Driving in the car last night, my eldest daughter told me that she "actually legitimately, really loves me now. Like, this is probably the most she's ever loved me".
Bless her PDA heart.
And I get it.
It's difficult when we're bombarded by a world of demand pressure to feel anything.
It's almost impossible to be present with our emotional being when we're in fight, flight, freeze or fawn consistently.
It's a horrible way to live.
To feel that your own family is the enemy because in all their well intentioned engagement with professionals, and their reading and researching and their love for us, they still consistently present new and added demand pressure.
Our neurobiology cannot handle it.
My neurobiology couldn't handle the demand pressure of raising children, and her neurobiology couldn't handle the demand pressure of my desperation and exhaustion at surviving as an unidentified autistic parent with my own disabilities and challenges, trying to work out the parenting gig.
And holy shit did I make mistakes.
I would scream, rage, I was aggressive, I was angry, I was scared, I would call my husband at work and sob, I would email her educators trying to fix the school challenges, I would engage with support groups and I could go on about this forever.
In the meantime, my kids suffered.
My marriage was strained.
I have to take many deep breaths and cleansing sighs whilst remembering all of this.
Pain. The pain.
I hung in there and fought, for dear life, until I had nothing left.
No trust from my children, no connection with my children, no connection in my marriage, no support, no sense of self worth, no presence, nothing.
My daughter left. She didn't tell me how angry she was, she left and then sent me an email that broke me.
And she was 100% right.
She said she would never forgive me for violating her privacy, her being, her rights as a separate individual from me.
It has taken a lot of practice to reconnect.
When I asked her last night why she loves me more than ever now, she said:
"Because you've learnt a lot about yourself."
And although my first response was to laugh out loud with her (because it's such a PDA response), she is 100% right.
Shifting our focus away from our children and their challenges and bringing it back to ourselves is key.
How important is this?
Am I responsive or reactive?
What is the outcome of my thinking and acting?
How can I be supported to handle my challenges better?
It begins with us, and the ripple effect is incredible.
I hope for you all, in the thick of it right now, that you find your way to eventually being "legitimately loved more than ever, right now".
Let go, it's worth it.
(Shared with permission)
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