What does anxiety feel like?
I can’t judge rationally when I’m anxious.
I make bad choices because of anxiety.
I can’t live a happy life because of anxiety.
On the last day before winter break, my boys went to school. As soon as the kids went to school, I did my morning routine, my morning exercise. As I walked slowly through a snowy park, my second son’s homeroom teacher called. Her voice was filled with concern. In a fight with his friend, the second son broke his friend’s glasses and scarred his face. There’s gonna be a meeting of people involved in the violence, she says.
My heart raced as I listened to her words. Beautiful morning scenery suddenly turned into a different world. As I listened to her story, my brain started working fast. I was worried about the future of my second son, my reputation, and the administrative challenges ahead of me… I was anxious. I got tired. As soon as the phone call ended, I got angry.
Honestly, this isn’t the first time this has happened to him. Because he has poor impulse control due to mild intellectual disability and ADHD symptoms, he often beats his friends. In those days, I scolded my son and tried to get him to change his mind. There was even a threat. Even said that if he hit his friend, I would hate him and he would go to jail.
With these memories flowing through my head, I was anxious and sad, anticipating the hard future I’d have to face. On a winter morning, the happy me who loves myself after exercising disappears like smoke, and my thought that I must change his behavior at least by scaring and beating my second son, who is full of flaws, came to the surface.
In fact, this is the day I planned to travel to Busan in the south of Korea, where my mother-in-law lives, instead of giving up my children’s last class. In the sense of attending the last class and finishing 2022 well, I sent my two sons to school. I thought that if I had gone on a trip with my children on this day, nothing bad would have happened to my second child. However, what happened on this day could have happened on any other day.
As long as my son’s impulsive mind is incapable of controlling it, I realized that it could happen at any time, and it became clear what my son and I had to do from now on. I came to the conclusion that we should look back on our own minds and throw them away.
My son wasn’t the only one with bad impulse control. While I am polite in public places, at home, I can be abusive, throw things, or use violence against my kids when I’m angry with them. After watching me act like this on a regular basis, my eldest son said, “Mom behaves like a grandfather outside the house, but inside the house, she’s completely different. Nobody will know.”
It was time for a fundamental change. I’ve realized that I have to let go of anger in my mind and anger that breaks things, screams, or hurts people. He’s the same way.
As soon as I made this judgment, my mind calmed down. I’m no longer anxious, sad, or angry. I came to terms with reality. I thought he and I should take responsibility for my son’s mistakes. Besides apologizing to the child, I had to ask the parents for forgiveness. The phone rang just as I reached this point. Quite surprisingly, my son’s homeroom teacher told me the injured child’s mother understood the whole thing and only wanted financial compensation.
In the evening, my son wrote a long reflection. In detail, he explained why his actions were wrong and how he hurt people. I made a decision with my son. Through meditation, we decided to let go of our anger and violence. A similar accident will happen again if we don’t throw away our anger. If the parents who passed on the anger to the child didn’t change, the child wouldn’t change. My momma’s instincts told me to set an example. I’ll throw away the violence and impulse hidden in my mind in 2023 with my son.
I’m glad there’s help out there. An expert can help you meditate. There’s hope for me and my son because there’s a belief that anger will disappear if we let it go. In 2023, my son and I will overcome this ordeal and grow even more.