Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Comments and emails from folks asking about self-regulation. Here's your post:
It's different for everyone. Some of the most helpful things for me have been:
Al-Anon - I had several years of Al-Anon working on my stuff and practicing detachment with love prior to getting J. Detachment with love is something that is extremely hard to do and I'm grateful I had years of practice before J. With RAD kids you have to take a step back and not let them poke you with a stick, like Corey describes. It is beyond hard. Working on my stuff is incredibly hard too. Dang. I. do. not. want. to. do. it. Christine got it right, as always, right here.
Therapy - I have an hour every week before J to continue working on my many issues. At the moment Kristy has me reading The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work by Terrence Real (no, I am not getting married) and True Love by Thich Nhai Hanh and (gasp) doing the exercises in the book. Both books are excellent and money well spent. I made the mistake of getting New Rules on k i n dle and hated it because I couldn't highlight all the profound passages to death. So then I had to order the paperback. True Love is an easy read but very profound book. One of the exercises is to meditate for a minute on "Dear One, I know that you are suffering, that is why I am here for you." I'm practicing it in all areas of my life but it's especially helpful with J. This book has really touched my heart and is making me more open to seeing things differently and framing situations differently.
I rub on my sore spots. Sometimes I do it in front of J (because I think it's good for her to see me using tools to help myself), sometimes I go hide in the bathroom.
Even though I'm having a really hard time right now, I'm a totally great person.
Even though I'm feeling like a crappy mom today, I'm a totally great person.
Even though I'm exhausted and drained, I'm a totally great person.
Even though I don't think I can do this RAD thing one more minute, I'm a totally great mom.
Even though I don't know how I'm going to make it through the day, I'm a totally great person.
Even though I'm so frustrated with J, I'm a totally great person.
The psychological reversals (rubbing) work almost immediately for me (and J). I don't know why. I don't care. It only matters that it works.
Call/email another RAD mom.
Last but certainly not least - I put myself in a mommy time out. Everyone goes to their rooms and I get just a few minutes alone. Once I have regulated myself I can then help regulate my daughter. If I don't get regulated things go downhill fast. My newest thing is to do the mantra above from True Love while hiding in my bathroom. It helps.
I have all of these tools posted on the fridge. I need to have them handy when the crazy happens. Cause when the crazy happens I can't think. So the note on the fridge thinks for me so that I don't have to spiral down with my kid.
Please share what you do for regulation... I would love to hear your ideas.