Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Shock Absorbers

When I was a Senior in high school and my younger brother a sophomore, we inherited our stepfathers old Rusty 1960 Ford Diesel truck. We dubbed it the “Green Monster” that thing could go anywhere, smash anything and survive with barely a dent. We once had a brush with a giant spider in the cab on our way to school, ending with my 6ft 2' brother screaming like a little girl, and a side swiped Beamer crumpled like silver paper.

The best and worst part about that truck was the shocks, there were none.
At times, while piling a bunch of kids in the cab and back it was considers fun as we hit bumps and rolled around smacking into each other getting a little air over speed bumps as our butts jumped inches off the seat.
However making out while in transit? While someone else was driving? Forget about it, you could lose a tooth, or end up with a bloody lip*cough * not that this every happened, ever, while my poor kid brother was driving, and I stained my fella of the months letter-man jacket.

Anyway, shock absorbers, kinda necessary,especially in a car, or you know “life”.

Good ole Wikipedia says “In general terms, shock absorbers help cushion vehicles on uneven roads. “
Part of the beauty of a shock absorber it the ability to gently rebound from the initial unsettling.


What about people? What about parents that are helping hurt kids navigate uneven roads ,what then?
How do we gently rebound?

This has been incredibly hard week, that being an understatement.
One of my children has upped her shame resulting in creative new ways of self harm.
This road seems more than uneven, it is bumpy and twisting, without enough guard rails and feels damn right scary. I have cried, felt helpless, and been tossed and banged up along with the pain my child has been feeling.

Much like that old truck, I have been feeling every inch of the road, every giant rock, wind gust and uneven trench, many being so unexpected.
It happens to all of us, driving along perceiving the road and and pot holes along the way and then BAM, there is a speed bump in the middle of nowhere that takes out your undercarriage.
I happens to all of us, the shock of, “wow, maybe I should have seen that coming, but I didn't".

And so we sit, reeling from the shock, the whiplash of sadness and pain and surprise that leaves your stomach doing flip flops and your mind racing while your body feels it could sleep for one hundred years.
As parents , in preparation for these uneven roads, even if we can't construct bubble wrap protection around our children, or our hearts having a plan, having built in 'shock absorbers' seems necessary.
Hell, it is part of the survival and unwritten manual of parenting healing children. If we are able to be too easily knocked around and bruised during those pot holes or surprise speed bumps, how are we capable teach our children to create their own shock absorbing strategies?

So I ask you wise ones, What do you do for you? How can you find that steady ground of being O.K, even when things aren't?
What things help you cope? What things help you center when your kid side swipes a BMW....or self harms, or needs respite. What do you do when your child is kicked out of school, brought to the emergency room for a stomach pump, or stitches because their pain had to come out one way or another?

Today I went to yoga.
Today I sat and wrote this.
Tonight I plan on a warm bath and a funny movie.
Because tomorrow I may need that cushion of me being O.K. So I once again can be available to help my child navigate their uneven road, until it gets a little bit smoother down the way.


  1. I record Ellen and watch her when the kids aren't home- and I laugh. I read lots of magazines and books for a mental escape and I get a massage every two weeks. And for the past three weeks I have been exercising every day and it has helped me remember how important it is for my emotional strength dealing with my 8 darlings.

  2. First of all, I am so sorry you are going through this. Healing hurt kids is SO DAMN hard!!! My shock absorber started off being You! I started this journey a couple of years ago, not having a clue as to what I was getting into. 8 months in, I wanted to QUIT every DAY!!!! and than I came across Beta, and than I found your blog, and your friend Christine's blog. They got me through some of the roughest times. I laughed, and cried... cried alot, and remember even snorting between laugh/crying. Because of that I am able to start the real deal, the trying to heal my kiddos. I am going to retreat and I am also coming to Parenting in Space. So you and many like you that have been in this longer and pave the way for others, to survive, to laugh, to get back a little of ourselves, pieces that they had to give up because this sucks you dry. You are so many others shock absorbers. You had Yoga and a hot bath...ahhhh. I think these are your words... YOU HAVE SO GOT THIS!!! Here is a song I am hoping is on our CD, but I love it and this is for you anf your kiddos tonight Thank You!