Following are excerpts from my journal from the March/April time frame as I continue to share my personal crisis.
Day 30 – It was a tough night for me at family therapy. We’re certainly making progress learning new ways of communicating. Allison has it down pat with all the daily practice she receives from the Center, interacting with the other girls and therapists. It’s great to see how she wants to teach us.
After tonight’s session, however, I’m feeling flawed, imperfect, and embarrassed. Tonight’s session was an opportunity for each of us to become more effective communicators using the format, “When you do ____ (particular action), I feel ____ (feeling).”
Wow, it’s hard to take critiques from those we love. I know it’s my EGO who’s in the way and making me feel “bad”. Logically I know I’m far from being the perfect mom!!! I get that!!!! However, emotionally I feel crushed, flawed, hurt, and I want to go hide under a rock.
Tonight, I know it was hard for Ryan to share what he did with me because he had tears in his eyes while he was telling me. I felt terrible thinking he felt any guilt to express himself or think it was wrong of him to do so. But certainly his tears meant it was not easy to expose his feelings.
I know this way of communicating is going to be good for our family. However, it will also bring up a lot of stuff for each of us. I learned our family easily expresses the easy stuff… love, happiness, our sense of humor and support for one another. Our challenge is the hard stuff… disappointment, disapproval, conflict and anger.
I know therapy is good – but what happens when you feel a bit overwhelmed with a new “truth” that you didn’t expect? I feel like going into a cave to hibernate and sit with the new information shared with me tonight. I need to sit in this really uncomfortable, insecure place where I feel inadequate. I need to face a side of me that I literally felt in the dark about.
I suppose I could look at my children in gratitude for simply sharing with me so that I can choose to learn from it. Why am I taking it so personally? If either of them ever read these thoughts of mine, they’d probably flip at how dramatic I’m making it.
For them to express their thoughts is FOR them, not me. I’m making it about me but I suppose we are all egocentric beings with a need to make everything about ourselves!
What if… I stepped on the outside of this and was viewing me from a third person position. What would I be telling egocentric Carol?
I’d tell her, “Own what’s yours and let the rest go.” If I‘m getting a rise out of what I’ve heard or learned, then I need to sit with it so I could figure out what I feel. That is, feel annoyed by… misunderstood by… judged by… frustrated by….
And then decide what do I want to do with that answer!!! It’s all about CHOICE!!!! Will I choose to feel stuck? Feel victim? Feel dramatic? Feel helpless????
Will I choose to feel grateful? empowered? optimistic? graceful? humbled?
There are no extra points for getting to an answer unless it’s the most authentic one for me. I cannot rush to any conclusion or feeling because it won’t be genuine.
So…. It’s okay to give it time, to sit in the yuck, the uncertainty, the awkward, out-of-sorts place!! It’s all part of the process!!!!