The family is struggling with a 14 year old’s bulimic behaviors. The teenager has become so affected that her body life is threatened. Doctors recommend hospitalisation and a treatment program at The Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. Her parents fear for their child’s life. The teenager is in denial that she has a problem, although following hospitalizaiton, she begins to recognize the seriousness of her eating behaviour.
Mother’s Perspective: Step One if Grounded Presence and Making Space for my own Pain
The first step is to own my highly triggered fear place in this situation with Molly. This is a way to stay connected to her. I own my own pain and anxiety around the situation inside of my wholebody awareness. In order to meet my daughter at the hospital and have a conversation with her. I need to allow myself to arrive into the hospital, to arrive into my own living of the situation, and to allow this arriving to open and unfold in its own way and time.
There is the all important willingness or intention to stay in connection with my daughter. Finding a way to open to her and meet her in a heartfelt connection needs to happen in a very real and embodied way. If I stay in contact with my own triggered responses (fear, anxiety, anger, sweating palms, pounding head), I can invite the field of We Here, this whole history of she and I, to continue supporting both Me Here and the We Here.
I sit with her in the meeting room at the hospital, aware of my pain and frustration, and also aware of her fear and frustration. I allow my wholebody awareness to notice both the Me Here and the We Here. Then something just happened. I am different somehow. My 14 year old daughter is also different. The field between us and around us affects, Me, You and We.
My Holding Both the Me Here trigger and the You There trigger has affected a transformation of the living field between us.
Molly shares how she feels vulnerable, a little lost, and has a lot of sensitivity about her situation and the people at the hospital. Because I have embraced my own vulnerability and sensitivity, she has let go of her defenses and attitude of detachment. She wants a hug, she cries. I hug her, allow myself to feel and share my own vulnerability and sensitivity about her struggle and mine, how this impacts the whole family. We are all afraid and worried about her.
We have met one another in mutuality – inside of a shared living field of We Here that is an amazing source of healing an d forward movement for both of us.
Karen Whalen, Ph.D