Sunday, May 30, 2010

This is how you remind me of what I really am

Day #4 for us in the Attachment Challenge.

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:

"This is how you remind me of what I really am."


Diana said...

Once again you amaze me with your ability to stay present long enough to get through to the good stuff - to the roots of where this is all at. I did ok until the kid spit right in my eye and then continued to scream and lob stuff at my head for the rest of the afternoon. Good thing tomorrow offers a chance for a do-over.

Marty Walden said...

I'm linking and hugging!

Michelle said...

WOW! just WOW!

Praying the enemy doesn't steal away this moment.

Annie said...

My little one HAS begun to share some of these feelings, too, and I'm so glad I was aware enough to pick up on it, instead of saying something stupid like "Oh, you don't believe that!" which I might have done this time last year.

Had a melt-down tonight which I kind-of "out-crazied". She was trying to be somewhat violent and aggressive and I pretended she intended to play and later to cuddle. In the end, that was much closer to actually being the case. I got to telling her how wonderful she was, and how I wish her mother had really known how to "show her love better" and "take care of her right". My instincts just tell me I HAVE to tell her that her mother loved her, but didn't know how to "show it right" (etc.) And my daughter was really going with this and articulating those "lies" about herself. I was SO grateful for some of the patterns you gave me to work with....your post yesterday (I think?) was PERFECT and GOD-GIVEN for what went on between us tonight.

Then my husband came in and commented that he "watched how I handled that" and "wasn't impressed"....shall we just say he isn't quite in the picture? It was actually a VERY productive evening. He's still thinking that things are only "good" if I manage to completely deflect the "wango-tango", as Essie puts it. Of course he'd like it best of all if I'd just spank her and put her to bed. ha...

Misty said...

it is 1 in the morning and my husband and I just read your post for a third time. I am in tears, crying so hard that the words blur before me. This breaks my heart. It literally causes an ache inside of me- and yet at the very same time I know that this is because it is true. said...

You are so right, shame is such a profound and deeply seated feeling for our kids. The big part of the problem is that most paretning strategies are based in shame, it works for some kids and is developmentally appropriate for little kids to work through feeling it. But our kids are different, round here we work really hard not to shame them anymore, it does happen but P and I now know how harmful it is and we really make an effort, I wish someone had told me this 2 years ago... I have added their shame as their parent and I deeply regret that but I know now and make choices everyday to try to make them feel less shame and more worthy of love.

GB's Mom said...

You are so right. Great post :)

Kerrie said...

Once you started talking about shame, I started trying to understand it. I DON'T GET IT! But I am 98% sure it's what's behind Princess nagging in her ear. I really, REALLY needed the reminder that she's not trying as much to make my head spin around as she is trying to make me believe she's worthless. I need to work on my eyes again.

Molly said...

I have a serious problem with shame myself... which makes it no wonder I have shamed my children as well. ARGH!! Such a difficult journey to be on! The prospect of finding healing myself while simultaneously working on healing my children... all 7 of them... seems overwhelming. Can I take a sabbatical and get myself healthy so that I can then take "care" of them? As it stands it just feels like we just swirl around in the mess, the blind leading the blind.

Recovering Noah said...

Oh crap, Christine. I'm so behind on my blogs and chose today to get caught up. Dang it. If only I'd waited an extra week then your challenge would be over. But now I know it's there... and I'm gonna feel guilty if I don't do it.

You do realize school's out and this is the worse time of the year? 10 hugs? Can I do them all at once? Like, "Come over here, so mommy can hug you 10 times in a row?"

And is it terrible that I'm dreading hugging my child??

Babsness said...

I'm doin it...and I'm gonna challenge my hub to do it too! More so...I'm gonna challenge my hub to STOP griping about what a pain in the butt our just turned 15 year old can be...
he can be, it's true
but it will stop being true if we stop griping about it!

Kerrie said...

Ok, I linked every post. But only because you said to.

CORoots said...

Done. Done. Done. Boo...

GB's Mom said...

I linked my last post about the attachment challenge. Thanks for an interesting, informative week.

Kerrie said...

There's the last one. If I tried to tell you exactly how grateful I am that you did this at this exact time, I'd sound silly.

Thanks. From both of us.