I got schooled.
Had an okay morning. Some of the playing dumb. Asking them to unlock my door to the car and they "did it wrong" so it was still locked. That kind of stuff.
Late in the afternoon, everyone else was headed to a picnic. We were staying home to get some people checked in at the park. We started to talk about making some CBT type of coping cards. Basically, I wanted to help them choose some of the lies they believe, so we could write them on cards, followed by truths. These will be things they can read often, and pull out when they are hearing those lies deep within.
NOTE: again, today, they were wearing a very not-favorite outfit.
So, we were going through some ideas. I finally said, "Well, let's talk about your big feelings you have when you get dressed every day." They started to deflect. However, it was so quick and so NOT where I was going that I really thought for a minute I was not being clear. So, I said, "Honey, I'm sorry. Don't think I'm being specific enough. When you are standing at your dresser and about to pick out your clothes, right THEN ... what are you feeling right then?"
And ... crap.
My kid broke. They did not try to make it into a situation where they try to make people think I'm a bad mom. Just broke and angrily talked about how they feels about theirself.
Now, I'm not saying that the bad-Mom thing has never been her goal - I think in the earlier days it definitely was, and was based in fear and loss of control. However, our kids talk most easily about what is NOT true. And that's always been the story when it comes to this. Today, though ... today they showed me the truth.
Denise Best talks about how the healing children in her practice show over and over again that most of our kids' behaviors are based in extreme shame (not her feelings, but the actual words from her patients). I have heard it and read it all over the place. Yet, I just always assumed there was something more to it. It was easier to assume they just really want to be mean. It was easier to believe it was all about me and fighting off me and hurting me.
I was wrong.
More than anything, it is about how my child's own lack of self-love.
Our kids feel gross and dirty and worthless.
After I allowed myself to process my guilt for not acknowledging this particular area of their life like I should, I found this page on shame and how to overcome it. This part really stuck out to me (emphasis is mine):
"Like all of us, they have a deep need to be known and to be seen and to be recognized "for who I really am." But since they actually believe they are worthless, they have a strong need to prove their worthlessness to everyone in their lives.
They don't hurt their families and friends because they don't love them or because they want to hurt them. They hurt their families and friends out of this need to be "known" - and out of the wrong belief that they are worthless."
It was a very massive and serious reminder of the power I have. What does my child see about themself in my eyes and voice and embrace? What do I tell them about them?
I think Nickelback was speaking for my kids when they sang: