As a child, legend has it I was ‘easy going’. I just ‘fit right in’ to the family and ‘didn’t cause any problems’. I just ‘went along with things’. Is that what my family thought?
Looking at me from the outside, I can see that is what people might have thought. Inside was a different matter.
When my son feels discomfort, he feels it HARD. He makes it KNOWN. Everything STOPS. Everyone WAITS. When the discomfort has been eliminated or has passed, we all move on.
When I felt discomfort, I felt it HARD. I kept SILENT or I cried. Nothing stopped. NOBODY waited. I was a ‘sook’ or a ‘cry baby’ or a ‘dobber’ or an ‘attention seeker’. When the discomfort passed, nobody had noticed and I felt sadder and smaller and that I was to blame.
When my son needs my attention, he TAKES it. He physically holds my body where he NEEDS it to be. I STOP what I’m doing and be present with him. When he has his fill, he moves himself away.
When I needed attention, I knew NOT to interrupt. I physically made myself small and tried to SELF comfort. I SANG ‘nobody loves me, nobody cares’ over and over in my head and rocked my body as I imagined SOMEONE might have rocked me. I never got my fill.
When my son is scared, he RETREATS to comforts. He STIMS on my arms or plays his iPad or moves his body around the room in patterns. I FEEL his fear and I STAND BY to be his lighthouse if he needs a way back.
When I was scared, I RETREATED under my bed and into my head. I knew nobody wanted to SEE or feel or hear my big emotions. Because I was the one that ‘didn’t cause any problems’. Nobody stood by and made a place for my fear. My big feelings were a BOTHER and an inconvenience.
My son shows me who I would have been if I had been allowed to be who I was on the inside.
I will not require him to filter his reality through a lens that I dictate and approve of. Nor will I force him to cleaver off parts of himself and bury them deep inside. He is who is he and I do not need him to be other than that.