Today we woke, ate, showered, dressed and bundled into the car again, heading for the woods. I told Husband about how awesomely peaceful our previous walk had been, and had invited him along on his home office day. As we walked into the woods I noticed the familiar sight of dock leaves growing right next to stinging nettles. Fall into the nettles, grab a dock leaf and rub away the discomfort.
But, today was a new day, the kids were in different moods…Seth- Grumpy & Tired. Tabitha- Over Excited & Cheeky. I could feel my enthusiasm ebbing away as the four of us meandered through the woods. No-one was listening to me. I didn’t want to go down the muddy paths. This isn’t what we did before.
I wasn’t able to verbalise how upset I was. Why wasn’t everyone being quiet?!
Husband could sense my dissatisfaction and tried to make amends, “come on Tabby, let’s try and listen to the sounds of the trees…” but Tabby was in Mud Jumping Mode. She didn’t want to listen, she wanted to squelch in the mud instead.
Suddenly I remembered the nettles. The antidote next to the irritant. The answer next to the problem.
Here I was in the woods, with my beautiful family and my husband who I rarely get to spend quality time with…and I was sulking. I recently read a great article about how our communication/relationship issues in adulthood are often caused by our childhood experiences. When a parent soothes their child during times of distress, they help their child to understand their emotions. The child feels validated, loved and accepted. They have had their needs met, heard and understood. Whether it’s a scraped knee or a meltdown about watching a bit more television, an understanding parent can explain to their child that it’s ok to be sad or hurt. That doesn’t mean you always get your way, but it does mean that you can be vocal about your needs without shame.
Often times I hear parents screaming “SHUT UP” or “If you don’t shut it, I’m going to smack you..is that what you want?!”, “Come on! You didn’t hurt yourself that bad!” these responses lead to the child believing that they are unloveable when they are sad/angry. The are a nuisance. Keep those feelings under wraps. Don’t show that you are angry, don’t show you’re hurt, don’t be sad.
Then all of a sudden you’re in adulthood. You can’t confide in anyone when sad/hurt/angry because you’ve been shown that people don’t like it when you do that. So you bottle it up, bite your lip, fight it out in your head instead.
That’s where I was in the woods. I couldn’t hear the trees because I could only hear the ‘voices in my head’ so to speak. And then I remembered the nettles, the antidote being right next to the irritant. You have all the skills you need to heal any wounds from your past.
Then Husband said “hey! look at that ant! it’s pulling a dead woodlouse along!”, then he came to me and said “come on dead woodlouse wife, I’m dragging you home!” and we laughed and everything was good.
The End. x