Monday, May 28, 2012

Heart to Heart

If we're totally honest, we ALL have issues.  Every stinking one of us.  Not a single one of us is perfect.  It's just a fact.  One that drives a perfectionist like me crazy.

One of my core issues is anxiety.  Another is being accepting of myself and my challenges.  When J first came home my anxiety was through the roof.  And she fed off it.  Our kids are clueless about their own feelings but they can take on ours in a New York minute.  There was no progress until I could start letting some of that go because she was taking my anxiety and turning up the volume to 100.  Our household was anxiety on crack.  Kristy kept telling me she would feed off my feelings and to keep trying to relax.  Easier said than done but how was she ever going to get better if I didn't "fix" myself first?  I was telling my kid that I accepted her and her flaws yet if I didn't accept all my flaws how was I going to help J accept herself????

It took a lot of will power to want to let these go.  Those anxious feelings and feeling less than had become my comfort zone.  It was an eye opening moment of seeing into my kid's behaviors.  I lived through trauma as a child but it was NOTHING compared to my child.  I am an adult (sometimes) and have the tools to change and I still didn't want to do the work.

Looking back there was no wonder that she couldn't sleep well.  Living through the scary things that happened in dark rooms in the dead of night before she came to my house and I couldn't let the anxiety go so that she could feel safe at night.  If I was so anxious how was she supposed to relax and feel like I was strong enough to keep her safe?  How on earth she made it without any sleep those first few years is beyond me.

So I was back to putting the oxygen mask on myself first.  Double dog dang it.  I didn't like it one little bit and no one was going to make me like it.  I did it anyway.

I still have moments that I want to sit on my pity pot.  I allow myself to do that.  I'll put a time frame on it. Today I am going to sit with the pity pot, anxious feelings, etc until 5 PM.  When the time is up I do something about it.  Tap, brain gyms, Reiki, or whatever tool I need to use is then implemented.  Sometimes it is "D" all of the above.

I also allow J to do this.  I give her an allotted time (or she chooses a time) to enjoy the pity pot, anger, sad, whatever.  Then we get with it and do the tools.  Most of the time she picks the correct tool to help herself.  Sometimes I have to help her but I try to let her pick so that she can get in the habit of finding what works for her.

Before this journey no one told me I was going to have to fix myself before I could help my kid.  It's probably a good thing they didn't because it would've ticked me off.  I have left claw marks across the floor where J has dragged me with her on this healing journey.  I have had to heal searing childhood pain, bitter failures, practice using tools on myself, learned to regulate my emotions, and realized that I needed therapy and then utilized it.  My girl is dragging me into emotional health and well being.  I'm a better person for it and she is too.  The healthier I am the greater her chances of happiness.

It's worth the work.

Below are some of the tapping videos I use.  Yes, I tap in front of J so that I am always modeling that I have to use tools too.  No, tapping one time on any of these is not going to fix the problem.  It takes tapping several times a day for a while.  However long it takes..... but it does work.  Again, I would've never done all these things for myself but I did them to help my kid.

Trauma & Abuse

Loving Yourself

Rejection and Abandonment


Trauma Mama said...

Thank you for this sweet little smack down. I needed the reminder to take care of myself before I can take care of my kids.

Marty Walden said...

After 12 years of adoption, once my M lost control of his sister, we finally discovered not only was he unattached by he has OCD and anxiety. He is taking baby steps, but his anxiety puts me over the edge. He is terrified of change and anything he can't predict. Vacation, for instance. You know. The good stuff of families. I can feel the temperature rise in the room when he's anxious. My problem is he refuses to admit he has it so the tools he uses are forced on him. I'm hoping for the day when he can recognize his own "stuff" (and yes, we ALL have some!) and help himself heal further. My S, however, is doing great! Seriously great. Her life experience is nowhere near the tragedies of J, but she has still come miles. So proud of you, my friend!

Annie said...

Off topic, but I took your suggestion of "prescribing the problem" the other day with Ilya. He was really upset about something which he wouldn't admit to me (his feeling stupid about something) His response was to use one F bomb after another. I guess this is a bit of "humor", too, but instead of gritting my teeth, or asking him to stop it, I cheerily said. "F888! What a great word! "F***, let's add it to EVERY sentence! Wow! That made me feel f***ing good! You do it, too!" And everything he said for a few minutes, I'd repeat with the F word, urging him to say it over "right". I've had to delve into my "favorite" word a time or two since, but he usually just gets out of my way when I start! So, thanks!

Ericka said...

I have no idea what you are talking about. I have absolutely NO issues whatsoever.
Perfect, I tell you. Perfect :)
You the bomb momma. I just love your tool-y goodness :)