amber rahim

Chronic illness: the parts we don't talk about

The lessons we learn from our children

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I saw this on Facebook and wanted to spread the message as it means a lot to me. It’s a cause I have taken up, to create a world where we SEE and are SEEN.

It has also helped me get through something that happened today and I have learned again the value of being seen.

(warning: yes I really did use the word poo 3 times in this blog. well, 4 if we count this warning).

I see you

There is a light sense of irony that while this is my mission with my children and in my work, I have spent the last week feeling unheard, not listened to. Inaudible in place of invisible.

The main culprit is my cheeky minx, little S, but to be honest the whole household has contributed. A huge amount of frustration has been building and was released this afternoon when little S felt unable to wait two minutes for me to get to her and decided to explore her own poo.

Yes, it was as disgusting as you think it would be.

After dumping her in the shower and impressing upon her the wrongness of what she had done I forced myself to stop talking. My tongue was running away with me and I had visions of her in therapy in years to come working through the traumatic “poo incident” where she realised she was naughty.

Man, oh man, yes what she did was naughty but she is not naughty. She is curious, smart and tough (come on, “you make me wait so I’m going to play with poo” talk about playing hardball!). I just don’t think she expected me to flip the way I did.

All cleaned up, I put her back to bed for her nap and gave myself a time out with the Colbert Report (always makes me laugh).

At the end of my time out, nap time was over. Little S told me she loved me and gave me a huge hug. We debriefed the incident and agreed some rules.

She has seen me today, in the many shades that I come in:

in the terrible beauty that is my anger, a sight to behold; forceful, scary, loud

my compassion kicking in to make me stop talking and avoid saying anything more that could harm

my sense of protection, for her and myself, to put myself in timeout.

She has seen me and she loves me anyway.

Though I may not feel heard right now, I am seen and it is transformational: until now I did not see the compassion or the protection, only the anger.

I also see that I am a bit tense, lacking in patience.

No wonder she has been tuning me out. Time to pick a new voice.

 

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