Friday morning I was driving to work and Bianca was extremely upset. It was a rough morning for her, emotionally. She got up early and asked me if she could watch TV in my bed. I told her yes but that I’d have to turn it off before the show was over because we needed to leave for school/work by a certain time. I told her if she was able to work with me and get ready quickly, she could watch TV for a few more minutes before we left while I dried my hair AND we’d have time to stop at Starbucks for tea & hot chocolate. Well, she spent so much time standing still crying when I turned off the TV that we were late in leaving so there was no more TV and no Starbucks. She pretty much cried for a straight hour and a half. I empathized with her and told her that I understood her disappointment. At one of the calmer moments, I took the opportunity to (again) explain the concept about consequences of decisions.
In any case, I found my mind wandering to my Mother. When my Mom witnesses any kind of emotional outburt from Bianca, she is very quick to try to squelch it. Not in an obvious or angry way. But I realized that my Mom does this not just because she can't stand to see Bianca unhappy but because my Mother cannot deal with emotions. I think it's a major trigger for her and one she is not able to deal with AT ALL. It was a seemingly tiny differential but it made me realize something big.
For a long time, I've believed that I soothed my emotions with food. But I'm not soothing. There has been nothing TO soothe. I use the food to keep the emotions from being identified or felt at all. That was my mother's MO. Distract and give her something that makes her happy before there is some show of discontent. For the love of God, let us not exibit any bad feelings. No wonder I'm able to absolutely zone out on food. It's obviously unnerving to my Mom when I let Bianca feel, express and work through her emotions. She becomes agitated and edgy. It certainly doesn't make me happy when Bianca is having a hard time but I'm glad that I can allow her the experience that will better ground her for life. I'm still working on it for myself, though.