The captain of the sailboat navigates his crew into the fog, against the light he barely sees anything. No stars, no sight. Just the choppy waves.
We had been working through strategies as a family how to self regulate and there had been improvements in how I responded to anger and how we had as a father and son unit sorted out some of his mood regulation issues.
It has been a constant struggle, yet there were successes. A bolt of creativity would ease the tension and sometimes I get lucky meaning that my son would get distracted by something else and shift to a calm state.
This morning was different. It started with us being late and my wife, who had agreed to send our son to Montessori together, had overslept. Then we had to get the usual morning routine done and in addition perform a piece of craft work as a gift to a friend who was leaving the school.
As the clocked ticked on, stress arrived. It was gradual, and I was managing it. Suppressing would be the better word. Then with every non-compliance, I grew irritated. Then the escalation came when despite not wanting to make a gift for his friend, we finished the work and he went to play just as I was packing to leave for school.
That threw me into an angry dialogue and I kept his toys. This spiralled into both of us feeling angry and my son's agitation rendered me helpless. I had that energy bursting from within yet the need to restrain myself was barely keeping this energy within. Concurrently, my son was stomping around and I was fearful he would hurt himself.
Then my wife snapped. She had taken on the mental load and self-blame that she woke up late, had a sudden instruction to us to do art and craft, and now her family was in chaos.
What a way to start a morning!
How does my helplessness journal make me feel?
Looking at the art journal pictures, I feel a tinge of regret. The lost opportunity of how today could have been.
I feel a sense of urgency and purposefulness to start tomorrow (it's the weekend!) on a structured routine, well planned and communicated in advance.
What helplessness tells me.
The wisdom from the chaos that descended actually helped navigate the ship through the stormy weather, and since the boat is intact, I learn to steer it with advanced planning, prior communication between me and my wife and to respect my child's wishes (not to do the art and craft).
I still feel resigned to future bad days where I have to send him to school against his wishes, but the wisdom of helplessness points to a surrender to what I can and cannot achieve on my own, and the surrender to fate.
Lastly, I learned that in all things, my anger was an expression of the desire to restore order, to have cooperation and communication in the family. This energy wasn't released early and it had bottled and fermented wine into vinegar.
Next time there's hope that I would sound the alarm earlier that the routine should be restored and routine and orderliness is important to me, as is punctuality. This hopefully helps release some of the irritation before it boils into anger.
My shadow protects me
I respect my desolation as it often shares the desire lurking beneath. That which I couldn't see as come to light. Though I struggle with big emotions of anger and stress, I welcome them as guests in my guests house because they serve a protection and purpose.
I'm reminding myself to read what I wrote in the past, in My Guest House book on the shadow self by Carl Jung, and the purpose my shadow serves and how good it is to be attentive to its wisdom.