We all have them. For different things.
I'm trying hard to understand mine, especially when it comes to parenting.
I figure out how to deal with things by tapping in to my mechanics. I find there are automatic strategies that kick in when I'm running out of the ability to just cope.
But some strategies scare me, and it's usually when I'm not coping.
There's a chain of reactions, it seems. And I don't like any of them. And it's always related to Noah.
First, I fly off the handle. I come down on him. Hard. But then he starts whining, and I lose patience. I know I never, EVER want to see what comes after yelling at him, so my auto mechanism kicks in.
I shut down.
It's not even "just ignoring him", it's complete shut down. My brain turns off, my body goes on auto-pilot, my emotions die. I'm cold.
"Is this what he'll remember?" I ask myself. "Am I failing him in not being able to deal with him? Am I being lazy? Am I being irresponsible?" are the questions that go through my mind.
How long will this go on for? I don't like doing it, but I never seem to spot the "acceptable alternative". I struggle to bond with him as it is, and I always feel like the one who needs to keep him under control. Everyone says he's "Oh but he's so amazing! He's so lovely! He's so well behaved!!" And they're right. Of course he is.
But that's come from two years of mechanical maintenance. His maintenance.
But I hate mine. He's so lovely. I am not. My mechanics are ugly. Every time I feel them kick in, I hate who I become; I always hope the repercussions do not last long. But surely...they chip away? They break spirit? Mine and his?
My parenting mechanics feel set in stone. So how do I change them? Can I change them?
Do I need to break...to create a new mechanical structure?