Friday, August 31, 2012

I Hate Myself

No, not really.  Well actually, some days I do.  I feel like I can't do enough, or help enough or just be enough.  I try really hard but there doesn't seem to be enough to go around so I internally beat myself up.   I really don't care for those days.  Most of the time they're just minutes rather than days of self-disgust but still....they're there and they stink.  I had parents, that from conception, loved me unconditionally and always believed in me.  Most of the time anyway cause HELLO....there were some teenage years that I'm sure they questioned my judgement. :)  So typically these thoughts don't stick around for very long.

However, my beautiful daughter did not have that luxury.  She had 27 moms before me telling her with their actions (sometimes words too) that she was not enough, she was a horrible kid and that she was bad.  She internalized that belief because it was mirrored to her over and over and over again.  It's part of her core belief system.  It doesn't matter how much I tell her over and over and over again that she is beautiful, precious, smart, funny, kind and loving.  She. Can't. Hear. It. because her internal belief system tells her something different and it doesn't matter how many self-esteem building exercises I do with her, nothing is going to change that until she changes her internal belief system.

Several years ago, Kristy tried to get me to do "even tho I hate myself," tapping with her.  I. Couldn't. Do. It.  How on earth could I make her say those phrases when I have been working so hard on building her self-esteem?  Yes, I know how tapping works and that you have to embrace the negative to get to the positive.  I get it.  BUT I couldn't make myself say those words to J.  I really thought (in my pollyanna brain) that if I just kept working on the positive that she would eventually believe it WITHOUT having to do the "even tho I hate myself" phrases.  I also didn't really believe that she truly hated herself.  No, that's not being totally honest.  Actually, I didn't want to believe it.  It hurt too much to think about it.  Besides, what does it say about my parenting if my kid still hates herself?  So I didn't do it.  I went along my merry, pollyanna way and did everything but that particular tapping.

Some months ago, on Therapy Tuesday's, J was stuck and she couldn't process.  Kristy started, "even though I hate myself, my mom loves me....." the light bulb came on for J.  She was able to say it emphatically and was immersed in the tapping.  Kristy continued on tapping over and over "even though I hate myself" phrases.  Seeing her reaction to this tapping script was shocking.  To say I was stunned would be an understatement.

Now it's a part of her morning routine.  It's the one tapping script that she's been able to do completely by herself.  She comes up with all of her own phrases without any help from me or any reminding.  Her morning routine starts with:

1. Wake up.
2. Make her bed.
3. Do a set of brain gyms.
4. Her yoga routine (she has a 6-7 minute routine that she does daily)
5. Tapping

Then she moves on with the rest of her morning routine.

I can hear her phrases while I'm making breakfast.  I have been amazed with her phrases.  I have been really amazed at the healing that has taken place since she's started doing this.

Now I get to beat myself up for not starting this years ago when Kristy suggested it.  Yeah, yeah, I know, I should tap on that.

I will ask J tomorrow if she would like to share her tapping phrases.  If she does, I'll post them.

My friend and fellow trauma parent, Brenda McCreight, has two new books out.  Everyone should own copies.  They are that good.  Healing from Hazardous Parenting and Family Matters: How to Strengthen Your Family (Without Paying for Therapy or Changing Your Lives).

Brenda, if you're reading, Kristy (our AT) said to tell you, "Great Job!"  She loved them too!

I'll be telling you more about these fabulous books later..... on another tapping note...Brenda, in all her fabulousness, is working on personal tapping scripts for parents.  She's doing this to help us recover.  For free.  Because she's awesome like that.  So if you're interested, let her know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the church I grew up in, one of the things the minister would sometimes say as the words of assurance after the prayer of confession were:

"Thanks be to God, who loves us when we are unloveable, and accepts us when in all eyes, including our own, we are unacceptable."

I remember my dad pointing out to me that "in all eyes, INCLUDING OUR OWN" part of the phrase. He was agnostic at the time but that phrase really struck and intrigued him. One of the first chinks of light, I think, in what became a lifelong journey toward faith.