I know this can go against the grain of what having children is all about. Aren’t we supposed to put our children’s needs above our own? Yes, sure. And most of the time YOU do. But sacrifice to the point of martyrdom will not a healthy family make.
After you have taken a breather, put your head back on with a new set of lens for your eyes. The second best way to take care of yourself is to re-adjust your attitude about your traumatized children. Their pain, wounding, outbursts, hatefulness, rejection, meanness, and fear has nearly nothing to do with YOU, and nearly everything to do with how they experience themselves and others in a dangerous world. YOU scare them to the core.
If you were made of cardboard, YOU would still be the object of reactivity and likely be covered in spit and kick marks. So, refocus your thinking. Don’t over personalize your child’s reactivity toward YOU. It is not about YOU.
Here is a suggestion: Love from a higher place. Some of YOU have the love of God in your hearts. Others the love of passion. And still, there are folks who are rising to a call. Some are engaging the challenge. How ever you keep your heart alive and giving, do it. Do it every day like your life depends on it–because it does.
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
Love is not just a feeling. It is a commitment.