This afternoon I checked in with myself because I was feeling rather accomplished. I realized that it was a rather foreign feeling for me of late and I asked myself some questions to dig a bit deeper than the happy feeling of getting a few things done. It soon became apparent that the feelings I was experiencing were those of satisfaction and contentment and I was noticing them because, well, I don’t feel those things very often these days. I recognized them because they were feelings I took for granted a few years ago. Always being someone who was active and good at moving forward into new experiences, I didn’t have any reason not to presume that life went in one direction and with each day of ticking lists and getting things done without worry, I was a happy and oblivious individual who wasn’t all that aware that things could be so different.
When PDA hit my awareness radar, 4 years ago and really ramped up it’s grip when my daughter out grew being told off and her mask fell away, I found myself living in a bubble of new age thinking. The bubble consumed me and I sub consciously allowed the realization of ‘no’ to dominate my days and life. The acceptation of ‘no’ and the dropping of the no guard took me to place where I lost the art of embracing yes for myself. It’s as if no became the word I was most used to hearing and the pay off for accepting no was to forget what it feels like to live in yes.
Life became so tight and impossible, my own needs and wishes, my own abilities to accomplish every day things at an every day pace, disappeared. Not over night, or I surely would have noticed this before today, but gradually, a little bit at a time. You see, letting things go, canceling a plan, putting off until tomorrow, finding an excuse. Was I emanating extreme PDA procrastination or was I too tired to see that I mattered in all of this too?
When your child cannot say yes, will not say yes, struggles with everything that requires a positive commitment and those nos pile up minute by minute, day by day, month by month, we can and do find ways to turn them around and ease though the maze of it all but it is hard. The reality of the struggles of PDA are hard, on all involved. This post is from my perspective as a mother to PDA but I am aware how my feelings of craving yes must also be deeply felt by those with PDA who are paralyzed and starved of the natural ability to action yes.
Do we as mothers self sacrifice for peace? And if so what is the true expense of such giving and acceptance of others? Do our children count as others, or are they an extension of us by whom we give ourselves, with no condition, even if that means a famine of yes?
I like to think that I have found a balance between myself and my family situation. I do take care of myself and my family equally. But today’s feelings of lack of yes, highlighted that in PDA land, the balance often swings to one side with the perpetual hearing of no. The tipping of the scales sometimes frozen for great lengths of time.
Ask a question and it wont be answered straight away. Request a task and it will be met with a clever wriggly answer that ultimately means no. Spend countless extra energy finding tiny ways to hide demands and ease our way into a possible yes. Your day is filled with the word no or the connotations of no. Leaving the house is not without the loss of freedom, caring for your child over rides your ability and energy to check off positive ticks on your list of to dos. Lists of to dos might just read, survive the day. You might only get one positive check a day or even a week. The feeling that comes with yes becomes few and far between and as your reality becomes heavily no, you forget what the lightness of yes even feels like and eventually you stop looking for yes altogether.
Until one day the yes you feel is real and it makes you happy and you notice with a smile that you can find yes anywhere you want if you just become friends with it.
Tomorrow I’m starting a list. I used to write lists all the time. Sometimes I would write lists of things I had already done just so I could feel contented ticking off the great things I had done that day.
Today’s list of things I’ve done goes like this.
- Start my novel. Tick
- Get two quotes for a new tyre for my car. Tick
- Organize a meeting for other PDA parents in my home town. Tick
- Make a nice meal for the family. Tick
- Do something that involves the feeling of yes.
- Notice others who might not be feeling very yes like.
- Thank myself for doing the best I can with what the day brings.
- Make a nice meal for the family
In summery, noticing the things that we might need more of and finding our own ways to appreciate and enhance those things on a day to day basis, is a really good way of adding more joy into our lives. The more balanced and grateful we are, the better we become at role modeling that for our families, and the more that energy grows, the more infectious it becomes. It can be so easy to feel swallowed and helpless, joyless and mundane. We can all feel unnoticed, unappreciated, and needy. Sometimes these feelings creep up and we don’t know until we become poorly or ineffective, sometimes we know at once and we can fuel fires with our own resentment and self pity. It took a tick on my list to find two quotes for a new tyre and a feeling of simple accomplishment for me to see a long while of not enough yes to write this today. I hope this blog sparks a little awareness in you to find the things that make you say yes even if your loved ones say no.