Recently, via a questionable Facebook post and the intervention of – well, let’s just call it the universe and leave it at that – it was brought to my attention that I am constantly in search of – *gasp* – VALIDATION. Initially, the realization mostly concerned my need for my parenting practices and choices to be validated. I can easily explain that phenomenon, simply by alluding to the battles I have unwittingly sparked, beginning during my pregnancy when I announced my decision to use cloth diapers, breastfeed *as long as the baby wanted* and allow the child to sleep close to us. Once Leo made his appearance, the battles, and the criticism escalated, until I suffered from such a terrible case of “defensive crunchy Mama-ism” that I became one of *those* horrible, judgmental “natural” sancti-Mommies. And then – reality beat the crud out of me and left me confused, humbled and desperately seeking – validation. Ok, so that all makes sense, right? Well, it does. And it’s TRUE. But as I mulled things over, another, extremely difficult to swallow realization made it’s way into my conscious and has refused to make an exit. In therapy, over the past few months, my lovely counselor has introduced the concept to me of a “frozen need” that is causing me to partake in an endless round of unrealistic expectations, desperate hope, self – sabotage and ultimately, crushing sadness and depression. Until now, WHAT form that “need” took alluded me. Until last night at about 2am. In the ultimate “duoh” moment, it finally all fit together. I spent my childhood attempting to reach high – and when I say high, I mean, REALLY high – expectations, and surrounded by endless demands and very few moments of true acceptance. I’ve never “fit in”. Anywhere. I consistently find myself in one sided, demanding relationships, and I am ALWAYS desperately trying to “prove” my RIGHT to be treated as an equal – to any and everybody. I vividly remember telling someone that I felt like a “second rate human” as a child, and I honestly, ALWAYS feel that I should put others ahead of myself, to an extreme that leaves me broken, exhausted and barely functional. See where this is going? The “Aha moment” of my desperate need for acceptance and validation has brought me to a place of semi-peace, in this moment anyway. I’m not 100% sure where this will lead me, but every small understanding, no matter how tiny, at least lets me know I’m getting somewhere. I am slowly beginning to make sense to myself, and ultimately, to be in control of what I DO with these needs and thoughts I’m carrying around.