Yesterday morning Thing #2 said something that felt wickedly mean. To be honest, I am really quite sick of it (I don’t mean to be a whiner, I just wish I could treat her the way she treats me sometimes. It hurts! Maybe she would stop if she knew how it feels?), so I just turned myself off and told her I loved her and let her go off to her day.
Here’s the sitch:
Monday afternoon I got a phone call from the school psychologist (SS = school shrink) about Thing #2. She wanted me to know that Thing #2 came to her and was asking questions about mental help, resources, etc…
I was quite happy that Thing #2 had done this. I had mentioned counseling to her a while back and she told me that she didn’t think she needed it. A few weeks ago, she told me that she had been talking to some friends about it and they also agreed that she could probably use some counseling. If she went to SS on her own, that means she’s actually ready for help, right? Or at least amenable to it?
Thing #2 tells me all the time that she has very bad anxiety. I believe her, to a point, but I also believe that it only debilitates her because she lets it. She is forever telling herself (and everyone else) that she is physically unable to speak in public and that she isn’t good enough to do things. I understand that people actually have issues with this, and I am not in denial here, I think she is just a teenage girl. Every once in a while I look for a safe opportunity to tell her that life is energy, and if all she puts out there is negative energy, that’s all she will attract. She deflects. She still finds it easier to blame other people for her unhappiness than to take personal responsibility and change things. Every time she blows me off, it hurts a little more because I am only trying to help her grow and to empower her. But, I can’t make her… I’m her mother, and because of that, I know nothing. It hurts.
I wish I could help her with her self-esteem, but until she is willing to hear and understand the words, “You are so beautiful. You are so smart. I am so proud of you.” and take them into her heart, I can do nothing.
Which is why I am so ecstatic that she has decided to seek help on her own. Anything *I* do for her is just going to be me trying to control her or whatever.
I signed the paperwork yesterday stating that I was okay with my daughter asking for and using these resources. I thought it would be a good opportunity to communicate with my youngest daughter, so I opened up a little and asked her what she talked to SS about. As I drove her to school, we had a good talk and I thought I had an “in” so I mentioned to her how proud I was of her to take this step on her own. I told her that maybe she would start to feel better and be more positive.
“Don’t tell me how I should feel! I hate it when you think you know how I should feel! Stop telling me how to feel!”
I just looked at the hateful monster that I had given birth to 16 years ago and said, “I love you” to her in the nicest tone I could muster.
“What?!?! Why are you so mad at me?”
“I’m not mad at you. You shut me off and now I am off. I’m done. I love you. Have a good day at school.”
“You’re not mad at me?”
“No, Honey. You turned me off. I am off now. That’s it. All I have to say now is, ‘I love you’.”
What I wanted to tell her is how hurt I felt. I wanted to tell her how hateful her words were to me when all I was trying to do was love and lead her… But saying that would only have made things worse… (and again I would be telling her how she feels *sigh*)
After that, while I was driving to work (that was hella-fun), it took me about 30 minutes to clear my head and put the hurt aside. I just kept forcing happy thoughts into my head until the sad thoughts were temporarily quelled. But, as you can see, the sad thoughts keep creeping back in.
I read this article today: Dad, Are You Listening? and it kind of hit home for me (as I fill the dominant male role in our household I changed the words father to mother and dad to mom. It worked nicely).
I will leave you with these words that helped me the tiniest bit (even though, deep down inside, I already know it):
“<Mothers> get hurt when they get pushed away and then they withdraw. The girl gets hurt because she wants that relatedness. What I tell <mothers> is to hang in there. It’s almost like the girl, not in a conscious way, is testing the boundary – ‘Are you still going to love me even when I show you all these different aspects of myself, when I push you away?’ “