I Was Thinking...
There are times when an Intentional Parent just needs to make the decision that it is okay to COAST! I have a head cold this week. My brain feels like it is moving slow. My face hurts. All around not death-bed sick, but kind of miserable. I have learned over the years that my being sick throws everybody off. Some more than others, but it affects them all. Luckily, I don't get sick too often!
I remember days where the more sick I was the more acting out there was. When you don't feel well and you don't understand the limbic system or fight, flight or freeze, you just keep pushing for some kind of sign of healthy relationship from your child, some little glimmer of empathy. You just keep thinking your child should get it. I would just keep on them and on them which, as I now know all too well, makes everything worse!
Over the years, I have learned that when I am sick it triggers my adopted kids. It triggers the survivor in them. Being triggered looks different on each of them. They are all dealing with that old fear that they won't be taken care of, that they might be abandoned again.
I am still reminded of it today as I sit here with this darn cold. My kids are not all triggered to the same degree as in the past, but after 12+ years we've all gotten better at this whole thing. I remain an Intentional Parent and make the decision that we will all need to be allowed to coast for a while.
I have learned how important it is to "look" okay. I don't lay down on the couch; I sit up so it's not so scary. I am conscious of any moaning or groaning I might like to do and keep it inside. I also try really hard to verbalize any grimace or scowl on my face that might be the result of a headache so that my children know I'm not mad, I just have a headache.
Most importantly, I give myself and my children (in my head) permission to just coast till I am better. This is a HARD JOB and there are going to be times that I'm not going to be up to par. Sometimes we just have to COAST. So, I keep the kids within eyesight so they know I am taking care of them and relax (or look like I am reading) with a book or magazine. I overlook behaviors and words that I might otherwise feel the need to focus on. I make easy meals...and not worry that they are perfectly healthy. I let the mess sit and whatever else I need to do to just be able to be - to fill up my tank.
The reality is that what my kids need the most is to believe that I can and will take care of them NO MATTER WHAT. I can do that for them and let myself COAST at the same time! Now that is healing...for us all!