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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » Help with handling RAGE while parenting little ones...

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Author Topic: Help with handling RAGE while parenting little ones...
Member # 18131

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I have a 3 and 4 year old (both with Lyme) and I have it as well (never again will we go to an east coast summer camp! The deer were practically campers there were so many!) Here's my problem...I am newly on Mepron (which I know is making things worse), but almost every evening I turn into a monster (weirdly days at work are fine). If the kids are talking to me at the same time, I lose and scream "one at a time!" If my daughter is too clingy I can barely tolerate it and want to shake her off me. And when they bicker or fight with each other, I feel like yelling "I'm outta here" and slamming the door and leaving. I often feel like throwing things and do occasionally slam cabinets, throw a loaf of bread into the cabinet or something relatively benign, but truth is I feel like smashing things. I am entirely impatient and I am yelling at my kids (I was never the most patient in the world, but never out of control). I am a 46 year single mom with an au pair to help with the kids, but I need more support and understanding. I feel so horribly alone. (BTW, I am not in lots of physical pain at all -- just lots of subtle, slight, barely painful moving pains in hands, arms, legs...doesn't even bother me except that I know it is Lyme. We all got it summer '08 and have been on antibiotoics since)

Can any of you tell me stories of similar feelings so I don't feel so isolated with this. Strategies to help (that are not time consuming!) I am so worried about damaging my kids, who I love more than life.
Thanks so much,
p.s. Totally tangential side note: My son and I LIKE the taste of Mepron!!

Posts: 22 | From Los Angeles | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Hey rami...

Good for you for brining up this topic and admitting you are having this problem. That's a start.

TBD's and treatment can and has caused rage in many people. You are not alone.

You have asked for comments, however, you may not like what I have to say... and if so, I'm sorry but I would be horrified if the situation for the children got worse and I kept my mouth shut... so here goes.

If you are experiencing any kind of rage you MUST get away from the children IMMEDIATELY!!!!!

There can be NO excuses!

Rage is rage and you seem to be out of control with it at times (throwing things, slamming things, screaming, worrying about "damaging" your kids, etc.) and children must be protected at all costs.

Maybe you can switch hours at work so you are with the children early in the day BEFORE you become exhausted and are so easily agitated?

Maybe you can reduce the hours at work to give yourself some much needed rest?

Or, quit the job to be able to properly take care of yourself and your children until you are strong enough to add more to your schedule.

You will never "reclaim" this time with your precious ones and their safety is the most important consideration. Above all else.

Hope that helps... and please know that I feel your pain and suffering here. I am just trying to focus on the bottom line.. which many loose track of in this situation. I've been there myself.

[Big Grin]


Posts: 20353 | From The Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Beth, I am so sorry for what you're going through with your kids.

I understand completely--I have 2 boys, a 5 year old who just started kindergarten and a soon to be 3 year old who is very fussy right now for some reason.

I also just finished up my Masters degree, so I've been very stressed and preoccupied with that, on top of the kids.

I too have issues with rage and yelling uncontrollably--thank God we're not in town; we don't have neighbors RIGHT beside us.

And yes, I have slammed doors, thrown things, just generally screamed my head off, and I threateened my kids that I was oging to walk out the door and never come back.

Lol, my older son also called me Mrs. Angry Mom becuase I'm angry all the time.

I wish I could give you some good advice, but I realy don't have any.

Just know you're not alone.

Posts: 1682 | From Dillsburg, PA | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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Hi Beth, I felt like I could have written that exact post. I completely understand what you're talking about, unfortunately.

I believe that mood swings/irritability/rage is my worst symptom. It is so hard to deal with. I have 4 children, all of whom have lyme. Plus I have it and am in treatment too. I am a teacher and I love work, sometimes I don't understand how I can manage to remain pretty calm at work but not at home.

When more than one kid is talking to me, I feel like screaming. Sometimes I cannot even deal with listening to them play - I am so overly sensitive to sound, it literally hurts my ears.

