My kids have seen me laughing.
My kids have seen me breaking down.
My kids have seen me in raw, primal, unbound sadness where I didn’t control any of the sounds coming out of me.
And I love that.
Because what doesn’t seem like very long ago I was a woman who held it all in.
Disassociated was easy for me.
An argument with my hubby meant danger and so I would turn off and go inside.
These days I know this response as a freeze response.
Or I would jump in my car or hop on an aeroplane and leave.
This I now know as the flight response.
I had no fight response. Unless I had liquid courage in me, or as it’s better known, alcohol.
Then you could bet your ass I had some fight in me. And not in a good way.
I remember now of my son when he was young and I was crying saying to me it’s ok mummy I’m here I will hug you. And that moment stopping me in my tracks because I shouldn’t be held by my child I should be strong for my children.
And while yes my children don’t know all the details of my life or the reasons I was upset the fact that they saw me and it was ok is life changing in my opinion.
I have never shamed any of my children for their emotions.
And that was before I even had any kind of trauma training or idea of what life experience has actually taught me.
There are things I haven’t been perfect in my parenting with. But parenting is a learn on the job, job.
The best thing we can do for our children is learn about our traumas and process them so that our children aren’t left healing from our trauma caused parenting style.
My kids know I have been drunk and done drugs and all the things. And they see me on the other side.
We are vocal in our house about not drinking or doing drugs to hide our feelings and trying to be aware about what is going on if you feel the need to do these things all the time.
We have conversations about anything and everything. Nothing is off the table.
Having a conversation about periods with my 12 year old and his friend and not a single reaction of “ewww” tells me the conversations are having an effect I can be proud of.
If my children ask me for parenting advice one day it would be to not hide their emotions.
Teaching our children emotions are normal and the most effective way to process them is so important.
And hopefully I have done my job well enough that my children as parents can process their emotions well without causing harm to their children.
While also knowing that they don’t have to get it perfect or punish themselves if they make a mistake.
All the tools I have now that help with this processing have completely transformed my life.
I couldn’t imagine life any other way now.
And I definitely couldn’t imagine going back to that disassociated human that I used to turn into.
No thank you ever again!