Can you believe it’s school holiday time again? They’re trying to test our sanity! So as usual during the hols I’ll be re-running some faves and then start again end July. This was posted originally on Jul 15, 2013.
Ok, last Monday I said I’d explain more about how your dark stuff can lead you to your light.
A few nights ago my son woke me up about a hundred times. When I hear the mid-night call to duty I already have a reaction. My heart sinks and part of me wants to hide under the blanket and pretend I’m not there.
Oh no. Maybe it’s a dream? Maybe if I just lie here it’ll go away.
Sigh. Ok I’m awake.I’d better get there fast before he wakes everybody else up. Stagger out of bed, try not to bump into the door.
“What is it love?”
“I caan’t sleeeep”
Ugh, it’s one of those nights.
I go quietly to get my bedding, settle onto the spare mattress in his room. Sometimes this works and we sleep the rest of the night. He’s relieved and settles back down. Whew. I drift off.
“No talking. It’s sleep time”
Slurring. So tired. Hard to make my mouth work.
“Your water’s by your bed”
Sigh. Get up, fill water, back to bed. Sounds of deep drinking. Those sippy cups are so damn loud. Fall asleep.
“Mamaaaaa? When’s it going to be morning?”
“I said no talking. I’m sleeping”
“But when’s it going to be moooorning?”
“In a long time. It’s the middle of the night. Now that’s enough. Good night.”
Lie awake for what feels like hours trying to get back to sleep. Have a few sketchy dreams so must have fallen asleep…
“I wet my beeeeeed”
Oh for goodness sakes! What did he expect after all that drinking? Get up, change clothes, towel on the mattress. Sweating, irritated, settle everyone back in and lie there stewing.
Aaaaand I’m in! Consumed by anger, irritation, frustration, feeling sorry for myself – not ‘Nice Mommy’ terrain, that’s for sure.
Why do we have such strong reactions to our children sometimes? Ok this scenario would challenge the Dalai Lama but I was feeling like he was doing this to me. And we all know the little guy couldn’t help it. I just happened to be the fall gal.
When we have a strong reaction to something a child does (or something that happens, or to a boss, colleague, bank teller, spouse, pet…) there is usually one of two things going on. Either the thing that’s upsetting you is dredging up an old well-hidden past hurt that you are unconsciously trying to avoid; or the situation is positioning you into a dynamic that reminds you of an old well-hidden past hurt that you are unconsciously trying to avoid.
From the outside it looks the same. An adult losing control in some way – shouting, sulking, blaming, giving in, being the aggressor, being the victim… like me the other night.
What do you look like when your buttons are pushed?
Did you cringe a little when you thought of your answer to that question?
I do. I wish I could say I don’t have those reactions but I’m human and I do. It’s one of the ways our system seeks out balance and healing. Odd isn’t it?
Next Monday I’ll explain more about when it irritates you because it reflects a part of yourself you are trying to avoid, and the week after I’ll deal with when things get to you because they are re-playing an old dynamic that triggers your old wounding.
For now pay attention to the times you get triggered. Watch how you react when you get triggered and notice what things are most likely to make you want to scream, shout, punish, pull out your hair or walk away.
Those things are freaking you out for your own good.
So, what triggers you?