How to care for the 5-year-old in me

11 Apr

A really cool side effect of dance is that it allows me to work through all these issues in my life, some of which I didn’t even know I had, and then I’m a better, happier person once I’ve worked through them. The downside is that it makes me work through all these issues in my life, some of which I didn’t even know I had.

I mentioned yesterday that dance was bringing up yet another issue for me to deal with. This one has to do with a really old pain from childhood that I never realized was there let alone as much as it is. Don’t worry, it’s not something massively serious like abuse or abandonment. But for a while, I couldn’t even articulate what it was about.

So to try to start to work through it, my therapist suggested I think about how I would treat a 5-year-old I saw with this pain. And it turns out, that’s a really hard question. I can’t even begin to answer it.

I’m really struggling with this. What can I do for myself that will help that 5-year-old in me? Examples are things like stay in bed all day, watch movies, buy a treat for, go out with a friend. I can’t think how any of those would help the 5-year-old in me. So if those things don’t, what would?

So those of you who are parents…how do you help your children when they’re in emotional pain?

Those of you who aren’t parents…how do you take care of yourself and nurse yourself through pain?

9 Responses to “How to care for the 5-year-old in me”

  1. Nikki April 11, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    Internalize until everything becomes super anxiety and ulcers. And then repress, repress, repress, until you forget the bad things that made you feel bad, and just generally feel bad when something triggers the feelings of the bad thing, but you can’t actually remember it. Pop antacids and become a shut-in to treat.

    That’s what 5-year-old me did. 😦 Seriously, I’m the worst person to ask.

    • The Reinvented Lass April 12, 2012 at 9:53 am #

      But luckily, you’re not that person anymore! 🙂 I just need to figure out what to do NOW to help myself.

      • Nikki April 14, 2012 at 1:11 am #

        Not…that…person…heh…right. D: *shoves antacids out of view* Anyway, I hear crying is helpful. Like, serious gut-wrenching crying. I don’t know how to do that. But I think it releases endorphins or something. Five-year-olds seem to cry often so… Oh! Actually, when I was in my worst depression, I wrote a lot. Stories. Fictional characters and fantastical situations. It helped me escape.

      • The Reinvented Lass April 17, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

        You cope much better now than you used to. Yes, I’ve watched sad movies to get the crying thing going. It does help. So does laughter. 🙂

  2. cathtravelsandteaches April 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    I cry… sometimes just a good, ohmigod-if-i-cry-any-longer-I’ll-vomit cry is just what the doctor ordered. It’s what do. Generally it follows a chicken sob in the shower as the water rolls over my shoulders and a horribly depressing arthouse movie; and proceeds me going to sleep.
    I think it’s the more productive way of dealing with my hurt 🙂 More often it’s dousing them in red-wine or whoring around 🙂 But yanno, you get that 🙂
    Hope you’re feeling better lovely

  3. CarolS April 16, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    The great thing about 5-year-olds is that they focus on fun. So if you’re treating the 5 year old in you, do those things that make you laugh out loud, have a fit of the giggles, or make you grin from ear to ear. Whether it’s dancing, cooking, watching a great movie, talking to a friend who makes you laugh, you need to make the time every day for something that is pure pleasure.


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