I could give you many examples of this rage in my life, but basically I try to step away from the kids and go to a quiet place. Usually, I have to lock my bedroom door, go into my bathroom and turn on the fan - this way, I cannot hear them if they are screaming or crying (I let hubby know and he is good about taking over- I know this is not an option for many people).

When hubby is not home, I still step away from my kids when I feel the "rage" rising up.

I hope it stops when the lyme is gone. Thinking of you! J

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[ 12-06-2009, 11:16 PM: Message edited by: massman ]

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I didnt read all the replies, brain kinda fried today. but you are not alone. I feel almost the same as you. I am in so much pain that when kids or anyone touches me I am through the roof. I do not feel as though I am a danger to my kids,
yet IT is not good to be like this and it makes us feel super guilty.

I take abilify for the rage and irritability.I also suggest treating your pain if you have it. I find my pain is at night and that is when my rage can be at its worse. please ask your doc about abilify to see if it is right for you. you may need an ssri with it. I take cymbalta.

good luck, you are NOT alone.


Posts: 3905 | From USA | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Lyme moms with small kids must be the strongest women ever to live. Fighting this disease and trying to be a great Mom while not missing a minute of your babies lives is unthinkable. You are warriors and knowing you are not alone helps.
Knowing so many who suffer as you do gets you thru the hard days. It did for me. My kids were a bit older when I was at my sickest and I have always thanked God I got thru their younger years while still undiagnoed/misdiagnosed.
Hold on to the fact that you can see you have this rage because that is a huge part of taking steps to making it better.
Kids have to know we are human and doing our best at all times, in order for them to know they are loved. Together we get thru this and remember to be thankful for at least one thing everyday to keep things in perspective!
Glad to know such incredibly strong, fearless women!

Posts: 142 | From Sturbridge, MA | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Today I threw a package of noodles (dry) at my 13 year old. I am a screamer and a rage.

The best things that I have found to help me are:

1.) ativan on the really bad days.

2.) Saying the word, "NEUTRAL" as a reminder that this is not me, just part of me right now. I started working with a HeartMath/Biofeedback Nurse and she is teaching me some things. Clearly they don't ALWAYS work, but that tool has helped.

3.) My Lyme Literate therapist. He helps me remember that I am an amazing mom with a very serious illness. He gets a kick out of folks, especially other therapists who think things like cognitive behavioral therapy can work on people with bugs in their brain. Just because we love our children doesn't mean the Bartonella respects that.

I have had Lyme and Lyme rage for 24 years. I know it like a best friend. Rage will happen. Our kids may need therapy for it, but frankly, they will need therapy for having a chronic illness ANYWAY. The more real you can be afterwards. . the more you can clean it up with words and love the better.

Just today, my little 5 year old said, "Mom, you know when you threw those noodles at A and they got all over the floor? Dad had to clean those up and that wasn't okay."

Then I got to do even more emotional cleaning up. Our kids are learning forgiveness. They are the heros, here. And, you know what? When mom is really mad, she is vibrantly alive. And, kids with sick moms spend a lot of time wondering if mom is going to die. When we rage, however skewed my idea may be. . at least they know how strong we are. As LONG as you do the clean up with them. And never sweep it under the rug.

People can say that we shouldn't rage around our kids, but you and I both know that isn't always possible. You snap, it happens and then, we clean it up.

Our kids understand it because they, too, live it. At least mine do. They have my co-infections, so we are all mirrors for each other.

My thoughts are with you. We will get better. And remember: It is the whole package the kids are getting from you. Not just the bad moments.

Posts: 564 | From Tick Hell | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Rami, my daughter has had many episodes of violent rage. She has been homicidal and please seek help ....

One llmd seems to think her rage is more from Bartonella than from Lyme.

She is on meds to help and if she keeps her blood sugar levels in a safe level, things seem to be better.

Good luck..But get some help..lmt

Posts: 2360 | From SE PA | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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What TC said
Posts: 7545 | From The 5th Dimension - The Twilight Zone | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Elaine G
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Rage and anger are big Bartonella symptoms.

