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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Dream Journal

I do not hide the fact I see a therapist. Sometimes you just need a little guidance or an extra ear to listen. Sometimes you need serious intervention. Whatever the case, there is no shame … or at least there shouldn’t be, so I try to normalize the completely normal by openly talking about it.

That said, my therapist suggested a dream journal. I can’t decided if this is to help me or to entertain him because I get some seriously weird dreams y’all. I tell my dreams to my husband and he always looks at me and says “Your subconscious is a scary, scary place.”

My dreams are so vivid I sometimes can’t even tell if they were a dream or reality. I hate that. I feel like I am going crazy when that happens. They just seem so incredibly real! Many nights I am sound asleep but fretting and my husband is left to groggily soothe me so he can go back to sleep. I rarely remember those dreams, but I always remember the feelings I had in them; fear, anxiety, stress.

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I have done a fairly decent job at getting my dreams written, but this morning the first half of my dream just ran away from me, like running water through your fingers. I find that frustrating. All day I have been trying to remember the first part of the dream. As I type this blog post, my mind is still trying to grasp that earlier dream. I can remember the second half completely. I can still feel the cold and damp from the fog and smell the brisk air … these things didn’t happen but they were so real to my subconscious that have stuck with me all day. The first half though? It is like when you have Deja Vu and can’t quite figure out why. Did it really happen before?

I am curious to see where this rabbit hole of journal writing leads. Will it open an inner perspective? Maybe it will simply provide some seriously interesting writings. Hm, maybe this is where my riches will come from. (I kid! I kid!)

I do have hopes for this endeavor. I am hoping that I will no longer hate the prospect of sleep (I can’t stand these vivid dreams). I hope to garner insight. I am not sure what specifically I am looking to learn, but I want to learn something.

So I have to wonder, who else has a dream journal? I can’t be the only one who has insanely crazy and totally “out there” dreams. Share if you wish.

~Andrea