I could start at the beginning, but that would take too long. So, I'll start where I am today.
I am a moron, a twerp and am stupid. Flossie was feeling somewhat miffed at my attempts at managing her anger and was trying to spread the fun around. I was surprised at how well I took it.
As Mrs C often notes:
"The issue is not the issue"
Well that's all well and good but she's putting Peanut to bed and I'm entering into a critical stage of negotiations. Through the wall of sarcasm, sniping and insults I manage to slip in a question that causes a momentary pause. "Has something happened at school today?" I ask.
Through the burning fires of unfettered hatred in her eyes I catch a small pause and realise I might have got her. "Did something happen to a friend? Did you get into trouble? Did you see someone get into trouble?". She's on the ropes, the vitriol is waning and I say "tell me what happened"
It all spewed out, Tarquin lied and told Mrs Teacher that Darcy and her had flushed Leggo down the toilet and she said, he said, blah blah blah.
The issue was not the issue.
A slice of toast and a glass of milk later I was not a moron, twerp or stupid and she was not going to destroy all my work on my computer and I am not the worst dad in the world and she'd stopped hitting me and we were all happy.
Well she was.
I'd re read that day on the impact of toxic stress on brain architecture. The impact of the negative environment and experiences, the pull of the familiar, safe and comforting negative emotions. The way the brain doesn't develop the subtle nuanced emotions and coping strategies and in flossy's case jumps straight to anger, the default setting.
It makes perfect sense, crazy, messed up, backwards thinking, perfect sense. Unfortunately, it doesn't make it easy.
But it helps me love her.