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I have shared about going to therapy – and quite a few of you have reached out and shared that this has prompted YOU to find this kind of support in your community – SO HAPPY!
I told you how I shopped around and chose on that I thought was the right fit. I had actually had some one I trust and worked with suggest that somatic therapy was really the fit I wanted, so that is what I looked for.
Even after shopping around, after a few sessions, I felt unsatisfied with the experience. IT felt slow and directionless. Now, this could ABSOLUTELY say something about me, right? Have I spoken before about my need to get things moving and FIX problems???
I have another friend that told me that I would LOVE who she was seeing – it’s a man, interestingly enough I thought I wanted to work with women but I LOVE THIS GUY. And while he isn’t solving my problems and going into “fix it” mode – the masculine energy is what I am noticing is supporting the work. But it also feels balanced because there does seem to be spaciousness, but my experience of the time spent with him feel directional.
So, all that to say that you all have permission to change up your mental health team if something feels off. Unapologetically.
Today I want to talk about something that has been coming up for me, AND with some of my clients. I have a feeling you are all going to relate with this as well.
So let me set this up and you can decide if you can relate….
You are looking ahead to the weekend. Everyone is going to be home on Sunday and you would really like to have a family day, time together doing something…. Maybe you’ll all decide to go to a movie or do a project, but you know that time together is something you all need and Sunday is the perfect time….
Sunday rolls around and your partner gets busy with a home improvement project that looks like it is going to last all day, one of you kids has made plans with friends and gets irritated when you tell him nope, you have to be home. And maybe the other child is looking for “alone time” rather than “together time.”
Literally no one is on board with a family day.
Maybe you use language like:
“I was kinda hoping we could do something with the kids today” or “It’s important to me that we spend time together as a family” or “I really wish you wanted to hang out with us”
And then our people carry one with the home improvement, making plans with friends, or retreating into their bedroom.
And what happens to us? Well, what happens to me is I start to feel really angry and resentful. I feel slighted, disrespected, dismissed. I then continue to interact with my family from this place. The energy of the house shifts and everyone is now MOTIVATED to be busy with their own thing, away from mom, who has now moved into bitch/blamer mode.
From the outside looking in, this is ridiculous, right?
Did I even explicitly SAY to my family, “lets spend Sunday afternoon together?” and make it a plan? No.
Were my family rejecting me when they carried on with what they needed/planned for that day? No.
Did I actually FUEL disconnection in my response to them? Yes.
Right, get it together, Casey.
But in the moment….. In the moment it feels like rejection. IT feels like no one cares. Thoughts of failure show up, catastrophizing…. Comparison to other families that are FOR SURE joyfully doing something wonderful with THEIR families. What is wrong with us?
And all of this comes also with tightness in my chest and belly, a clenched jaw, furrowed brow – an overall experience of tension. And that is the physical sensation that typically leads me into a mindset of poor me, gosh darn it, I am hurting and they need to know it.
Its funny too, when I am feeling this way, I get really uptight if the kids are on their screens, or their rooms are a mess – all of a sudden I can see a million things that bother me and I am throwing it at them.
And it isn’t about the screens or the rooms, it’s about the hurt I am experience, that I actually set myself up for!!
And this can really sneak up on you too, right? When you expect one response and get something else? This is something I am working out with my therapist, because when my expectations are challenged, I go into fight or flight – typically fight mode. My thinking gets rigid, and I am grasping for control…. Yeah, it’s a control thing I think. And I am sure this can be traced back to my interpretation of stability or instability growing up.
So what do we do??? IF you have read my book, you know that I highlight that experience of awareness “I know I am pissed and should calm down” coupled with the justification of “but god damn it they need to KNOW”
Yeah……. Raise your hand if you know the struggle. It’s like the emotional experience has tentacles and it’s holding us captive. Because if we move through it, move through or anger and resentment in a positive way, and then show up from a place of connection and love, what?
There is this idea that if others don’t feel our pain, they are somehow getting away with something. The reality is, when what we are being triggered by is an internal experience that we are having, and then responding to others from that place of pain, all they really are is confused, or perhaps scared.
So, how about we choose to do something different when this resentment shows up? Lets start with getting some space.
I am unworthy.
I am noticing, that I am having the thought, that I am unworthy.
I am being rejected/dismissed/ignored
I am noticing, that I am having the thought, that I am being rejected/dismissed/ignored
Is it true?
Yes or no – what can I do about it?
If the answer is yes, have a meaning full conversation with the people that you feel are involved (I love the conversation I had on Eps 174: Learning to be a more mindful communicator with Oren Jay Sofer, check it out)
If the answer is no, take care of yourself. Feel your feelings and give yourself a chance to process them. Journal. Talk to a friend. Talk to your therapist. Be with your experience and move through it, rather than avoid it or distract yourself from feeling it.
Ok, so what can we do to be proactive?
If you want something, be explicit about it, not vague. You can’t expect for your children to tease apart your generalizations to hear what you are really trying to say.
This sounds like:
“Sunday afternoon we are all going to be home and I would like us to do something together from 1-5, so don’t make any plans, please.”
As the holidays get closer, know that you are going to be making lots of plans and expectations in your head. Take this opportunity to speak into the experience you would like to have. Encourage and invite your family into the planning so that they know what to expect and what YOU expect. Find flexibility too – because you are SHARING the experience with others…
I love this topic – know that I am actively practicing what I shared with you today, all the time. Imperfectly.
We are all in this together, friends!!
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Joyful Courage: Calming the drama and taking control of your parenting journey
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Thank you to everyone that has been so encouraging on this journey!!! I appreciate you!!!!
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