Using ACA Blogs to Change Our Emotions

“In the adult there lurks a child—an eternal child, something that is always becoming, is never completed, and that calls for increasing care, attention, and education.  This is the part of the human personality that wishes to develop and become whole.”

Carl Jung

1.  Guess what normal is: “Own Your Crap: Trade Blame for Honesty about What You’re Feeling”

“You ever notice how when you go at your partner with strong emotions, it pushes him or her away?   Isn’t that weird? Ever wonder how that works, exactly?  How could your important, strong, emotions become a big cow plow, ramming the person you care about most out of your path?  I mean, you just want them close, right?  Your only (secret, inner) wish is that they would perceive your misery behind the emotional storm and thunderbolts you’re throwing–hug you, hold you, save you from yourself. ”

“But they just see the storm.  And who wouldn’t?”

“When I’m in the heat of an emotional snafu, I don’t get what’s obvious.  Not at all.  Later, when I’ve cooled to a normal, human temperature, it’s all too obvious:  Duh, my partner can’t “hear” me (well, he can sure hear me, but not hear the issue), not when I’m in a flurry and talking (in circles, scratching an emotional itch) about what sounds a lot like…blame.”

2.  Just be Real: “Survival Mode–Pretending”:

“My teenage years were the darkest for me. I shiver just thinking about how awful they were. I grew deeper and deeper into depression and isolation. Had no one to talk to. Sometimes I felt I lost touch with reality. Creating my own fantasy world with my own dialog and cast of characters in my head to ease my pain and to have some kind of life. As sick as it was. That was my survival mode. La La Land.”

“This late in my journey, some 40 years later, I am just now feeling some compassion for my mother. The Lord is showing me that she too was in her own pain. She did not know how to comfort me. She was in her own misery of guilt. She was hurting and she went into her own survival mode.”

“How have you survived?”

“Some of us become perfectionists to cover up our pain that we can even drive ourselves crazy with our rituals. Pretending all the way nothing is wrong. Which can drive us harder to perform perfectly for people. To please others. To somehow think our pain will ease if people will accept us.”

“But God does NOT ask for such sacrifices from us. It is NOT our job. God is aware of our brokenness. Our pain. He does not come to shame or condemn us.”

“So very easy to put on paper. Still it is a big pill to swallow. Sure my walls have thinned considerably around my heart, but some still remain. All in time. All in God’s time. The more I am willing to let Him continue do His surgery, the sooner I will be able to heal into the person I was intended to be! That surely will be freedom then!”

3.  Understanding My Son: “The Letter”

“We updated our letter from last year to make it current and it went out to the classroom parents this week.  G’s teacher was very enthusiastic about the idea and specifically told us we were doing a good job advocating for G.  I feel like it was our choice this year, vs last year when we were trying to head off problems with parents.  DH already got some positive feedback from another dad.”

‘Yet I still feel conflicted.  I know this is a proactive and positive step but I can’t help but feel that we’re betraying G’s privacy.  It’s a bit hypocritical of me, I talk about his autism with other parents often.  The difference is that is one-on-one where I can get a feel for the individual person before I say anything.  This feels more like taking out an ad in the paper.”

“However, I know this is necessary.  The first few days have gone smoothly, as is typical.  We generally start seeing problems during week two that stretch into the remainder of the first month.  By giving parents a head’s-up, we’re garnering a little leeway while we work through the issues.’

“I know not everything relates to alcoholism, but I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t the true root of my discomfort.  When you live in an alcoholic home, you spend an extraordinary amount of time and effort covering up your family problems.  You create a facade of perfection so that nobody will suspect anything dysfunctional is happening behind closed doors.  Sending out this letter feels like I’m exposing our family secrets.  There is nothing shameful about autism, it’s just a fact of life, but taking this action goes against everything I’ve ever done from the time I first realized my dad wasn’t like other dads.”

“Maybe the issue isn’t really one of betraying G’s privacy.  Maybe the issue is really with me and my fear-based need to be seen as perfect.”

Photo credit.

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