Originally posted in January of 2011
*the title of this post is ripped from the preschool dialect of my friend’s daughter – a kid from the hard places who, when she is not thrilled about something, always starts her sentence with, “No me want to!” which is now a favorite catch phrase in our home – and should really be on a t-shirt*
I have met a lot of people over the years that have a really bad opinion of therapists and psychiatrists. I have had my moments. Admittedly, I have those moments most when they start coming at me about my stuff.
No me want to talk about myself!
Hearing that anger and “mad” is a cover-up emotion … a natural reaction to hide what is really going on … well, I did. not. like. that. I wanted two things: I wanted my kids to just be mad (which makes them mean – not hurting), because then I could just be mad at them.
Ah, did you see that – “I could just be mad?” I had to look at me. My own anger and “mad” is always a cover up for what is really going on underneath.
I don’t know about you, but I HATE talking about my stuff I need to work on.
I’m not being funny. I HATE IT. I avoid it. I’m not stupid and I know it’s hard to change and I. don’t. want. to.
So, when you are already parenting a child who is constantly pushing you away and you dread going to bed at night because you know it means you’re about to start all over again the next day … you want a spa vacation. You don’t want to have to do more work which can only begin by dealing with stuff you are already not dealing with on purpose.
That is not fair.
That should not be.
That seems impossible.
That feels impossible.
That should piss you off, at least a little bit.
I loved our attachment therapist, except when she very gently needed to correct me. I loved books and resources except when they told me that I had to work on myself first, before I could help my child.
Screw that, right?
I AM NOT SUPER WOMAN!
I’m going to say this out loud for all of us today. Some of you aren’t there, yet. I get it. Took me a long time, and with some things it took me a VERY long time and there are plenty of areas where I am still sucking it with a giant straw. But I’m going to say the words … put them in print. Because you can’t move forward until you say it. I have had my own private moments to get through this. I don’t expect any of you to do it publicly, but I won’t dare NOT encourage you to push your way through the hard crap.
We (parents of kids from the hard places) use anger as a cover up, sometimes just as much as our kids do.
“That therapist says it’s my fault!” Yup. Some of them don’t understand attachment and don’t see it. But some who see it, are trying to help us see where we are hindering the process. There is a difference, and some of us don’t want to go there. We cover it up with anger.
“That book says I have to be perfect! I never will be!” No. It doesn’t. We all know it doesn’t. But we have a million emotions over our own stuff and we make rash generalizations … we use exaggeration and grandiose emotion as a cover up for what we’re really feeling. What we don’t want anyone to know.
“That would NEVER work with my child and is a bunch of foo foo!” I will be the first to wipe my butt with anything that says sticker charts are a first-round approach for attachment challenged kids. HOWEVER, that’s certainly not what I’m talking about here. I always have an immediate desire (craving) to blow off approaches that will be the most difficult for me to implement. Those are usually things that will require me to interact more with my child, emotionally and physically. I would much rather gravitate to approaches that are more militant and distant. Why? Well, you are not going to get that answer, because it took months of self-reflection and admission of a LOT of my own issues before I could come to terms with that. It is private and it was painful and embarrassing for me to even admit some of it to myself. It sucked, but I did it. Oh, yeah … and it sucked.
No me want to talk!
I could go on, but I think you get the idea. No one is perfect. No one is even remotely close to perfect. But we are all professionals at avoiding our part of the process. Sometimes we avoid it because we have some really horrible, painful things and we would rather die than have to think about them, recall them, much less fix them.
It is proven that our own histories and experiences affect our parenting.
It is undeniably true.
It is not fair.
It should not be.
It seems impossible.
It feels impossible.
It should piss you off, at least a little bit.
But you are not alone as you try to face yourself, before you can hep your kids. My holy hooch – YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Grab me by the hand and hold on tight and see if you can just admit a tiny bit of it out loud this week, if only to yourself.