Mercy! Uncle! Whatever the “I’ve had enough of this shit” code word is, I’m saying it.
Listen, I tried. For almost three months, I was Wellbutrin-free, and during that time, I learned alot about myself — to include this interesting tidbit: WELLBUTRIN WAS MADE SPECIFICALLY FOR ME.
Do I want to be dependent upon a twice-a-day dosage of an antidepressant in order to be a functional human being? No, I definitely don’t. What I DO want, however, is to BE A FUNCTIONAL HUMAN BEING … and, for better or worse, I’m way better at doing that when I’m taking Wellbutrin.
I am a desperately moody person. I am easily frustrated and quickly angered. I am prone to blowing my stack with little or no warning.
Yesterday, Wonder Woman and the kids returned from a five-day visit with her parents. I had missed them terribly … but, within an hour of their return, after listening to the kids fighting and whining, and unsuccessfully trying to get my son to comply with what I was telling him to do, and having him respond by hitting me (albeit weakly), I ordered him to his room … and when he didn’t obey, I hovered over him and absofuckinglutely BELLOWED at him “GET IN YOUR ROOM!”
That might not look so bad on paper, and I know there are times when parents yell at their kids, and it’s no big deal … but there’s a difference between raising your voice because you’re trying to discipline a child who won’t listen to what you’re saying at normal volume, and exploding in an uncontrolled rage. I have been trying really hard for a really long time to not yell at my kids in an out-of-control way, and the sound that came out of me yesterday was inhuman. Demonic, in fact. It scared the shit out of him, it scared the shit out of my daughter, it positively stunned my wife, and it scared even me. I can still hear it in my head. I wish I could take it back.
Did he get up the stairs? Yeah, my scared, tearful, 6-year-old son got up the stairs after I fucking lost my shit on him … while telling me he hated me and wanted to beat me up … and I can’t say I blame him.
I understand that kids say shit like that. I understand it’s part of being a parent and that, generally, I shouldn’t take it to heart. But I also know when I’m wrong … and what I did to him was wrong.
And it made me flash back to when I was a kid … and my parents would scream at me … and my father would bully me … and that was generally the way things were done. I remember I started working out in the basement when I was about 12 or 13 specifically because I wanted to get big and strong enough to kick my father’s ass.
I don’t want my son to feel that way about me.
Last night, Wonder Woman had to go out, so I put the kids to bed by myself. As my son was getting into bed, I took him in my arms, and cradled his way-too-big-to-be-cradled body in my lap, and looked into his eyes.
“I’m sorry about what happened with us today,” I said. “And I’m very sorry I yelled at you like that. I should not have done that.”
“It’s OK, Daddy,” he said.
“No, it’s not OK. What you did was wrong, and it upset me, and I did something wrong back to you, and I shouldn’t have. What you did wasn’t OK, but what I did wasn’t OK, either.”
“I know. It’s just that, sometimes, when I’m upset, my mind doesn’t work right and I do the wrong thing.”
“I know, pal. And it’s Daddy’s job to teach you what the right thing to do is, not do the wrong thing back to you. So we have to work on it together, OK? We have to work on both doing the right thing, even though we’re upset.”
And then I gave him a kiss and a hug and told him I loved him, and read him his books, and sang him some lullabyes, and rubbed his back.
And I’m trying to focus on the fact that, even though the part where I screamed at and bullied him and he got scared and upset and pissed at me was frightfully reminiscent of a dynamic from my childhood that I don’t want to perpetuate, the part where I addressed it at bedtime was not something I ever got from my father … so I’m hopeful that my capacity to add that piece to the puzzle will pay off in the long run.
Meanwhile, I know one thing is for sure: I didn’t have such a hard time dealing with shit, or lash out at people so readily, or experience such dramatic and unnerving mood swings when I was on Wellbutrin … so I’ve started taking it again.
Will I stay on it forever? I don’t know. I know it makes my liver work overtime, and I’m not crazy about taking something that does a number on my liver … but I also know that, lately, I’m feeling really overwhelmed and less capable of managing my life, and I didn’t feel like that (at least not to this extent) when I was taking Wellbutrin … so, for now, my liver can go suck it.