“Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn’t happen.” ~ Alyce Cornyn-Selby
So, Kiddo woke up to some small gifts, happy at first to see the presents in the stocking, and then slowly began to destroy the joy.
And like a crab in slow boiling pot, I didn’t even realize what was happening until it was almost too late.
At first “them” was having fun with one of the gifts, sitting and playing and laughing, the natural thing to do.
After some time though I gave two more minutes, saying we had an appointment that couldn’t be missed. I explained the next couple of minutes could be used to finish up playing OR we could work together quickly to get ready and then use the rest of the time to play.
Kiddo chose that we hurry so there was enough time to play. “Great idea,” I said.
Truthfully, we had plenty of time before the appointment, so I wasn’t very concerned either way, yet Kiddo’s unconscious mind had plans of its own.
Part way through getting dressed, “them” began to slow down to the pace of a lethargic snail. I had all I could do to keep prompting with a patient smile.
“Everything okay?” I asked as calmly as could be.
Kiddo nodded then finished getting dressed.
A few minutes later, we were eating, and same thing — Kiddo began staring off into space and then stopped chewing altogether. It was so out of character I began to grow concerned.
I checked Kiddo for a fever and almost had myself convinced that “them” must be sick, but there was no indication of that being the case.
“I see you’re eating really slow. Could you go faster please?” I asked.
“Yes mama,” I was told, but as soon as I got up to feed the dogs, the snail-pace continued. It was like watching a slow motion scene on a screen.
Soon we were almost out of time, so I tried something new. I starting using the stocking’s contents as a lure. “You told me you really wanted to play with your new toys, correct?”
Kiddo nodded. “Then I’ll need you to start mover faster,” I encouraged.
Though this led to a finishing of breakfast, when it came time to brush teeth, Kiddo stopped moving altogether and just stared into the mirror.
So I said what most parents would, “I see you are staring into the mirror and I’m happy you like looking at yourself. Right now though I need you to brush your teeth good and fast if you still want to play with one of your toys.”
Kiddo began to cry, refused to cooperate, pulled pants down to sit on the toilet with head in hands only to admit, “I don’t hafta’ go.”
I knelt down to this child and looked deeply into this little Kiddo’s eyes. They were sad, and that’s when I finally recognized what was happening.
Having a child who is traumatized is difficult enough but holidays and special occasions contain triggers with even bigger challenges.
Kiddo was self-sabotaging. — Stuck in a conflict between a conscious desire and an unconscious want that results in patterns of self-destruction.
And now that I knew that, I knew what to do . . .
Part 2 coming soon