Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Monday, October 13, 2014

To Myself: A Reminder

A billowy thing, it comes bustling back into our lives ushering in waves of fresh but familiar heart dropping emotions. It often it catches me by surprise. I relax. I ease up and swell lazy with complacency. The daily routine takes over. I observe progress causing me to breathe in the satisfying air of hard earned accomplishment. I want to settle in for a new reality, to believe we have moved past all of that. 

She is such a darling girl, a gentle soul, a speaker of softness.

Things feel normal for a while. Not a We Are The Family I Want Us To Be normal, but an I Can Accept What Is normal.

I forget the pain behind her eyes, her deep seated mournful sorrow, the mistrust she holds dear at all costs, her self protective urge to push, push, push me away, driving me far from her.

Then the behaviors flare up. I am mystified. How can we still be here five years later? It works. She shoves and drives and maneuvers herself into her most comfortable position: undesirable. It's so much more soothing than the alternative: closeness.

All I see is the deception, the hiding, the attempts at manipulation. I want it to stop. Let's just go back to easy. I rack my brain for solutions, offer consequences, parent her like the others. It goes nowhere. We go round and round and round again. More questions met with more lies leads to more anger leads to more hopelessness leads to more distance.

More distance.

More distance.

More distance.

In distance from me - distance from all adults - she is safe and comfortable and defensive and warm.

There is no vulnerability in distance.

There is no abandonment in distance.

I have to remember the distance is a simply a self preservation strategy. 

My job is to love always. To be safe. To not take it so personally. It's not about me, it's not about me, it's not about me.

I can't make it happen for her, I can't will her to choose to open up and love and let go of control.

But I can make a safe, reliable place to come, be her truest self, to fall, to know and to be known. I can love without failing, without condition, no matter what. 

I can make a bridge for her to span the distance, should she decide to.

I chose this life to give the girl the best shot I possibly can.

She has to make her own decisions about how much of me she wants to have.

The least I can do is remember how difficult it is for her take what's given.

Photo credit: Karin Winter Photography


Owlhaven said...

sigh...I am so there. This is a wonderful post.

Anonymous said...

Do you notice behaviors tend to flare at certain times of the year? We heard the term traumaversaries and it has held true in our family. One child would start acting out every year around the anniversary of his relinquishment. We have two right now who are struggling right around the anniversary of the birthparent goodbye visit. I think that there is some primal connection to hard times of the year that just sets heads to spinning. We have found that time seems to fix this and it lessens every year. That being said, it raises my parenting frustrations to a 9 1/2 on a scale of 10. So if you can, take moments to nurture both her and yourself. It is a hard time.

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