‘Crying it out’ was never something I was comfortable with trying with my children, but when it comes to myself and my own sanity – it seems I have unwittingly reached my own ‘cry it out’ phase.
I never realised I had so many emotions bottled up inside me, until a routine visit to my kinesiologist took a turn for the teary. In searching for what emotions I was storing up in my body, the big one was fear. It was languishing in my right kidney apparently, and although this sounds weird – I was pretty sure I didn’t want it taking up residency there any longer. Upon releasing it using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), she set about finding the source event that lead to so much fear camping out inside me. It’s here when the waterworks started flowing unabated. My own inner-wisdom knew straight away what it was … and through tears I explained to her everything I felt when we found out Jarvis had facial palsy. How in those moments of fierce love for my baby, I had so many fears of what life would hold for him and so many unanswered questions and I guess I did what any mother does – pushed these all deep down and set about being the best mum I could be to my son. Fast forward four or so years and all this feeling swallowing was doing me some damage. This year in particular, with the countdown to primary school, all the fears and unanswered questions were looming ever larger than before.
It’s been about six months since this first attack of the ‘cry it outs’ and there have been quite a few public displays since, and I must tell you that though embarrassing, they have all been therapeutic and on reflection have let me know that I’m on the right track with decisions we’re making regarding Jarvis’s therapy and schooling. My latest struggle to keep the tears in was at a Prep info night at our chosen school last week. There were quite a few times when I was on the verge of tears as the Principal and other staff talked with pride about their school and what they believe education should look like.
The one that had the waterworks silently flowing was when the prep transition officer said that she was often asked if a certain child is ready for Prep. She said that she didn’t want to hear that question anymore, what she’d like to hear asked is ‘Is your school ready for my child?’ and answering her own question she said ‘we are’.
This question and its answer hit me in a lot of soft spots. The place that still holds residual anger about words a family member said, that got back to me, to the effect of ‘there’s no way that kid will be ready for school next year’ (among some other choice ‘observations’), the words of our pediatrician warning that he may need to go to special school (despite not knowing the results of an IQ test) and that part of me that has held fear since the day he was born. There’s still a little way to go but my heart is telling me that we’ve found our school and that my little boy will be one of many splashed over Facebook next year in his too-big school uniform heading off to big school. Although the tears flow sometimes when I think about my boy, and the challenges he faces, I know that he is strong and capable and that many surprises lie ahead of us. I am happy to fight alongside him and make sure he gets the additional help he needs and though I may cry it out in public, that I too am strong.
So although ‘cry it out’ is not something I advocate for babies – I definitely advocate it for parents … particularly when the fear threatens to overwhelm and you don’t know what your next step will be. So tell me, when have you had to ‘cry it out’?