Blackout Anger


When you drink so much that you blackout, that experience where the events that happen the night before are hazy (at best) or absent altogether, you might have a drinking problem. And there is something you can do about it. But what happens when you have sometimes moments of rage that you can’t remember but vague details the next day? How do you stop THAT from happening?

I used to watch crime shows where some defendant in a murder trial would claim ‘I can’t remember anything,’ from the horrible murder, and the audience (and jury) tend to scoff at such assertions. But, while not on the level of murder, I’ve had instances of anger/rage that I haven’t remembered much the next day, which is scary as fuck.

Like, last night for instance (it always happens at night), where I was exhausted and had been in bed for about 45 minutes before Potamus woke up. And that’s when I have to rely on Boof for the rest of the memory, because I don’t remember much except one encounter with my fist and a wall and yelling ‘Potamus! GO TO SLEEP!” I was asleep, myself, and with earplugs in I couldn’t hear much to begin with. Boof said I was initially very concerned about Potamus crying (Boof was changing him because he had peed through his diaper) and he wouldn’t stop. I guess I was concerned and sweet and then went to pee and punched the wall twice and slammed a few doors. And then there was yelling, but that was 30 minutes later. And then Boof told me to go back to bed, and I woke up at 2am because Potamus was crying, and I found him out on the couch, asleep in Boof’s arms (who was also asleep).

I don’t remember any of that. Except yelling that 1 time. I don’t remember hitting the wall with my hand or cussing Boof out or the fact that it wasn’t a 30 second ‘grumble grumble’ encounter. Becuase I was asleep.

What’s strange is that I had read several articles yesterday on sleep deprivation in moms (or parents) and the importance of communication. When Boof and I debriefed this morning he was shocked to hear my account of the events. He said that I am ‘an amazing mom 99% of the time, but when I see you like that, it’s time for me to step in, to save you from you,’ which I definitely agreed to. Because I don’t even know I’m doing it. Honestly. I was asleep.

Though I do know that my frustration level is not always that great, and I could work on better coping tools for when I am awake and withit and able to make mindful choices. But what do I do about these other times? I get scared that I might do something to hurt myself or my child in moments like that where I am not totally aware, because in my head I say ‘well, that’s never happened when Boof isn’t there,’ but I guess I can’t 100% be sure of that, you know?

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