Updated: Sep 5, 2020
Hi everyone! I hope you are all well and had a great week. Today I want to talk about anger, both dealing with public/private tantrums and your feelings as a family member.
Growing up Cate never really threw temper tantrums. She has always been a very vocal and extremely loud person, but rarely did she throw a huge fit. She also loved the car, going to different places, and being outside of the house, but all of this changed when she turned 18.
When Cate turned 18, she started having fits of anger in the car. They were not really that long and would only start when we were in the car for an extended period of time, so it was manageable. Well, over the past 4 years it has gotten to the point where 85% of drives we take turn into her screaming and throwing a fit. Even a 5 minute drive has the potential to make Cate go into a full rage, and we have learned that she does not want to be anywhere, but in our house.
These fits of anger are awful to be around. I am not one to exaggerate and I can handle a lot of noise, but I honestly can not handle more than 20 minutes of these fits. Cate's fits of anger are not a little whining, but a full guttural scream. She will scream as loud as she can for as long as she can, and to give you some insight on how loud they are, you can still hear her loud and clear through noise canceling headphones playing at full volume. Once she gets going, she does not stop until she physically is out of air, and then she will catch her breath and begin again. We always had just dealt with them and tried not to take her out as much, until on a drive to Cape Cod where she screamed for 6 hours straight with no breaks. This is when my parents decided to go to Cate's neurologist and find a medication to relax her on drives. We eventually found the right medication, but only can and will use it if we are driving for more than an hour.
The car fits were already bad, but when she began to continue them into the places we would go, it became even more of a problem. She is so darn loud and it is so embarrassing to have her do it in public. Absolutely anyone in a store can hear her and will look at us, and I personally have a really hard time of dealing with the added attention on top of what we already get. Luckily, me and my parents developed a system/emergency plan for when Cate throws a fit in a store to prevent the severe embarrassment for me. I leave our family and go to a different section or aisle in the store or public place, and one of my parents will take her out to sit in the car (kind of ironic that she stops in the car, but we have learned she only screams when the car is moving).
These fits of rage Cate has developed has been incredibly hard on our family. We really can not all go out together anymore because these fits are so stressful and absolutely awful to be around. Being in a confined space, like the car, with a 21 year old screaming full force behind you, not only gives you a pretty bad headache, but puts everyone in a foul mood. We have to plan our trips out in advance and find ways for either one parent to go with me and the other stay with Cate, or both my parents to go out and I stay with Cate. Cate's fits have definitely given us a challenge, but all we can do is go with the flow and try and find the positives. My positives are getting some one on one time with either of my parents, having a solution for long car rides, and that Cate does not get that angry at home.
Dealing with Cate's anger has also presented me the challenge of dealing with my anger towards her. Sure I have gotten mad at her before, but nothing has made my blood boil like the fits of anger. I have always felt so guilty about getting so angry at her because I know she is upset about something too. The only thing that put my mind to ease was accepting the fact that both of our feelings are valid. I had to come to realize that I am not a bad person for getting mad at Cate because anger is a valid, natural emotion. Life can get frustrating, and you are not a bad person for getting angry or frustrated, no matter the circumstances.
I do not want to sugar coat anything on this blog. My goal is to keep it as real and honest as possible because this is my life, it is as plain and simple as that. Although both Cate and my's anger is not the pretty side of our life, I thought it was important to share. I want anyone who is reading this to know that you are not alone and your feelings are completely 100% valid. As hard as life can be, I love it, and even with the bumps on the road, my life is still pretty amazing. Thanks for reading this week and have an amazing weekend and week ahead.