What I’ve been looking at lately is how much of our childhood tantrums we still act out as adults, or ‘grown ups’ because I have also been playing at looking at us adults as just that, ‘big children’ that can still act out the same things as children just with different scenarios and reasons. Many times I’ve played with listening only the tonality or gestures of someone and stripping that away from the image I have of them as ‘adults’ and instead focusing on the essence of what their words and actions are implying in a moment. What usually comes through is what resembles a tantrum where the most basic definition is that of reacting emotionally to a situation where we don’t get what we want and so we blame others or simply ‘exert anger’ for not getting or being able to do what we wanted to do. Though there’s the dictionary definition for all sorts of clarity:
noun an uncontrolled outburst of anger and frustration, typically in a young child.
This also became clearer when listening to the awesome series at Eqafe.com called ‘Parenting, Perfecting the Human Race’ and getting to understand the core of tantrums and how parents before wanting to see their children as ‘the problem’ they have to look at themselves in terms of how they deal (hide or don’t deal at all) with their own emotions, with their responsibility on themselves, their actions or inactions, because children are only the reflection of what they see at home/with the parents.
Now I know, it’s easier to ‘look outside’ and identify all of this in others but the actual joy of this challenge is to look at it within myself. First of all, I reminded myself the other day when watching myself as a young girl how much of a spoiled girl I was, really, and how I would dare to treat my parents whenever I felt that they were wrong in what they did ‘to me’. Like when I decided to walk on my own in an amusement park instead of being driven on in one of those little carts for kids because I always wanted to be at the very front of everyone and going ‘fast fast’ as well as wanting to be ‘an adult’ myself so do what other adults did, walk – but, I didn’t notice that they stopped to eat something, nor did they, and I kept walking on my own until yes, I found myself lost.
Long story short, I was eventually found, but when I saw my parents I kicked, screamed and yelled the hell out of me towards them, because I was ‘blaming them’ for ‘leaving me alone’ when in fact, I did not want to recognize in that one moment that I had been the one that wanted to ‘play the adult’ and instead of being driven, I wanted to take the cart with my own hands and walk by myself. But at that moment, oh no! I could not see that! – apparently, but of course I did – What played out then was that I wanted them to feel bad, really bad for ‘forgetting about me!’ And they even went and bought me cookies and some juice and whatever else they could to ‘calm me down’ but I was just enraged, possessed about it. I was 3 years old. Anger in a tantrum became a tendency wherein what I really wanted to do in those moments was to blame others – parents usually – for my own anger, my own self-harm that I knew I was doing to myself with such anger that, I knew was harmful to my body because I could get myself to spike up every nerve in my body in anger possessions as a child. Every time I write about it, the memory comes up of this on my arms, terrible stuff – anyways, those were the blueprints of the tantrum-full-of-rage-and-blame me as a child.
Here I can notice that it wasn’t even the point to ‘get what I wanted’ anymore, but rather ‘making others feel bad for what they’ve done’ and that’s nothing else but a sense of revenge and blame that may not come through at those levels of fury in me any longer – thanks to myself for that – but! I do still notice this ‘whiney’ voice in myself that uses this very childish tonality to manipulate and get what I want or blame others for what went wrong.
Now one thing that I’m recognizing here is my ability to be ok and open about this kind of situations, getting past any sense of ‘embarrassment’ which can only exist if I hold myself on a ‘higher ground’ or a ‘pedestal’ of sorts considering myself flawless, which is of course not a reality for me. So here I’ll share how I, myself, created the whole situation in which I noticed this pattern nicely within myself lately and so in others as well.
I went along with my partner to assist my sisters and mother to set things up for my sister’s coming baby celebration. I had expected it would be a couple of hours but it ended up being like 4 hours of being more in contact with them within a situation where lots had to be done. As I was working on my stuff and my partner was assisting as well, we were listening to the chats my mother and sisters were having and I noticed how whiney my sisters sounded, like constantly dramatizing stuff, complaining, making a big deal out of simple stuff – and I even considered how this will all sound to someone that doesn’t understand the meaning of words, like my partner, but can only hear the tonality. And that’s right, we don’t have to ‘know the meaning of words’ but can identify anywhere in the world the same tonality and know what it means: whining, complaining, tantrumy essentially.
