Yesterday I didn’t get my way.
And I had a tantrum. I’m not going to dignify it by saying it was a panic attack or anything like that, it was a tantrum, pure and simple. I was being a big baby.
While it was happening, it felt so awful. I kept telling myself that I needed to stop it, but I didn’t. And the reason I didn’t stop it was because I knew that calming down wasn’t going to get me my way. And that thought was so painful. In that moment I am trapped, believing that I will always feel that way, and it is too much to bear.
I suppose it is caused by a combination of frustration at not being able to have my needs met, a lack of control over the situation and my emotions, and the thoughts that arise from the situation. I can’t control a situation in order to have my needs met by someone else, that is a violation of the other persons boundaries. So, the only thing I can do is accept the situation, but then my needs go unmet. What am I to do?
I’m trying to read about how to deal with tantrums in children, because that is probably the way I need to approach this issue. However, obviously, it all involves what the parent can do for the child to help them out of it, and I don’t have that option available. I’m usually alone when it happens, so it’s all up to me to bring myself out. And it’s so hard to do when I’m in the middle of a tantrum, and can’t even see straight.
I found this information about why children have tantrums:
Tantrums tend to occur when young children do not have the language to express how they feel or the ability to handle their feelings without adult assistance…Tantrums tend to become less frequent as the child learns more about themselves and their emotions. Young children need adults to assist them to come out of the tantrum, regain their dignity and remain calm.
I’ve realised that when I’m triggered into a tantrum, it is because the person I am dealing with has withdrawn emotionally, or I am alone. And in both those situations I have no one to express myself to, and so I melt down. This is similar to a little kid having a tantrum because they lack the communication skills to express themselves effectively.
As an adult who does not yet have the skills required to guide themselves out of a tantrum, what should I do? When it happens, I honestly feel like my world is falling apart.
I realise it would be much better if I could adjust my thoughts so that I don’t have a tantrum in the first place, which I failed at yesterday. I will keep trying, but I need a way to get out of it when it does happen, as it probably still will from time to time until I get better control of my thoughts and emotions. I’m unable to find any information online that deals with how to cope when it is you having the tantrum.
Does anybody have advice?