Pain Tolerance

As a parent I am guilty of blaming myself for every bad decision my children make and every negative emotion they feel. I carry the weight on my shoulders and in my heart. I think most of us are guilty of this.
I just want my kids to be happy, well liked, have good manners, be successful …

One of my kids went through something very traumatizing last summer. The trauma impacted all of us deeply and I blame myself. What could I have done to prevent this from happening? What did I do or fail to do that created this reality? The questions are constant and run through my mind on auto-play 24/7.

The event was a big enough deal I asked Marco how he felt about counseling. I wanted someone who could help us handle our emotions properly, help me develop enough peace so I could sleep at night again, and guide us on new parenting strategies since my old ones obviously weren’t good enough.

When you are dealing with the aftermath of a crisis forgiving yourself, moving forward, realizing there was nothing you could do to change what happened, accepting the choice was someone else’s and you do not control their choices, or whatever else is holding you back is a long process. There is no quick fix. There will be good days and bad days. It is hard work.

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There are sessions I felt were pointless because of my own mental blocks. And then it happened; a break through. In session I was able to realize pain tolerance goes beyond physical pain. It was all part of a longer conversation, and it was a light-bulb moment for me that helped at least a little. Everyone has an emotional pain tolerance and how they deal with it is based on how they are wired.

We do not think someone is less capable when they need pain medication for something we personally do not need medicine for. We realize not everyone can handle the same amount of pain. We accept that. So why is it hard to accept people also have different pain thresholds for their emotions?

We need to realize and accept not everyone can handle the same amount of emotional pain. Maybe you think their story is “nothing compared to…” but everyone’s story matters. We can’t know their pain tolerance so comparing it to anyone else’s is most unhelpful to them and you.

Why do I keep blaming myself for my child’s crisis? Each of my children were born wired to handle a certain amount of pain (physical, mental, and emotional). My one child hit a limit. There is nothing I can do about that now.  Now that know the limit I can try to teach them better ways to prevent hitting that limit and ways to handle it when they do.

Now to work on that forgiving myself thing ….

~Andrea
#bekindalways
#youhavepurpose

*originally written 1-10-18*

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Forgiveness

What does forgiveness mean to you? How do you define it?

My husband and I were asked this today in therapy. Now before you jump to ideas and think he and I are having martial problems that need forgiving; we aren’t. Is our marriage perfect? No. However, we don’t go to marriage counseling. We go to “life is messy and we would like a person with an outside perspective to walk with us through it” counseling. Not that there is anything wrong with marriage counseling. I think it is a great resource. I just want to be clear so you can understand us just a little.

So we were asked this question “What does forgiveness mean?” I had to think about it because I know what it means but I wasn’t sure how to best describe it.

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This is basically what I came up with … Forgiving is freeing yourself, and really the other person also. You don’t even have to tell the other person you forgive them. When you do, the atmosphere and aura change and it positively impacts both of you. Freeing yourself means letting go and moving forward. You are done. You  don’t forget, but you leave it. You are free.

Mark said something similar … you stop feeding into whatever “it” is and you let it die. You move forward. You don’t forget but you leave it in the past.

Our person reminded us it is actually a financial reference (I had totally forgotten this!). The debt is whipped clean. It is gone. You are free.

They all go together. Forgiving helps you and the person who hurt, wronged, or whatever you.

Something pretty heavy and serious happened to us this summer and the actions of one person (not Mark or I) damaged us. We were shaken and hurt to the core. We were left with an enormous gaping hole of hurt. Life is messy and this was the biggest mess yet.
We were asked what will happen if we forgive (person)? How will (person) respond? Does (person) realize forgiveness is even needed?

So we are pondering this.

We were also asked what would happen if we symbolically bury the hurt in the back yard (although I think funeral pyre is more dramatic if we are going for symbolism). If (person) is there to observe will the impact of what happened and how it affected us finally be realized (person thinks simply forgetting and moving on is easy to do, we think otherwise). Will it help with forgiveness? Will it help us be able to stop carrying baggage we don’t want but have no idea how to put down?

It will be an interesting 2 weeks as we figure this out and do an additional assignment we were challenged with. Think about this (and share with me if you want) what does forgiveness in your life look like? What does it mean? Have you ever needed to be forgiven for something serious? Have you ever needed to do the forgiving? What happened when you were forgiven or forgave? Are you free? Or are you still carrying the baggage (I promise not to judge because I still carry mine)?

~Andrea