hold it in. And sadly, I tend to lash out at the people closest to me. My family.
He nodded in a thoughtful thinking expression kind of way. I couldn't tell if he understood me, or if any of these make sense to a 9-year-old. Then I admitted to him that it was a bad habit of mine, and I can't simply justify it with some annoying disease. I must change. I must not TRY to change. I MUST change.
Then I assured him that my being angry at him does not make me love him any less. I told him that I love him immeasurably and that he has no idea how much. UZ is a soft-hearted, sensitive boy. I saw him held back tears while he nodded. I'm a mother, I know exactly the kind of face my boy pulls when he's trying not to cry, and this was THE face. He wouldn't admit it, of course. But I know.
I asked him to tell me whatever was in his mind, to let it all out. I'm all ears, I said. And he proceeded to list out 3 things he wants me to change...
- To stop scolding him and his siblings (unnecessarily, we later established).
- To never be harsh with his younger siblings ever again. "They're just kids, they don't know anything". That's what he said.
- To never argue with dad cause it makes me sad and unhappy.
The thing with me and my better half is that we almost always see things from different angles and we would argue to support our views. It isn't a fight or a squabble, just arguments which sometimes can be quite loud. And then it ends, and that's all there is to it. Just 2 stubborn individuals wanting to win an argument lol! We instantly get back to life and love, like nothing happened. Little did we know that this has been affecting my son negatively.
I made my pledge and we talked a little bit more before we call it a night.
Before our goodnights, I asked him one last question, "Sayang mama tak?"
To that, he answered, "Of course, you're my mother."
And I went to sleep with tears rolling down my cheeks.
Happy birthday, son.
Mama loves you in ways you can never imagine.