Wow I really need to work on my interpersonal skills.....A situation has cropped up for one of my kids at our homeschool group - I think it's probably typical kids learning how to interact stuff, but my first instinct is to quit. Unfortunately, this is also my daughter's first instinct. No matter how much I try not to let my baggage weigh my children down - it does.
My kids are well aware of my struggles - they even visited me in the hospital after my last suicide attempt. They get that I have depression and that sometimes I have a hard time holding things together because of my illness. I try to teach my kids that my own shortcomings and habits do not have to be theirs, but still I see my own behaviors reflected in theirs, especially my daughter.
So this means I have to work through my discomfort and try to learn to interact with others in a healthier way and to stop running away from things that are difficult. I'm outside my comfort zone here. I've spend some years in isolation thanks to my depression and I've dragged myself and my kids out into the light because it's better for us. But now we have new skill sets to learn.
Now I'd love to tell you that these are skills I need to relearn because I lost them during those years of isolation, but honestly, I've always been socially awkward. I either try too hard or I shut down completely. I come off as needy and clingy or snobby and out of touch. Of course that's what I think others think of me - I don't know for sure, because I can't know what others think or feel.
A lot has to do with expectations I think. I expect people to dislike me, so they often do. I try to be a good friend, but I don't know that I succeed - I think maybe I close myself off too much.
So, now I have to watch my kids struggling with some of the same shortcomings. I've wrapped them in cotton wool trying to protect them from being hurt, but I've ended up doing them a disservice. In trying to protect them from others, all I've done is really make them lonely and craving the company of their peers. I'm trying to rectify that now, but sometimes I fear it's too little too late.
It's hard being a parent. I try so hard to do what I think is right for MY children based on my experiences and sometimes I get it all wrong. Yes, I've failed in some ways, but I have two very special, loving, compassionate, intelligent kids. Yes maybe they are a little late to the friendship thing, but they are learning and growing with every new experience and all I can do is grow and learn with them.
I think that's what I'm trying to do right now. So......I'm not going to quit. I'm going to try to communicate with others and learn how to work through an uncomfortable situation and try to trust that all will work out for the best. My kids will learn from it as will I. And isn't that what life is all about really? Stretching and growing and finding new reasons to love ourselves?