I don't know how you Mom's do it. I give you a lot of credit and admire you for raising a family while being so ill with TBD.

Strong women, all of you.

I am past the Mom stage and into the Gram stage of life but I don't know if I could have accomplished all that you do.

When I felt angry, I took some deep breaths and thought of a place I would like to be, like on a beach with palm trees. That always made me calm. Of course, I didn't have several kids demanding from me when I got sick.

Give yourselves a big pat on the back, you sure deserve it.

Posts: 671 | From Fort Myers, Florida | Registered: Jun 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I definitely have a lot less patience with the kids now. I'm a yeller. I've also slammed things around from time to time...doors, etc.

My kids have learned to tune me out to a certain extent. Or maybe not exactly "tuning me out", but they have learned that I sometimes yell and it doesn't mean that I don't love them and they know I'll get over it pretty quickly.

I always apologize and explain to them that sometimes I'm overly sensitive and snippy due to my lyme and they need to help me out a bit. Actually though, at times they're maniacs and really do deserve to be yelled at!

If I'm feeling too overwhelmed with my noisy and boisterous family(kids, dogs, AND loud spouse), I retreat to my bedroom upstairs for reading or computer time.

Luckily I have an understanding spouse who allows me to do this and will take over for me.

So, I don't know if I'm actually experiencing full on "rage", but at times I definitely reach my boiling point and need to step away.

Posts: 423 | From Upstate NY | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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It is SO hard parenting a 3 year old, even without the limitations of Lyme. Believe me, I am there. My daughter just turned 3 this past month.

I think they are at the age where they are exploring their limits, and seeing whose buttons they can push and how.

My daughter's method is almost scientific. She knows Behavior A will set me off, and that that Behavior B will set off her teacher. She can be a brilliant, little meanie (said with love).

I have been known to scream myself hoarse and slam doors, which is not really my character. And I don't want her to learn this from me, but sometimes things just get to be too much (her father works all the time, so the parenting is essentially my duty these days).

So, yes, I am with you. Now, for advice.

What has worked for me:

1. Lock 'em up. No, not in a mean way. But if I am out with my daughter, and she is flailing around trying to clock me, I buckle her in her stroller and walk behind her until I cool off.

I know your kids are a bit older. Can you put your kids in their car seats and drive around for a while? I am sure you know not to leave any potential projectile objects in their grasp when using this method.

2. Detox:
I make sure my, ahem, "system" is working, otherwise I hang on to bitterness and anger, making me more likely to fly off the handle.

3. Turn on Curious George, or Wubzy, or whatever they like, and disappear for 10 minutes.

4. Take happy vitamins:
On a bad day, when I don't even want to get out of bed, and my daughter is already whining, I take a cocktail of the foloowing: L-Theanine (anxiety reducer), 5-HTP (happy pill), sublingual B12, and a spoonful of nescafe in my protein smoothie.

5. Don't apologize over and over for any bad behavior:
It puts too much influence on the negative. Their thinking "Mommy's Bad Today," gives them too much power. A sincere apology, then moving on usually works in this house.

6. Watch those female hormones. They can really be a doozer.

7. Realize that you are doing the best that you can in every moment, and forgive yourself. I believe children appreciate an adult's honesty more than some pretend state of perfection. I know I did as a child.

Hey, you're giving them real life skills to work with. They see the ups and downs that come with every day life, and they will be better equipped to handle them.

I consider them very lucky to have a mother like you.

Posts: 636 | From Saratoga County, NY | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Both my sons had lyme rage really bad. There's quite a few natural supplements that make a world of difference. They were each on something different as how each person feels it and reacts is different. It was definitely worth the money I spent on the supplements.....especially for my school age was truly night and day for him. Find yourself a natural doctor in your area. Not all of them cost an arm and a leg!!
Posts: 28 | From southwest | Registered: Aug 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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