Defeated, I scrunched further under the covers, willing the day to come to a close so I could mentally and emotionally check out. We were only a few months into the new school year and we had just switched our 5 year old daughter to another school after the first one was clearly not working. It was the smallest environment we could find aside from a one on one aide; she had been there less than a week and they already wanted to have a serious conversation. How I dreaded the exchange as I envisioned it; “She is distracting the other students”, “She never pays attention”, “She just does what she wants”, “She won’t listen”, “I can’t get through to her”.
At home we were encountering all these issues and more; the outright defiance and refusal to comply with anything had a nasty edge; the kids were always fighting, and bedtime was a inevitably a multi-hour affair that consisted of multiple explosions of rage and took both parents to contain. Our home environment was filled with tension as everyone tiptoed around waiting for the next explosion. We were exhausted and had little time left over for our 11 year old son, let alone each other.
Our daughter had never been an easy going child but ever since we had made a big move over the summer and she had suffered a horrific dog attack, things had been escalating out of control. We had been simultaneously feeling guilty for her experiences and also embarrassed and angry that we could hardly leave the house without some major drama. I didn’t know how to change things, but I knew we were all drifting apart, and fast.
My chest felt as if it contained a jagged boulder and I took a deep breath, finding it difficult to get enough oxygen. I had decided that it might be best to homeschool our daughter, but I didn’t know how it would work if we couldn’t get along. I was worried for her. I felt like this would never end and Dr. Google had not been kind in allaying my fears. A sudden thought; I grabbed my laptop and logged in to pose an oddly hopeful question to some fellow parents in a trusted group.
“Our house is like a war zone many days…” I typed, and went on to describe what was happening. “I know some of you might have suggestions we haven’t tried.”
More than a couple people recommended Alma and Dani from Brainworx and I was intrigued. We had tried movement based programs in the past, including OT, with limited success, but if they were so highly recommended I couldn’t ignore it. I would go to the ends of the earth to save my family.
What I didn’t know was just how instrumental they would be in teaching me how to save myself.
The first time we met with Alma and Dani, our daughter was in the middle of a meltdown because someone else had shut the car door before she did. In any other circumstance we would have tried to placate her in some way to stave off the behavior and our own embarrassment, but this time I let it roll; I wanted them to see just what we were “dealing with”.
They saw it. And they also saw so much more. Alma and Dani have the amazing ability to look beneath the surface and really see the root of a behavior, as well as the way each person was subconsciously mirroring the others. They could see patterns in our family that weren’t obvious to me, and they were able to pinpoint our subconscious beliefs that were creating the present reality for us as parents, and for our children. We saw how our oldest had been affected but had learned to hide it. We hadn’t always paid as much attention to his struggles since he was overshadowed by his sister’s behavior; feeling as if our house was on fire, we had ignored the parts of it that sat in quiet disrepair.
Dani was able to assess our neurological development using certain movements, and really enlightened us on how underdeveloped centers of the brain, as well as retained reflexes affect everyday life. And more importantly, how we could develop our lower brains and integrate our reflexes! When we understood this, we saw how we had been able to compensate but were still struggling in some areas and saw how our children’s behaviors and reactions would naturally be affected.
Working on the exercises together and rewiring faulty subconscious beliefs has helped our family grow so much closer. We have seen such a huge difference in both kids, overcoming fears and being able to stay in their “cortex” much more frequently. Our daughter goes to bed much more easily and is more cheerful. She is a much better listener and easier to converse with and redirect. Our son has grown in confidence and helps around the house more willingly. He is now sleeping in his room every night after he had been scared to do so for months.
Our children are happily noisy, but our house is no longer constantly filled with yelling and fighting day in and day out. At the time of this writing, the children have been playing together happily for over an hour. That would have been unheard of prior to this program.
Eric has had increased responsibilities and added workload with his company, and has been able to take it all on with less stress due to the exercises and rewiring. Even with more work, he has been able to take more quality time with us, because he is better able to manage everything with less overwhelm. We have both started to see our part in the messages we send our children and shift our mindsets toward them and each other in fundamental ways.
These results alone would have priceless, but the biggest benefit I’ve seen has been the shift in myself. At the time we started with Alma and Dani, I didn’t fully realize how many beliefs I had that were holding me back from experiencing life as I was meant to. I think I kind of suspected, but I didn’t really KNOW. Having the tools to assess what my subconscious mind is actually believing and being able to self-correct what isn’t true has been nothing short of life changing for me.
I have struggled with anxiety and depression, as well as widespread pain and exhaustion for so many years it felt like my normal. I couldn’t picture the future at all and I was sorely lacking in hope most days as I just tried to muddle through and put on a happy face. I lacked vision, inspiration, and a true picture of myself. I felt like a shell of a person without a stable place for my identity to rest.
Now I can see the bigger picture, and I am so grateful for my children and their guidance, leading all of us to Alma and Dani, and ultimately, to a place of healing. We are all excited about the future, and now instead of hopeless I feel lucky. I am so thankful that my kids are such fantastic mirrors that they won’t let me get away with living a lie. I would stop at nothing for their benefit, and it seems the sentiment has always been mutual, even when it seemed like anything but.
I envision it kind of like tearing down an old house to do a ground up rebuild. It gets super messy in the initial stages, and you look around and start to wonder if it was really worth it. Can’t you just continue to live in a house that someone else built? It’s got some cracks in the foundation and might need a new roof, but its already pre-made for you and everything.
But then the new house slowly starts to come together. Maybe you really wanted to live in your own house. The one you built yourself, just for you; the one unlike anyone else’s house, unlike anyone else’s life. Maybe true healing comes when you tear down someone else’s vision of your “house” so you can rebuild it from the ground up the way it was meant to be.
Thank you to our extraordinary kids for showing us that we were living in houses that were too small to contain us; for helping to tear down uninhabitable places that weren’t meant for us (sometimes with sledgehammers). And thank you to Alma and Dani and Brainworx for teaching us how to rebuild them into the masterpieces they were meant to be.