This is how it went down this morning. New leggings for Lauren. Cute fleecy lined ones with reindeers. Adorable. But they had seams. And the seams bothered her. I reminded her of what her therapist tells her, “it’s a brain trick Lauren, nothing bad is going to happen, breathe…” And the screaming continued.
“I just want your to treat me like a normal kid,” she spouts.
“Then act like one and suck it up!” I retort.
And I am a therapist too, so the words “suck it up” are rarely in my vocabulary. I don’t like to use them. Because sometimes you can’t suck it up! It hurts too bad. But part of me wonders if after all the pain has been validated and worked through, if at some point we don’t need to just suck it up and move on.
And I get it. I’ve been a victim of some pretty crappy stuff. I parent 2 kids with unique needs. And it’s hard. And at times I want to curl up under the blankets and cry. Every now and then I do, but I also have to recognize there is a point where you have to put on your big girl panties (who knows what those are anyways, but we all have them) and move forward. Because there’s no use in staying here and wallowing. In the wallow spot things rarely – if ever – change.
And it seems to be what’s missing around here on earth. Everybody expecting everyone to accommodate their unique individual expectations. And I’m all about accommodations. I will advocate for them in my kids ARD like any other special needs parent – because sometimes they are needed. But sometimes they aren’t. Our expectations of life to be a big red bow wearing present aren’t always rational or reasonable.
Sometimes a good ole dose of distress tolerance needs to be swallowed. Sometimes we need to breathe through it, know it hurts now, but hurt will pass. We can address the need or injustice, if it’s truly an injustice or a need that needs to be addressed, and then keep walking forward! A little distress is ok. It doesn’t have to paralyze us and it certainly doesn’t excuse us from doing the things we need to do to make our life feel worth living.
So ya, suck it up was a little harsh this morning. The girl has sensory processing issues and all sorts of other stuff swimming in her head. But she can wear leggings. And she will be ok!
And we can wear our proverbial seamed leggings! Because a little discomfort is ok! In fact, it may be what it takes to keep us running the race forward. Distress can be tolerated. It will pass. We can all move forward with and in Jesus name towards the life He has planned for us. A life for sure worth living.