Ice cream is NOT a right; it's a privilege
June 15, 2011
Let's talk about some internal politics by way of the long route....the internal politics of youngsters, and internal "bad guys" and mirror images of our perpetrators. Please just stick with me here.
Last night we finished Part 2 of a pint of ice cream. I'm pretty sure it's not 2 servings.
I just had (healthy) cereal for dinner, and I'm about to finish off a small tray of Newman-O's cookies.
I remember my first boni-fide girlfriend with multiple personalities and how excited they would get at the mention of ice cream. Her known little would come out even in public. I'm sure working in an ice cream shoppe must be the most interesting place in the universe. I should consider it a potential client pick-up joint, but I want to fit in my clothes.
I have a really hard time because my youngers know my debit card pin numbers just like everyone else in here does. Nearly all impulse buys come straight from the mentally chubby fingers of people we would love to get away with spoiling. And it doesn't matter much what we're buying, as long as we're spending our hard earned money on anything other than bills. Not. Good.
So we leave the house with shopping lists and let the youngers do the shopping under the condition that they stick to the list. That helps. It doesn't matter if it's toilet paper, vegetables, or cat food -- they love spending money. [There goes the last Newman-O!]
We're working on this one, as unpopular as it is: ice cream is not a right; it's a privilege.
We don't normally even put sugary snacks into the house. When they're available, we eat them. Sometimes we steal sweets from our boyfriend because he has a really really bad case of the sweettooth and will eat a several-pound bag of Twizzlers in a couple sittings. We worry about him, and we don't dare throw away his goodies, so sometimes we eat some, hoping to spread out the damage amongst more than one body-person.
Thankfully days of ice cream and Newman-O's are the exception, not the rule. But we know that for some multiples, that's not the case. It's possible to allow your inner kids to run or ruin your life, when what they need is love, acceptance, boundaries, nurturing and often a good bit of "childproofing."
Like when we have the youngsters go shopping with a list and make sure they stick to it -- that's setting a boundary and a rule, and making sure they follow it. Any potential purchases that come up but are not on the list need to be checked with the olders in charge of the shopping trip. This provides a chance to be front with supervision in an environment where "acting little" is inappropriate. This is a great opportunity to create a desire to "grow up" too. You could try delegating a few household chores to your youngers and see if they enjoy the opportunity to help out.
Just like body-children, youngers need opportunities to "act big" and show responsibility. They love earning respect, kudos and trust with their olders. When we shower them with toys, gifts, goodies to eat, and do not also give them rules and boundaries they lose a sense of what their limits are. It's too much, too overwhelming for them, and they can act out -- just like a spoiled brat. Believe it or not a body-child who is throwing a fit to get something they want really needs to be given boundaries. Give in once, and this fit becomes their new major tactic for getting whatever they want. They flounder in insecurity, seeking objects or treats in the place of love and nurturing, and lose their sense of self in their seeming selfishness.
Sometimes youngers are the strongest of those in your head. As Hart of Crisses likes to say: "I may be four, but I've been four for a VERY long time." They're deeply entrenched in the system, really good at what they do, and sometimes can take on many roles within the system as protectors, veils (hiding sub-systems), guardians, antagonists, and more. It is a good idea to show them as much respect as anyone, don't underestimate them due to their age. A common theme seems to be a little who has donned the costume that resembles in some way someone who has wronged you in the past. This works by the "As outside, so inside (and vice versa)" rule. This little has seen the face of power, and as a protective mechanism it has attempted to camouflage as something similar. This works by an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality. (See also Panic Reactions New.)
When you find these internal perpetrators or persecutors, be sure to exercise forgiveness. Actually, it does you a great deal of good to even forgive your external perpetrators if you can safely do so. This is not an attempt at reconciliation, nor encouragement to put yourself in harm's way by trying to see them face-to-face or contact them in any way. This is an attempt to express whatever grain of forgiveness you can for those who have wronged you, because in doing so you free yourself and your system from the need to mirror judgement and punishment inside.
If you cannot forgive those who have done you wrong outside the system, how can you forgive those who may also have done wrong inside it?
It doesn't have to happen overnight, and it doesn't even need to be 100% forgiveness. Knowing that you're trying may be enough to encourage better interactions with your youngsters and inner mirrors of not-so-great-people of all shapes and sizes.
So yeah, we somehow got here from ice cream, but I think it was an important journey. When my youngsters are doing their chores, fulfilling their responsibilities, taking care of us, we occasionally hook them up with a pint of ice cream (or some Newman-O's).