Understanding My Son

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One lesson I want to carry forward after the experience of losing the rabbit is how my son reacted.  He didn’t just teach me about the grief aspect and how he deals with it, he showed me what has been happening to him neurologically since he was born.  The emotions he feels are so overwhelming to him, he physically expresses them.  Whether it is the frustration of not understanding something on the first time, the annoyance of not getting his way, or the real pain of loss, he usually always has a physical reaction.  I used to think he was self-harming and we took him to be evaluated for it.  There were some insights to that and we knew early on he definitely has OCD.  But I believe some of the instances I thought were self harm were actually about releasing the energy and that didn’t make sense until I saw it in context with the rabbit. 

I am so grateful to understand him a little better now.  The things I wanted to protect him from have shown me that his challenge isn’t entirely in understanding, it’s in regulating and working with his emotions.  And that is a challenge I have in my own life.  It all makes so much sense now because there are times when my anger overwhelms me to the point of me feeling it physically throughout my body as well and even knowing it wants to physically discharge in some way.  Words completely fail and I feel stuck like a caged rat.  I see it is all the energy I can’t move through.  The difference is my son just does it.  If he feels something that he can’t articulate, he physically discharges it.

The other lesson is that kids are resilient and they are ALWAYS teaching us.  They want our presence and attention.  They want us to be there for them and they want us to have fun.  I see myself continually beating that out of him because I’m distracted or busy with one thing or another.  There are times we have to learn to just slow down and be—that’s a huge one for me.  We have to allow and learn and sometimes it isn’t pretty, but there are ways we can heal ourselves and learn about ourselves through their experiences.  They show us new ways to look at things.  I try really hard to work with him and help him through but I easily get distracted and I allow too much outside interference to bring me right back to old habits.  We never know how much time we have and we never know what lessons we are going to get on a daily basis.  So I’m suggesting we take a page out of our children’s books and stay with the moment we are in and allow things to be how they are meant to.  We can’t control it all, right? 

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