Now in that moment I didn’t only point out what exists in others, I recognized that I do the exact same thing but what I did notice in particular is how we, as ‘the daughters’ in the family, don’t behave that way with other people. The setting was very specific: mother and three daughters doing a particular common set of tasks. I noticed how my sisters were behaving that way probably because they are talking with my mother and that’s probably how their relationship usually is, it just happens to be that I usually meet them only in social reunion contexts, but here I was co-working with them on a similar set of tasks to do in a limited amount of time, which yes, usually equates in our minds to ‘stress!’ and so kick-and-scream out if things don’t get done as fast and as perfect as possible – type of scenario.
What I noticed thus was all of those personal patterns that I’ve known them and myself for throughout our lives as children towards ‘mother’ that ‘solves it all’ or rather, that we’ve wanted to see her that way, because she has also allowed herself to be the ‘punching bag’ as she explained later on to me when I opened up this observation two days afterward, while also acknowledging and sharing with her what I’m about to share here.
As I mentioned, what was initially going to be a 2 hour thing, became 4 hours and I have the kind of stomach that if I don’t get meals ‘at my time’ I start getting gastritis – again, it’s not like gastritis ‘happened to me’, I have created it within myself, accepted and allowed the factors and conditions through both genetics and my own mind participation to create it, to the point where if I’m not eating at the scheduled time, I have to brace for gastric acids gnawing my stomach. It’s also interesting because I’ve almost made it such a ‘common’ thing for me that I’m not even questioning it further – but that is another point as well for me to later on realize about, but the point here is that I created gastritis in me, I caused it for various reasons. So, I started getting hungry and said to my partner that “hey we should get pizza on the way back, I’m sooooooo hungry.” Already from there some whiney voice coming through as if that indicated that he or someone else could fly to a store and buy me something, which wasn’t possible really to do in that moment. We were riding along with my mother and I let her know if we could stop by to get a pizza after we leave the place because I was really hungry.
So after we were done with all the set-up, we left the place and my mother started following my sister in her car to get out of there, but of course I didn’t let my sister know that we were going to stop to get pizza, nor did I remind my mother about it so we essentially went out of the way completely of getting the pizza. I started whining in the car, with that very high pitched voice wanting to blame my mother for not going to get the pizza and so indirectly wanting to blame her for my pain as well, which was of course my own responsibility. Because if I know that I cannot go many hours without food at a specific time, then I must make sure I carry something in my bag I can chew on and prevent gastritis, but I didn’t. So that was my first point of self-responsibility missed to myself and my body.
Second, I didn’t inform my sister, she had no idea we wanted to stop by the plaza for the pizza, third point I didn’t remind my mother either about the plan – so the point was lack of communication from my side, as if they were to know through osmosis or something, lol.
So as we were going on our way back I started whining towards my mother about the ‘should have’s and ‘you could have’s and in that moment that I caught myself I did stop the whining, as I realized my whole responsibility in it all, but what was done was done. Needless to say that we did stop at some place to buy something to eat, which took as long as it would have taken us to get home and eat something – so again, me with my tantrum led my mother to stop somewhere else for a longer time so that I could get something to eat right away which took longer and of course unnecessary money to spend to quench my hunger.
Upon arriving at home, I was talking with my partner about what I noticed about myself in the car, about this ‘why-why-why-why-whiney’ voice of mine that I can absolutely trace back to me as a 3-4 year old child, he said that yes even if he could not understand the meaning of words, the tonality said it all. I was ashamed of myself, but not in the guilt/self-bashing manner, simply a recognition of MAN! That’s real time proof that ‘whatever bothers you, is inside of you too’ type of situation because I had been thinking within myself about having to listen to my sisters whining/complaining for several hours and getting annoyed at it and bam! What do I end up doing at the end of the day? The exact same and yes, towards my mother as well.
So what I did was bring up this subject with my mother when we were both alone and share what I had noticed within others but also within myself within the starting point of understanding the interesting set-up that formed in that moment, like the ‘family context’ that was recreated in that moment and how I noticed that we have kept the same attitudes in each one of us since we were children, and that it seems that they were triggered because of being the four of us in the same room – the children and the mother – and unfortunately yes, the three of us have a temperament that is not at all nice really, we have this huge predisposition to be extremely exigent with ourselves and others, as well as yes going into whining and anxiety and desperation if things don’t go our way. I’ve been working a lot on it but there are still times when it comes flares up like wildfire, out of nothing really.
