Originally Posted by Calm
But now she tantrums, she didn't before. It makes me wonder how these events affect the HSC, you know? How much is imbedded in their psyche, like wounded fairies.
We vaccinate, and after a particular set of blood tests (first at a lab - totally traumatizing and didn't work, then at a first-rate Children's Hospital - great!) and #1's vaccinations and watching her little sister get mauled (1st checkup and vaccinations), my little 2-year-old baby freaked out. For real, like 8 months of playing shots. It was every day, all day for weeks and weeks and weeks. I had many tears about it, sure that I had traumatized her. I hated myself for having my kids vaccinated, I hated that I bothered with checkups for our second, I hated everything I did that made my #1 OBSESSED with needles.
Then I had a realization. It's not a big deal. The fact that my daughter was playing nurse/doctor meant that she was working through it. At whatever pace was appropriate for her. The way to help her through the trauma would not be to stay with my guilt and shame, it's to really LISTEN to her and let her tell me her pain (trauma remains trauma if the traumatized don't feel like they can relate the experience to someone else). She wasn't crying anymore, why was I? She was the one whose psyche was wounded, not mine. So why was I here stuck at the point of "injury" still? So I changed. I played with her. I really played with her. I begged for mercy when she came with shots. I played a MEAN nurse who chased children around and restrained them (only for half a moment). The play extended to other injury stuff. I would play an injured person seeking medical assistance. Or someone who felt like getting a checkup ("Good morning, doctor. I was wondering if I could consult with you about the general condition of my elbow today."). #1 even named a blanket "hospital blanket" because when we were on the blanket, we were at the hospital/doctor's office. It was great. The needle obsession stopped. My guilt was gone. Boundaries set. #1 got over it.... sort of. Good enough.
The best part? The next time we went to a checkup (i.e. SHOTS), I was totally different. I didn't cringe in anticipation of the dreaded pain I was inflicting on my kids. I was really matter-of-factly. I explained to everyone that I was going to try not to be nervous, that I was going to remember that I want my children to get the shots because I believe they will protect them from certain illnesses. The nurse was SOOOOOOO impressed. My kids screamed and cried as usual. Me? I was totally great! I felt no guilt. Just a lot of sympathy, and empathy. I realized that before, I was totally wrapped up in my own guilt and my own needle traumas.
Each time since, I've been really open and connected with our doctor and nurse. I feel unapologetic for my kids (skinny) and my choices (super crunchy and distrustful of any conventional wisdom). But also very open and appreciative of others' suggestions. Not defensive. And I've become open to consider ways to make my children feel more comfortable. Like, one time, I brought books to read to #2 while she got shots. She hurt like hell still, but she was pretty distracted. She had 4 shots that time (bad Mommy! we live far from the doctor, so we pack in the shots!), and she started crying after the 3rd one. The 4th one was heartbreaking. But, with the book pages open, after a while, she indicated that it was time to finish reading. So I did, over her crying.
I'm really sensitive. I'm really really sensitive. But sometimes, I wish I weren't. And sometimes, when I pretend I'm different, I'm not as sensitive. Sometimes, I pretend to be matter-of-factly butch tom-boy woman. No care mud, no care scratch. No care neat delicate. It's freeing. I wonder if I encourage my kids to stay within their realm of comfort where it's more comfortable for me. I try to remember that I'm alpha dog. I'm mama. They model after me, as according to their personalities. With dogs, I'm truly petrified. When I'm tired, I see dogs everywhere. Tree trunks, shadows, anything and everything turns into a dog. But sometimes, when we go out, I'll pretend not to be petrified. I'll talk to dog owners and to dogs and touch dogs and sometimes touch people. Even though I'm terrified of touch. I find that even though my kids won't go up to people or to dogs, they are watching me. Very carefully. After 4 years, #1 sometimes runs up to kids and chats with them. #2 grabs on to me for dear life if someone looks at her. But she's okay with pointing to people and animals and talking about them. I just make sure that she's far from reach, feet off the ground, then she's comfortable. And I make sure she feels safe when I touch an animal. Sometimes, she'll get closer for a better look.
I don't think my kids will ever not be sensitive. But I want to show them alternatives. And I want to demonstrate coping skills for sensitive people. As soon as I figure out what they might be!
AND I want to show them that being sensitive is something to feel comfortable being. I'm trying to learn to be more matter-of-factly and to be more callous with people who don't understand so that maybe my kids will see that being a bitch is okay when you need to focus on yourself.
Speaking of tags, my kids were sensitive to polyester, polyester thread, buttons, snaps, elastic, everything. Even dyes in clothing! So much so that I learned to sew and got into organic fabrics. Just to name drop, I am the "P" (Pei) of "PM Organics." I dropped out before Marie (the "M" of "PM") opened shop. If your kids are REALLY sensitive, try hiring a seamstress to sew clothing out of fabrics and notions from Marie (www.pmorganics.com
). I've always been itchiest where seams are - highest points of contact and ALWAYS polyester or cotton-covered polyester thread. Even if the fabric is organic. I've been lobbying for Marie to acquire naturally-dyed fabrics, and she says if I dye it, she'll sell it. I can't seem to get it going.... what with dealing with sensitive kids and all....