Robust ThemeDec 09, 2019 2020-04-08 7:40
Name your Difficulty.
This morning I had a shower and thought about what I have to endure.
This morning I had to navigate the father of my youngest children who attacked me, let’s call him
EX 2 drop off my kids whilst the father of my older kids who witnessed attacks, let’s call him
EX 1, was at my home enjoying his time with his kids.
The last contact they had was when EX2 had requested EX1 back up his story that I was insane.
EX1 told EX2 in no uncertain words that this wouldn’t be happening and to not contact again. That was 3yrs ago.
Today I had to explain to EX1 that EX2 was going to arrive and to remain calm. Which he did.
It just so happened my friend arrived simultaneously too, lightening the load.
It all occurred without any chaos.
You may be asking what’s the relevance of this.. and the reason I’m writing this is that it made me think how these high conflict, high trauma, high stress situations can easily become just a day to day thing we have to accept when we face certain struggles..
For most people, the things you as a Parent with a child who needs additional support to thrive or me as a single parent and victim of DV, have to deal with would be unfathomable.
I know that a lot of what goes on in your homes is almost unmentionable to those who do not have children with additional needs. The extremity of your parenting experience, the strains on your relationships and friendships. It’s just beyond what most people could imagine. Everyone’s child doesn’t sleep, or gets annoyed, but I understand that much of what you face has to be seen to be believed. (Which is why so many of you face gaslighting)
My point is, it helps to recognise the extreme challenge of your day to day life. Not to dwell but to give it the respect it deserves.
It was important today that I noted how anxiety inducing the situation was for me and that most families I will interact with today/this week will not have faced what I did this morning.
It’s crucial that I give myself self care afterwards and before. I made sure I was ready and also I’m now off for a long walk. Even sharing with you is a release for me.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is name the difficulty.. I’ve seen parents in meetings say “my child is harming their sibling and I don’t know how to protect them” “my partner is suicidal and I’m not sure we will last as a marriage” “I cried all morning in front of my kids”. It can feel like a weight is lifted. It’s like they have never said it out loud before. When I left my abuser, it felt like my mouth was sewn up, with the threads slowly unravelling as I reached out for therapeutic help.
Naming situations can be the hardest part, but once you do, it’s easier to look at how to cope and also to praise yourself for getting through it. It can also help you find a tribe of others who are also struggling and may be able to offer a kind word. (I made a pact when I first had twins that I would only take solid advice from other twin parents, otherwise how the hell would they know what it was like to be responsible physically for two new lives at one time.)
Try it. It’s hard but helps. Sit down and write down your challenges in a wheel and number them as to how successful life is in that area at the moment.
0 -10. 0 being, it’s completely un-copeable, 10 being it couldn’t be any better.
I’ve given an example. So my relationship is suffering at the moment and my own health, but my kids are doing better and they are happy at school.
It helps me focus on the areas that are most crucial.
I know you guys will most likely have a low success score in many areas, but just seeing that and then doing this weekly or monthly can help you plan better for improvements and also recognise the areas you may want to reach out within or focus on.