I was recently asked, "When your child [with a history of trauma] finally settles and is able to reconnect and ready to move on ... how do you let them? How do you just ... ya' know ... just ..."
"Stop being mad??"
"YES! Do you just fake it til you make it? What do you do?"
"I'll let you know in a few days, cause I'm still pretty livid with one of my kids."
I joke, but I'm SO not joking.
We have experienced a new phenomenon in our home in the last few weeks. After a child has been speaking their pain through behaviors, and they finally reach regulation, and life has continued on ... they are doing the craziest thing. I have actually heard, several times, "Mom, I'm very sorry about what I did earlier. Is there something I can do to put love back into you, since I hurt you?"
I should be dancing, right? I should be making banners and sending out cards to friends and family, right? I should be SO EXCITED, RIGHT?!?
Yet, I'm human. Ya' know what I've been feeling instead? Right in that moment?
I'M. NOT. DONE. BEING. MAD. YET.
Right smack in that second I am so ticked off at anything I have ever taught my kids. I have said things like, "It's okay to have big feelings, but it's not okay to hurt people with those feelings." And then I've taught them ways to still have the feelings, but not take them out on others or try to get others to join in their misery in an unhealthy way.
My words echo in my head.
I give myself the finger.
I want my kids to do it, but I DON'T WANT TO DO IT!
So, I'm writing it out to honor this amazing strength we are seeing in each of our children. It's a big deal. It's a giant deal. Truly amazing and brave and oozes with health and healing.
I'm also writing it out to admit I can still be a big pouty baby in the middle of it. I don't want to do the right thing. I don't want to lead by example.
No me want to!
My friend, Billy, would say, "Then ... don't!"
We all know how that would play out. He really sucks that way, in all his crappy wisdom.
So, I'm going to listen to my own stupid advice. I'm going to use the tools I know work. I'm going to lead by example.