Yes, that's right. Those things you thought you were pushing down into your belly don't exactly go anywhere. They tend to just float right back up to the surface. Those pesky little things that were created to tell us the temperature of our emotional selves continue to bounce all around us. And, as my mentor said, "If you try to get over 'em, you end up under 'em."
And, alas, the more work I do on myself (by way of counseling others and my own therapy), the more I find this statement to be true.
I found myself out and about a few nights ago, celebrating my best friend's birthday. We had amazing wine, great food, and hilarious banter! It was a fancy restaurant and I was dressed up both inside and out. I had my "outfit" on and I had my witty Self on that night as well.
On the car ride home, I was ecstatic to get to see Liam and tell him how proud I was of him. He had made first chair that day in percussion. First chair is as big a deal as any in our household. This is because the phrase starts with the word "FIRST", and as I have commented on many a blog, this is the word that sends my little guy through the roof!! He both loves and disdains competition. It excites him and freaks him out at the same time. He wants to be first every week, but there's always someone a little bit better than him...until this week.
The idea of chairs in percussion is you must play a scale on marimba the fastest without missing any notes and playing it in time. It occurred to Liam's friend, Zach, (see the blog "Sleepovers") that all of the other players had played the piece at 135 bpm, so Liam should bump it up to 140! Liam reluctantly decided to follow his advice and speed through his scale at 140.
He was so nervous after he played, he ran to the practice room and turned off the lights, waiting to see what the results were!! The pressure was just too much!
The list was typed up and printed off...the band teacher slowly walked over to the wall and slapped the results up so everyone could see who got what.
And there it was...Liam, after almost 7 1/2 months of school, was first chair.
|The coveted FIRST CHAIR-I picture a throne in my head.|
Admittedly, I did get home a bit late, but I knew he would not be fully asleep. So, I tiptoed up to his room to have our big moment.
"Liam," I whispered, "I am so very proud of you getting FIRST CHAIR today!" **enthusiastic, but still tempered whisper**
Instead of rolling over to give me the high five my heart clearly wanted, he shot up so quickly in his bed, that he smacked his head into my forehead. It was most definitely going to leave a mark- on both of us.
"MOM, WHAT ARE YOU DOING- GET OOOOUUUUUTTTT!!!!" **enthusiastic teen rage in loudly audible voice**
"FINE!!!! I WAS JUST GOING TO SAY HOW PROUD OF YOU I WAS, BUT NOW I'M NOT! GOD, YOU RUIN EVERYTHING!!!" **enthusiastic teen rage coming out in a mommy's body**
Yep. Not my proudest moment. I was hurt- both physically and emotionally. I was angry. And I was lonely.
In my counseling office, I am teaching my clients to use feeling words instead of the all-too-popular responses like, "meh!", "frustrated", "stressed", etc. These words do not hit the heart the way that anger, sadness, shame, and lonely do. They just don't. So often we use these words to hide the very things that we NEED to be feeling. So, the very things that I am teaching my clients have to be put in to practice in my own life. (oy veh!!)
It's much easier to say that the traffic was mildly irritating, but my actions spoke much more like rage when I honked and cussed in my vehicle. Or, when I try to shrug off something important in my life and call it a "blah" day, I'm more likely extremely sad. I'm in grief.
My response to Liam was anger, but it came from a deeper place of hurt and longing for relationship with him. When I am honest with my feelings, it puts me in touch with my soul. It allows me to know ...well, ME! I can then begin to know the deepest places in my heart that need healing, that need restoration. If I am constantly using other words to describe myself, I am leaving myself on the operating table of life-bleeding and, sometimes, without a pulse.
When anger creeps in (as it does a lot of the time), I can begin to see the roots of other emotions that are trying to drive the bus of my heart. When I own up to it (what is actually going on inside of me), my heart/soul/Self then drives the bus. Then, it is I who sits in the "first chair" of my own heart. And I can begin to help my emotions sit in the passenger seat, continuing to give me clues to who I was made to be.
There will always be a tinge of loneliness, hurt, and anger as I live with a child who has very little capacity to see me. But, on those rare occasions when he does see me, I will relish it! I will know beyond a shadow of a doubt because there are no mixed words in autism.
There is only truth.