“If coercion has impaired my ability to correct errors, is taking children seriously even possible? I feel so out of my depth sometimes.”
Yes, it is absolutely possible! Problems are soluble! Look at all the astonishing things human beings have done! We can do hard things. I actually think it is a mistake to view ourselves as ‘impaired’, ‘damaged’, and the like – it all sounds so immutable. We are ever-evolving, mutable beings, not irreparably damaged or immutably impaired.
You said you feel out of your depth sometimes! Not all the time then! Focus on and celebrate those times when it is going swimmingly. Live in the good feeling of what is possible, and the joyful times you and your precious children have experienced together. Being in a good state of mind can make a huge difference. Focus on having fun playfully solving whatever problem you have in the present moment, and move forward from where you are now. Dwelling on how infinitely long the swimming pool seems (let alone negatively ruminating about past near-drowning incidents in the deep end!) is likely to diminish your confidence and interfere with your ‘swimming’ in the present and future.
But I get it. Sometimes we are so busy mistakenly seeing ourselves as impaired, hobbled, damaged, broken, out of our depth, that we forget that ‘swimming’ (creative problem-solving) comes naturally to us (imperfect though it always is) and that swimming in the sunlight of reason is a sheer joy.
When we get stuck in pessimistic negativity, viewing ourselves as damaged, or objectifying ourselves and infallibilistically, harshly judging ourselves, everything looks impossible. We can’t even take ourselves seriously, let alone anyone else. We think we don’t know how; maybe it is just too hard for us. When people get stuck in such pessimistic thinking, they feel like giving up.
So instead, focus on what is possible, and how to proceed from here, rather than getting stuck in the past, or fearing future near-drowning incidents, or obsessing about impairments. Notice just how brilliant and amazing you are and how much you have achieved, alleged impairments notwithstanding!
Sarah Fitz-Claridge, Taking Children Seriously FAQ: ‘If coercion has impaired my ability to correct errors, is taking children seriously even possible?’, https://www.takingchildrenseriously.com/if-coercion-has-impaired-my-ability-to-correct-errors-is-taking-children-seriously-even-possible/