So in situations where I am ‘having someone I can use as my human piñata’ in this case the factor of ‘mother’ being present in the equation, the same pattern comes up where in my whining I am wanting to make HER responsible for MY experience of hunger and so for not satisfying MY desire to go eat something. But was it really her problem? Of course not, what I did was nothing else and nothing more than a tantrum.
So of course I have to open up this point because even if I was able to see my responsibility, my creation in the moment, it is about seeing what are the triggers that I accept and allow as ‘perfect conditions’ for me to play out these why-me/whiney tantrums that I am genuinely ashamed of being doing at my 30 years of age, and so prevent them from even the moment that I see my voice tonality coming out from the highest pitch I can find in my vocal range, lolol.
Here I could see then how I have accepted and allowed myself to still see the mother figure as someone that can ‘stand my tantrums’ just like in my childhood days and upon saying this to her, I said I noticed this and I am aware I have to keep working on this because I saw how it all played out as if we had all just gone back 20 years back in time and we were all living together again and we were all wanting mother to sort things out for us – a bit shameful to think that ‘years make us mature’ really, not so in our minds if we don’t actively work with deprogramming specially childhood patterns in us.
This same thing I can absolutely as well see in the ‘external reality’ as the world system where what are the protests or displays of emotion towards so-called ‘authorities’ but massive tantrums where we believe we have a ‘right’ to demand or point something wrong out, instead of taking the actual responsibility to our creation, stop wanting to find culprits and change, fix, re-arrange, align and correct the things by ourselves first.
Now, my tantrum in this situation I explained was very much like me channeling my 4 year old self, I just did the ‘whining.’ But I’ve also seen how us as ‘adults’ can do the same tantrums in various ways as well where it might not be a stomping on the ground and screaming out , but can be ‘channeled’ through getting into drugs, doing self-harm, alcohol, extreme partying, binge eating, self-deprecating habits as forms of tantrums where we want to blame something or someone else for our experience and so believing that we can ‘trump’ that experience through any form of addiction or self-harming habit or indulgence. Or it can even be just an emotion like constant anger or frustration, or evading ourselves through constantly occupying ourselves with work or only ‘living for others’ and then blaming that for ‘us not taking care of ourselves’ when in fact: who we have missed to take responsibility for throughout the whole time in that equation is Ourselves.
And, another very ‘present’ example. I’ve had a massive flu these last three days. Usually I become whiney about it, desperate because of not being able to focus or not being able to go out and do as usual, usually I want to blame the weather or whatever, but this time I know this might be a process of accumulation of experiences that I didn’t deal with properly that are now having to come out of my body through something like a flu. And yes there is there a tendency to want to be ashamed of my own flu because it’s something I’ve created and caused within myself that is not a ‘nice experience’ but actually, it’s the consequential outflow of a series of things I didn’t look at for myself to resolve them within that now have to come out this way – so self-responsibility, owning my flu as my creation is like making peace with myself, while also learning to see what did I do to cause this for myself and the magic question: how did I create this? Which is a world of a separation from asking the usual ‘but WHY-ME!?’
So that’s a last point to share here, how many times we fear seeing the truth of ourselves because ‘oh no what will others think about me?’ or ‘oh no! I am not supposed to show my true colors’ but, if we don’t get honest with ourselves and see the actuality of what still exists in me as, for example, tantrums, then how else am I going to change it if I have a ‘hard time’ first acknowledging, being willing to accept, have the courage to see what exists as me so that I can then take the responsibility for it to change it.
I will continue next post with self-forgiveness on the whole tantrum point, I truly don’t want to limit myself in blaming the flu for not continuing today, but I also have to learn to not ‘push push push’ if I am actually feeling a bit separate from my body at the moment, lol. So I rather take it easy today.
Thanks for reading
Suggested audios for self-support, will change your life:
- Stop Tantrums by Changing Yourself – Perfecting the Human Race – Part 61
- Adult Vs Child Tantrum – Perfecting the Human Race – Parenting – Part 62
- Tracing the Source of Tantrums – Perfecting the Human Race – Parenting – Part 72
- Timeline of a Tantrum: Parents – Perfecting the Human Race – Parenting – Part 73
- Timeline of a Tantrum: Children – Perfecting the Human Race – Parenting – Part 74
- Self Forgiveness on the Experience of Giving Up
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