Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What would Qui Gon do...?

I was driving home from my therapy appointment this morning when this question popped into my head... Jedi spend years of their lives training themselves to become a Force for good in the universe. What we see them doing in the movies, though, is coping with emergencies- big, splashy, special-effect-type emergencies where they can use their lightsabres to defeat the droids & their wits to survive. We do not see them coping with day-by-day, energy-draining, soul-wrenching, low-level crises. Presumably, they are trained to cope with these, too... but how?

I have become very aware of how B's present long-term crisis is affecting my health & state of mind. I am seeing how my own feelings are a factor in how I try to help him when he's in crisis, & how they sometimes hinder me & him as we're trying to cope. I know that my feelings are what allow me to be tuned-in to his moods, sensitive to what might turn a melt-down around & help him to recover, but I am also feeling tired & frustrated, & these negative emotions are not helping at all. The way things stand right now, B can be doing beautifully- fully engaged with life & happy, like when he performed in his class play last Saturday (he was fabulous! :)- & then an OCD thought will hit him & literally knock him down. Sometimes he asks us to kill him because the thought is too terrible (it's so hard to hear your child saying such things!)... I hold him, talk to him, give him images to use against the thought, wait for the thought to subside... eventually he comes back, a little shaky, & re-engages in life. This can happen any time of day, out of the blue, at school or at home. When it happens at school I go there if it's bad & he needs me, sometimes I can get him functioning there again, sometimes I bring him home with me. I am feeling such wear & tear on my soul these days... at times I use my frustration creatively. This morning when B started whacking his head against a door because of a thought, I was able to shock him out of it by yelling at him. I told him that I understand that he needs to do something when the thoughts hit, but I will never support him hurting himself, that he needs to find something else to do... he responded angrily that it isn't easy to find something else, & I countered that we're not choosing the easy things to do anyway... we both cooled-down pretty quickly, & he did stop whacking his head... & when I mentioned this interchange to my therapist she seemed to think it was appropriate parenting. I know that my frustration is getting in the way, too, though. I know I tend to snap at him when he's having trouble transitioning into dinner time (dinner time has always been the "witching hour" at our house anyway)- C usually has to referee & I end up feeling like a surly kid myself. At my therapy appointment we talked about how I'm taking care of myself so that I can better care for my family...

I have been seeing a new chiropracter for back pain & that's felt deeply therapeutic on many levels. I have been making some herbal remedies, too, which I haven't found time to do in a long time. Back when B was a baby I did a lot with herbs & other complementary medicinals, but haven't done anything since B developed the OCD- there's been no time. I made 3 anti-inflammatory tinctures that I've had success with in the past, over the past couple of days, & have been looking into supplementing with herb teas, too. I found a couple of crystal bracelets that I made a few years ago to help with back/inflammation healing (using Diane Stein's "Women's Book of Healing" as a resource). Whether or not one believes in these methods, just taking the time to do this for myself has in itself been healing. Giving myself time to "veg" (read manga, watch a video) during the day & not constantly have to be doing useful things has also helped. Trying to be in bed before midnight is also a goal presently, since I really need the rest.

I have faith that B will settle into his new, pre-adolescent way of being at some point- for a while at least- & things will be calmer. I believe that I will be able to go back to weaving & the other activities that I love which, at the moment, consume too much of my time & attention to be practical. Just as B is discovering new ways of coping, so am I. The hardest part is forgiving my failures & overcoming the fear that I'll do something wrong & hurt someone. I'm doing my best- I try to have faith that it'll be enough. And hope that this is just what Qui Gon would do...


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