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« Hedra and Epeepunk's Parenting Manifesto | Main | Who are you and what have you done with my son? »

June 09, 2008


Maria Wood

Oh my Lord, Hedra. Were you reading over my shoulder as I typed in my journal just now?? Seriously.

I had an awful parenting day today. Probably the worst one so far. Definitely in the top 2 or 3. P and I traded tantrums all day, and hers were more reasonable and certainly more age-appropriate. I raged, yelled, grabbed, threatened… felt and acted like a whole different person. And then came back to reality, vowed to do it differently, and fell on my face again. Repeatedly.

Your paragraph about the constant fear of judgement of others could not have been more spot on for me. Every interaction with certain (many) of my family members is for me an endless internal dialog (how screwed up is that – to have an internal dialog?) wherein I take on their (imagined) voices and berate myself mercilessly, or even worse pityingly, about my many failures as a parent as evidenced by my daughter's unwillingness to be ignored and my helplessness to CONTROL her.

And it gets more complicated. Part of the internal speechifying is me talking to her, but it's really me as a kid talking to myself as a kid. I act(ed) like a small adult (read: hid my feelings, kept to myself, codependently had others' feelings for them), so why the *!#@& don't you?!

I just realized what time it is. Thank you for writing this!


You know what I just realized? That I rarely feel the judgement when anyone is actually there watching. I function much better when I know someone is there, because I actively discount the possible commentary. I'm able to stay with what I want to do 'out in public' far more effectively than I do in private, at home. If I'm just there with me and them, I lose that sense of distance I need to observe and allow and then discard the useless part of the dialog. I have no rebellion or refusal to be swayed by my own self-judgement... only have barriers to truly external observation.

Huh. I have no idea where to go with that, either. But it's definitely true that I'm at my best in a crowd, and at my worst in the midst of a long day at home.

Hmm. There's something useful in there, now how to get a handle on it!

And Maria, isn't it funny how things synchronize? It's the labyrinth imagery, for me - if you've ever walked one, the sections turn and turn back right next to each other, but it is impossible to tell where the other person is in the overall picture/process - but for right now, they're walking beside you pace for pace, in the same direction. Then their path turns, or yours does, and they're going a different way. Later, you may or may not synchronize again... never know. It depends on so many factors. I've walked labyrinths fairly regularly... it is interesting how many times I end up in tandem with someone else, then someone else after that, and someone else after that.

Maria Wood

That's a lovely image.

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