Friday, December 4, 2015

Being the Rock

“And Max, the king of all wild things, was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.” 
― Maurice SendakWhere the Wild Things Are

My son came into this world with big emotions and a huge personality. He was the textbook high needs child. From the very beginning I realized that I had given birth to a wild child very much like myself. 

As he grows his larger than life traits show no sign of decrease and I hope they never do. He is wild. He is outrageous. He is loving and cares so very deeply. He is laughter and silly personified. Sometimes...he is rage. 

Just like his mother he takes all scary, negative emotions to an angry place. Why feel fear, sad, or insecurity when you can just rage like a charging bull??? An epic meltdown will be much more effective than talking and reasoning things out, right???? 

Let me tell you something right now, I am so glad I had THIS child AND all the challenges that comes with his own personal style of dealing with life. I have learned so much more about myself, mothering, and life through this experience. 

I remember raging out of control. I remember being screamed at to get myself under control, calm down, stop overreacting, and a multitude of  other word groupings meaning the same thing. I could never make anyone understand I was so out of control that I had no control within my grasp to get. If the adult in charge lost it, well then my world completely spun out of control in a horrific, emotion filled nightmare. When it finally stopped I was physically ill and emotionally destroyed. It was pretty much horrible. 

Over the years through a lot of self introspection and therapy, I have gained a great deal of control over myself. I am emotionally and mentally disciplined. I can now put a stop to the out of control roller coaster primed and ready to go screaming out if I would allow it. Little did I know that this precious boy would turn out to be my Master Class in the subject. 

I have learned that when he rages I MUST find a deeper calm. I must steady myself, ground physically to the earth, and connect to my inner source of harmony. I must dig deep and be ready to be the rock he needs to me. His rages are worse with me than anyone else because I am, ultimately, his safest space. I breathe deeply as I feel my own rage rise for I must not allow the beast to coil around me and lash out into our home. Two of us losing control can decimate our home to emotional rubble. Trust me, I know. 

It isn't just about getting through the rages but to teach him to cope and eventually eliminate them. Physically I stay with him. I will not allow him to him me or be disrespectful to me on a personal level. I don't count incoherent screaming to be disrespectful. It  is someone who has no idea how to deal with their feelings. I calmly speak to him when I think he can hear me. Trust me, the rage can cloud your ability to hear anyone. When it draws to an end I comfort him and quietly to talk to him about what happened and how we could possibly keep it from happening next time. He is often scared and so upset with himself and his behavior. He wraps those little arms around my neck and sobs into my neck, "I am so sorry, mommy."

 I have enough time in with this process I can see these episodes are happening further and further apart and rectifying themselves far more quickly than ever before. I have even seen my beautiful boy be able to redirect his own reaction BEFORE it becomes rage. The first time that happened made me weep with joy. The progress is evident on this long and arduous road.

I don't want my child to go through all the pain and self loathing I did. I don't want him to think he is bad, defective, or a monster. These are all things I once thought of myself. Raging through life is not acceptable and it must be dealt with and controlled. I am thrilled to be able to provide him a safe place to be able to do the foundational work. It is my privilege to mentor him through this process.

Working with these issues has shown me I am far stronger than I ever thought. Before you misunderstand I would like to point out I fail, oh yes I fail spectacularly at times. So this has also taught me how to forgive myself and have compassion for myself. It has helped the deep self love I have within to grow and flourish. All the work, all the frustration, it is all incredibly worth it. Sometimes it feels like the most important work of my life. 

For you see he is my Max, my wild child, and I love him best of all. 

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