There was a time a few years ago when the parenting “witching hour” started as soon we got home from school until the moment eyes closed at bedtime. Exhausting. For all. And the worst part of the “witching hour” was preparing and eating our family dinner.
Something that was fancied just the day before was the worst thing ever tasted the very next day. There was “no way” the food filled plate would satiate the adult-sized hunger overtaking the kid-sized body. All of this expressed through angry words, looks, refusals and physical tantrums.
This family dinnertime was far from what I envisioned for our happy home. A time that should have been used for connection and appreciation.
As I started doing the work around accessing my own self-awareness and coping tools I finally realized…the overwhelming feelings of anxiety, depression, trauma and utter sense of being unsafe in her own body were what hijacked the thoughts and feelings of a child living a new normal. A new normal mandated by a diagnosed chronic illness and all the scary things that come along with that. And the easiest way to rid the body and mind of those scary things was the feeling that’s easiest to access. Anger.
Fast-forward two years … through a lot of work around awareness, emotional aptitude, communication and coping tools I have the family dinnertime of my imagination back!! Until last Tuesday night. And it’s all that damn pork chop’s fault.
It was thick cut instead of the thin cut type preferred. It was too small. There’s “no way” the pork chop would satiate the adult-sized hunger overtaking the kid-sized body. All this expressed through anger. Defiance. Yelling. Physical tantrums.
Seriously?!? I thought we were done with this. I can’t believe we are here again. I cannot do this again! I…oh wait. My old programming sent me back two years. Parenting “witching hour” roared back to life. WHY?!? Why??? Oh, right. The overwhelming feelings of anxiety, depression, trauma and utter sense of being unsafe in her own body were what hijacked the thoughts and feelings of a child living a new normal. A new treatment was discussed just that day.
With patience and love, we were able to wait out her old programming of accessing anger first to open up the other feelings. Then it all just poured out in a waterfall of release. “I feel better now, I was holding that in all day.”
Beautiful pork chop.
Thank goodness for that pork chop.
The trigger that allowed a dam of emotion to be accessed and expressed and felt and released and healed.