Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Dam Finally Broke

Yesterday my daughter had a great day.  Smiles.  Laughter.  Good times with her sister and even me.

Today, she vanished into a black hole.  Made plans with us but then hid in bed.  Wouldn't answer the door, texts, or the phone.  Two hours late, she finally appeared and we planned to go out for bowling and dinner.

Walking a few paces behind me, she suddenly came right up on me, like an aggressive animal with wild eyes, heart racing, and shaking hands.  "Don't freak out Mom," she said, "but I'm not going to school this Fall."  Then she passed me to race away but I reached out and grabbed her arm.

"Don't freak out, honey," I said, "but I am totally okay with your decision."

"Pffft!" she uttered in disbelief and we didn't say another word.

Bowling was fun but then some jerk hit my sister's car and left without even leaving a note. 

Dinner was late but we were hungry.  Afterwards, I walked to the car with my daughter and told her I wanted her to go to school to dabble in topics that could lead her to a path she'd like to explore.  I said I truly am fine with her not being in school now because she's discovered working with children is something she "thinks" she enjoys.  She still isn't letting me in and she says she doesn't feel any better since we talked but I will say, she seems more relaxed, her body is less tense and not shaking anymore... she feels better.  I know it.

So, we have a plan.  She's going to live here, up the street from my sister with her sister, my youngest daughter!  She's going to work for an after school program through my sister's employer and will continue with weekly therapy to curb the depression. The younger one will be in school.  Finally, a plan.  And finally, a moment where I could say, "I'm proud of you and you are an adult now who can make you own decisions and I respect that."  She bristled a bit but went to bed chatting with her sister about furniture and move-in dates.

I may just be able to go back home and have a sense of peace about the road my children are currently on after-all.  I realize this is just the beginning but the dam has broken and we are moving again.  Maybe I'll even sleep tonight! It's been so long...

Amy

PS - Oldest daughter is on a roll. She was quite happy on the phone tonight telling me she has lunch with her mentor on Monday.  For the moment, they are all smiling.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Love Language Blueprints

I cannot even begin to write without first thanking ALL of you who have commented, filled my email box, and reached out in all sorts of ways.  I'm sorry I've been very bad about responding to everyone and about checking out other blogs but I'm treading water; as you all know.

One sweet blog friend asked me about love languages with my girls and for the first time, I really delved into how each is different and what each needs. Then, I looked at myself as well.

For me, my love languages revolve around verbal and physical.  My husband has no idea how easy I am when it comes to flipping my frowns, worries, fears, etc. into pure joy and happiness.  We've talked about it but I'm sure it seems silly to him because it wouldn't have the same affect on him.  Quite frankly, phrases like, "I love you" and "I miss you" and "I wish I was with you right now", completely erase any and all doubts I ever have about his feelings toward me.  He can say these things 100 times a day and no matter what is going on, I believe him every time like it's the first time he's said it.  Magical.  Sadly, if he doesn't say them for awhile (two days is awhile, lol), I start to question if he changed his mind and then I read everything he says and does as him trying to figure out how to leave me. CRAZY... never said I wasn't. Sigh.

Anyway, the other thing that works for me is nicknames - LOVE THEM.  Eric calls me Sweet Pea, and Honey, and Sweetheart, and Amy Lynn, and My Little Phatty, and the list goes on.  Fantastic.  Oh, and when I'm floundering with non-Eric related things in my world, it's the hard line HOH statements that bring me great joy.  "Amy Lynn, get your ass out of bed right NOW or my belt will be waking you up when I get home."  Okay, he's never actually said that, but things like that.  "Do you need a spanking?"  "Amy Lynn, I'm about to redden that ass."  Things like that.

Then, the physical side of my love language.  I relax during massages and having my head rubbed, hair brushed, gentle and seductive kisses all over.  I also love to be spanked, hair pulled, rough sex, bound and beaten (not overly extreme but, you know)... played with.  And I LOVE holding hands, everywhere we go.

My daughter does not like to be touched.  And if I verbally compliment or tell her I love her, she gets very uncomfortable and pushes me away.  In the past two days, I realize she feels love through acts of service and through quality time.  When I make her a sandwich or put gas in her car, she feels very loved but lately, only if she asks me to do it.  If I do it on my own, she gets angry and questions whether I think she is incapable of doing anything on her own.  She also has specific things she does with each person in our family that she would rather not do with anyone else.  She only watches movies with one sibling, while she'll do road trips with the other.  With her Dad, she golfs but with her Aunt, she does yoga.  Of course there are times when we all do these things together but she very much prefers the one-on-one in certain situations.

Anyway, I'm learning.  The best news about being told that a lot of the dire thoughts in her head stem from her interpretation of what I'm saying to her is, I can change how I say things to her.  Yesterday I spent a few hours alone with my youngest daughter.  I realized during that time that her interpretation of the same things I say to her sisters is very healthy and very different than the child who is struggling, yet it's the same words.  Something to ponder.  Also, the youngest daughter's love languages are the same as mine so in just a matter of a few hours she said, "I love you Mom" three times and then at lunch, practically sat on top of me in the booth.  My feelings of being loved spilled over after ten days of feeling rejected and responsible.

So, again I thank you all for everything you share.  I do feel the love from you and am sending hugs your way.  Though I am standing back and not pushing anything as much as I possibly can, this weekend I will focus on filling my daughters love languages by giving her the space for quality time with everyone around us, as well as taking the quality time she is offering to me without pressing the matters that are nagging at me. (Where are you going to live? Are you going back to school?  What about work?)  The thing is, my daughter thinks I'm looking for specific answers to these questions and she's got this idea that she'll never live up to my expectations but this is where I'd like to say, "No honey.  I have these questions because I want you to choose a safe place that you want to live and I'd like to help you get moved in before I go back home or take you with me if you want to live at home.  I want you to register for classes before the semester starts in two weeks if you want to go back or if you don't want to go back, no worries about the pending deadlines.  And, I want you to let me know how you plan to pay for living expenses so if you need help for awhile, I can figure out a way to get you what you need while you are working with the psychologist on becoming independent and joyful." 

I wait..... but it's all on the tip of my tongue.

Amy

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Some Insight

Self reflection - I'm swimming in it, more like drowning in it.

I look in the mirror and don't recognize the person looking back.

I've dedicated my life to giving my children the best childhood I knew how.

My daughter,

not only thinking of but planning to end her life,

my child who I love with every bit of my being.

Today I received some insight from the psychologist
who has the letters and knows what my child put
into what was intended to be her last words....

"I'm can't keep up with the expectations that are on me...."

"STOP telling her to go to college

STOP telling her to get a job

STOP taking care of her

Step back and let her make mistakes and find her own path with your support for whatever it may be that she feels she can and wants to do.

It is you, her mother, she is afraid of disappointing."

She never disappoints me.  Killing herself.  That would disappoint me.  There is no coming back from that.  Anything else, not disappointing.  Life.  Make your way.  Make mistakes. Learn.

Once again, I am to act as though I know none of this but I'm dying inside because more than anything in the world, I want this girl to find whatever it is in life that makes her want to get up in the morning and love the life she is living.

My daughters were/are that for me.  They are my life - my reason for being. Somehow, she never got the message.

She just thinks I want her to do specific things and be like me or her sisters or her Dad.

"Can't I tell her what I meant?"

"No.  Show her by stepping back."

I'll do anything for her.  I'm so sorry I had anything/everything to do with how she is feeling.

I have the grace of being given time to help her by not helping her... trying to focus on that.

Amy