So, um, yeah. I have since moved to another room and will attempt to spill out/work through a theme that has become apparent to me over the past week, which apparently just erupted all over my bedroom. :P I'm setting the intention that what you just read was the breakTHROUGH and not just a breakDOWN. That it has all been expelled from my consciousness, or maybe it will hang around just long enough to get on the screen and then will be released for eternity. Yeah. That's a good intention. :) And I'm choosing not to pick apart the above conversation (even though I totally could!) and just trust that what was said was what I needed to hear to get me to where I needed to be, and leave it at that. ;)
I absolutely believe that behind every behavior is a need, and I have had kids long enough to know that a lot of stuff is a phase and will disappear without any sort of "training", and that four is a year of discovering how big the world is and how small the child feels in it which often leads to increased requests for help and hopefully leads to the security that help will be there when it is needed, and brings the child back to a place where s/he would like to do it all alone again. And then five tends to be about how the child knows EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING, thank you very much, and doesn't really need the parent in much of a capacity at all. Unless everything DOESN'T go the way s/he expected. . .
So we have this new behavior (needing me to help with, or do LOTS of stuff that she could do herself, for her) and this incredible, knee jerk anger, frustration, and desire to tear out my own hair that comes from me. It finally occurred to me to stop and see what she could be mirroring for me, what it is that she is triggering in me that is causing this incredible, out-of-proportion with the actual issue, reaction from me. I can't help her when I'm flipping out myself, so taking care of MY side of the issue is really the most effective place to start. When I remember. And I'm not sticking my fingers in my ears because I don't want to hear it. . .
Yep, truth be told, I'm not all that great at taking care of my own needs, either. (I had to tell myself to just get up and go to the bathroom already instead of trying to hold it until I was done writing this. . .) And gosh darn it, do I really need to wait for other people to give me permission, or help me, or do it for me? Do I need to wait for someone else to say "Good job, I see you've been working very hard, go take a break!" or "You did all of your work! Good girl! Now you can go outside and play!" or "Well, you've completed your obligatory assignments for today, now you can work on something just for the fun of it." or "You look tired, why don't you rest for a bit?" or "I can see how your soul is suffering under the weight of these "shoulds" that have been piled on you. I'll take them off and throw them away for you." ???? I don't NEED to wait for others or to get permission to do any of those things. But I feel like I DO. Deep down I really do. And it keeps me frozen. And you know what? I'm sick of it. And I'm ready to be done with it.
My pattern is normally to ignore my needs, push them aside, until I hit crisis point and freak out. And then I have to do all of this intense work that takes up a lot of time to get myself semi back on track. And I look at that time and part of me feels like it was a waste and I feel guilty about it, so I keep on ignoring my needs because I JUST took care of them (sort of) so I shouldn't need to spend more time on me, until I hit crisis point again, and the cycle continues. Today, while I was watering my seedlings that had been neglected for a few days while I was away, it occurred to me that they would die if I took care of them the way I take care of me. They would have no chance. They need regular, tender, nurturing care. And so do I.
So, some things I can do. Journal, paint, or sketch daily. Wait until the day has started and everyone is fed and I have worked towards something I TRULY want to do before getting on the computer. Look myself in the eye in the mirror and tell me I love me. Drink enough water and eat what my body is directing me to eat. Get outside and not just when I'm feeding the animals. Ooh, you know, when L asks me to take her to the bathroom, I could use that as a reminder to get present and focus on my breathing, even if it's only for a few seconds. A few seconds of gathering myself up and being mindful is better than none! Maybe that's what she's been trying to tell me all along. <3 My four year-old zen master. :)