Oh and holy good golly was this one a doozy. This wasn’t one of those T-Rex Mama moments. This was one of those moments that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t let go of it. It affected my entire day and even manifested itself physically.
When Fear Takes Over
I can’t even describe the feeling adequately but most moms will know what it is. It’s that paralyzing fear that you get when your child is in danger and there is absolutely nothing you can do. Sometimes, there are just too many variables to control.
Such was the case Thursday morning. We were waiting in the car at the bus stop. Everything was fine. He was happy. The bus pulled up, I opened the door to let him out. His feet hit the pavement and suddenly, he looks at the bus, looks me dead in the eyes and yells, “I’m not going.” And he bolted. By the time I truly figured out what was happening, he was behind my car, refusing to get on the bus. This would have been fine except just 30 feet up the driveway, the bus sat on a main road and the driver turned off his lights and pulled in his stop sign. The traffic started passing the bus in both directions going 55 mph while my child was playing cat and mouse with me. If I chased him, there was a good chance he would run up the hill and right into the street.
Somehow, I managed to convince him to walk toward me. I don’t even know what I said or what I did to effectively make this happen. When I got my hands on him, I walked him to the bus. I didn’t yell. Nor, did I scold. I didn’t even dare to breathe. Finally, he was on the bus and Mama was off to work like it was any other day. NOT.
I Just Couldn’t Let Go
Well, I guess after an incident like that one, most moms would have difficulty letting go of what had happened. For me, however, not letting go can spiral me into a place that is hard to get out of. When I realized that by the time I made it to my office, I had already told 3 people about my horrible morning, I knew that this was sitting with me way too long but I didn’t know why. By the time lunch rolled around, the tension headache was incredible. What tools did I have at my disposal to stop this spiral before it got out of control??
My first go to is always to process the situation that was upsetting me. Yeh well, that wasn’t working. I knew I needed two things: My headache needed to be relieved and I needed some clarity. Off I went to acupuncture. By the time the treatment was finished, the pain had subsided and my mood was better but I was still unable to truly let it go because I really didn’t understand what I was so upset about.
My acupuncturist told me to come back the following day….and the day after. I was a little trepidatious because I had never been treated 3 days in a row. I mentioned that to my friend and he said, “OD on the acupuncture. It will help.” Well, it turns out he was correct.
A Little Clarity Goes a Long Way
By the end of day two of acupuncture, I had achieved some clarity. It wasn’t the fact of letting go that I was struggling with this time. It was the sudden realization of how little was in my control in that exact moment. Anything could have happened to my child and I was powerless to stop it. It wasn’t the incident, it was the fact that it could happen again.
After my third treatment, I realized that this incident was like every other. It was not my fault and I did nothing wrong. My son has big emotions and something mysterious set him off. I felt more like myself by the end of my third treatment and I’ve been in a pretty good mood ever since. I was even able to pull it together enough to take my son to the movies on Sunday. (We’ll save that story for another time.)
I was exhausted by Sunday night but I’m glad that I made the time to take care of myself. In this instance, the self-care not only gave me some necessary refueling, but it also gave me clarity and an idea of how to move forward.
Reflection: Have you ever had a moment that you couldn’t let go of? What did you do to get past it? Is this something that you may need to work on so so that you can grow?