Note: I haven’t written anything in a while. This will probably answer why. If not, then I am ok with that and you and us and all.
A lot of kiddly things written focus on children’s emotions. How to deal with them, how to embrace them, how to talk about them, etc.
I find dealing with mine and the effect they have on them more challenging.
I’m going through some shit. We all are. But right now, my three and five year old are front row center to the trauma that I’ve finally come to acknowledge. Fun fact: I’ve started healthily (?) dealing with my emotions at the age of 44. I’m 44. Anyway.
My children watch me cry, melt down, become opulent, become broken, build myself back up, apologize, rinse, repeat. Elizabeth and I talk. We converse. We ruminate. The kids sponge.
I’m a bit of a mess. I’m getting on the other side of it (I think), and the kids are along for the ride because they are my family and I love them and I don’t want to hide real feelings from them and my partner agrees. I’ll leave that there and move on.
What Elizabeth and I have figured out is, do not hide from them. They are real, they are big, they are valid. They sometimes consume you. They sometimes tsunami you. It is what you do, when you can, that defines you.
I have trouble sleeping. I cry a lot. I need more hugs and snuggles. I tell people I love them more (only the ones I actually do). I have more anxiety attacks. I deal with them better now. My counselor thinks I use sarcasm as a sword and I think her face is made of farts (unsarcastically). I love my wife more than I ever had yet I am scared that I can’t fully let her know how much because I’m a fucking broken hurt machine that thinks it can pretend it is not.
I tell my kids, subtly, why I’m upset. When they offer me hugs, I scoop ’em large. I try not to yell. I talk to them not at them. I treat my mental health like a broken arm. I’m ok with my broken arm, don’t touch it. YOU TOUCHED IT TOO HARD.
And here I am.
Emotions are real, just like food, or rain, or the flu. If something is in your heart, talk about it freely and honestly. Those who love you will get it. Those who don’t are lucky to hear you talk about it with honesty. Be true to what you are going through, it is the only decent thing you can do. With that said, failure is a test and failing is fine as long as you try to figure out what it all means. If you can’t, ask someone. Also: fuck the haters and those who diminish your feelings. They will someday regret the fact that they decided that emotions are something you can intimidate into healing. Anyway.
I hold my kids longer. I love them muchly. I snuggle them more. I sneak some sleep snuggles from Elizabeth when I can but sometimes it is tough because there are two other awesome humans there that I have to snuggle around. It is tough being the best snuggler, right Elizabeth?
Anyway, hope your holidays didn’t suck. Stay rad you fucking monsters.
Sidenote: I’m off all social media. Elizabeth and my councilor agree that it is not good for me. I can’t fix the world by yelling into the void. Memes are gonna meme. That’s how shit be. Email me or text me. Or don’t. Stay way rad.