This morning when we got up, my daughter kept on asking me to do things for her. I got impatient, my thinking rambling along the lines of: “It’s a school morning; I’ve had a very short night; I’m tired from all the stress lately; why don’t you do it yourself? Don’t you realise I need to get on? Why are you being so clingy?” Out of that train of thought came a harsh boundary. I saw her recoil as if I had hit her.
I suddenly realised what was going on. But awareness wasn’t enough. I had a serious wrestle inside my head:
Unresorceful part of me: I’ve had enough! I am dealing with serious core wounding at the moment, and it’s being going on for quite a while. I can’t sleep, I am exhausted and terrified. I can’t deal with her stuff!!
Loving me: I wonder if I actually can. I know that she needs tenderness and I could do with some of that myself. And I know that when I give it to her, I give it to myself, too…
Unresorceful me: No, I can’t! I am too tired, too fed up, too overwhelmed! I have nothing to give and I can’t put on a pretend façade of eternally patient mother. Fuck off!
Loving me: I’ll try and see.
So I got close to her and hugged her. Something inside me softened. She softened too. I still had the hurt voice rambling on: “I wish she could just deal with her own upsets. I wish I could get on with the jobs of the day. Gee! This is so annoying!”
But she couldn’t hear inside my head, she could only feel my willingness to be there for her. So she said: “I missed you at school, yesterday” There I melted completely. I realised why she was being so clingy. Out came a story about social interactions that had been difficult for her. I listened and comforted her. I felt connected to her and to myself. Mmmm, beautiful!
Afterwards, I was grateful to notice how I’d managed to gently walk past my resistance with a small act of willingness. I will certainly try again.
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