Once again, my Victoria is going into lockdown for 7 days and whilst some of us are entering a holiday, some of us have PTSD, so be super mindful of those around you at this point in time.
I have been ringing around to all my pals and family to check that they are ok.
For my daughter Frankie, last year was traumatic to her development.
It sparked, depression and all that goes along with that.
It has been hard on so many and we can not underestimate the value of our Mental Health Services.
This is an area that is not easy to navigate but a few things that I learnt on this journey, I would love to share as it helped beyond measure.
Firstly Brené Brown's 'The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto' this had me in tears as a reminder of parenting as it should be.
Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and loveable. You will learn this from my words and actions - the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself.
I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness. You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.
We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honouring vulnerability. We will share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both.
We will teach you compassion by practicing compassion with ourselves first, then with each other. We will set and respect boundaries; we will honour hard work, hope, and perseverance. Rest and play will be family values, as well as family practices.
You will learn accountability and respect by watching me make mistakes and make amends, and by watching how I ask for what I need and talk about how I feel.
I want you to know joy, so together we will practice gratitude.
I want you to feel joy, so together we will learn to be vulnerable.
When uncertainty and scarcity visit, you will be able to draw from spirit that is part of our everyday life.
Together we will cry and face fear and grief. I will want to take away your pain, but instead I will sit with you and teach you how to feel it.
We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves and each other. No matter what, you will always belong here.
As you begin your Wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly.
I will not teach or love or show you anything perfectly, but I will let you see me, and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you, truly, deeply, seeing you.
From Daring Greatly by Brené Brown Copyright 2020 Brené Brown LLC
This is another pearl of wisdom that I was given the other day that really gave me a perspective as the teenager.
I pulled back on the taking it personally and lead with bring it to me.
For anyone struggling with the need to remain sane in the maelstrom which is the evolution of your daughter..please read and share.
A letter written by a child psychologist from a teenager's viewpoint voicing what they are sometimes unable to say to their parent.
This is the letter that I wish I could write.
This fight we are in right now. I need it. I need this fight. I can’t tell you this because I don’t have the language for it and it wouldn’t make sense anyway. But I need this fight. Badly. I need to hate you right now and I need you to survive it. I need you to survive my hating you and you hating me. I need this fight even though I hate it too. It doesn’t matter what this fight is even about: curfew, homework, laundry, my messy room, going out, staying in, leaving, not leaving, boyfriend, girlfriend, no friends, bad friends. It doesn’t matter. I need to fight you on it and I need you to fight me back.
I desperately need you to hold the other end of the rope. To hang on tightly while I thrash on the other end—while I find the handholds and footholds in this new world I feel like I am in. I used to know who I was, who you were, who we were. But right now I don’t. Right now I am looking for my edges and I can sometimes only find them when I am pulling on you. When I push everything I used to know to its edge. Then I feel like I exist and for a minute I can breathe. I know you long for the sweeter kid that I was. I know this because I long for that kid too, and some of that longing is what is so painful for me right now.
I need this fight and I need to see that no matter how bad or big my feelings are—they won’t destroy you or me. I need you to love me even at my worst, even when it looks like I don’t love you. I need you to love yourself and me for the both of us right now. I know it sucks to be disliked and labeled the bad guy. I feel the same way on the inside, but I need you to tolerate it and get other grownups to help you. Because I can’t right now. If you want to get all of your grown up friends together and have a ‘surviving-your-teenager-support-group-rage-fest’ that’s fine with me. Or talk about me behind my back–I don’t care. Just don’t give up on me. Don’t give up on this fight. I need it.
This is the fight that will teach me that my shadow is not bigger than my light. This is the fight that will teach me that bad feelings don’t mean the end of a relationship. This is the fight that will teach me how to listen to myself, even when it might disappoint others.
And this particular fight will end. Like any storm, it will blow over. And I will forget and you will forget. And then it will come back. And I will need you to hang on to the rope again. I will need this over and over for years.
I know there is nothing inherently satisfying in this job for you. I know I will likely never thank you for it or even acknowledge your side of it. In fact I will probably criticize you for all this hard work. It will seem like nothing you do will be enough. And yet, I am relying entirely on your ability to stay in this fight. No matter how much I argue. No matter how much I sulk. No matter how silent I get.
Please hang on to the other end of the rope. And know that you are doing the most important job that anyone could possibly be doing for me right now.
Love, Your Teenager
A few other sites that I have found particularly helpful for my child.
A free service with no referral needed.
To make it easier for people to be safer and supported, The Orange Door brings together workers from:
- specialist family violence services
- family services
- Aboriginal services
- services for men who use violence
In areas where The Orange Door is not yet open, you can access all of these through existing services.
Workers at The Orange Door work with people who use violence as well as people experiencing violence. Your safety is the priority and they will decide with you whether it is best to work with the person using violence:
- over the phone
- in a different place to you
- in the same place as you but at a different time
Workers at The Orange Door are highly trained and experienced in responding to family violence and supporting children, young people, parents and families who need extra support with their care and wellbeing.
Workers at The Orange Door understand that every situation is different and that people who need their services may also be dealing with other issues, such as:
- substance misuse
Reach was founded by Jim Stynes and Paul Currie in 1994 with a pretty clear vision – to inspire young people to believe in themselves and get the most out of life.
Since then, Reach has grown beyond Jim and Paul’s wildest dreams – with hubs in Melbourne and Sydney. Thousands of people across Australia participate in our workshops each year and demand continues to increase. Jim and Paul were on to something all those years ago!
May this period time find you in good health and happy hearts.
If you ever need to talk, call me and I am happy to share the story and the organisations that I found along the way.