Emotional growth

On Sunday night, the back of DoubleShot’s head met with my nose. For a minute, I thought my nose was broken because it hurt so badly. I allowed myself to cry about it in front of my daughter to show that it’s ok to cry. She told me she was sorry and we went to bed.

Yesterday, my head felt really weird. My nose was swollen and my sinuses felt really off. I also realized that I DID end up with a bloody nose the night before but it hadn’t bled enough for me to actually realize it. Lovely! My first bloody nose. I probably shouldn’t be tickled about it, but for some reason I find it funny.

By last night, I was exhausted. Parenting takes most of my energy and to physically not feel good on top of it meant that I was just wiped out. I discovered that my daughter was very concerned about my welfare!

“Are you ok?”
“Are you sure?”
“It hurts a little.”

She would caress my face and tell me, “it’s ok, Bruno.” (When she’s trying to connect, she calls me by our cat’s name, since “mama” is still too personal.)

I think we had this dialog three or four times last night. I’ll admit to milking the situation slightly because it’s such a relief to have her trying to take care of me instead of testing to see if I still love her.

Over the past week or so, she’s turned “I hate you” into a game. It’s yet another way she can dialog with me without risking emotional pain.

DS – “Are you having fun?”
Me – “Yes!”
DS – “Why?”
Me – “Because I love you!”
DS – “But I hate you!”
Me – “But I love you!”
DS – “Yucky! Really, really yucky!”
Me – “But I really, really, really love you!”
DS – “But I really, really, really hate you!”

This conversation takes place amongst many giggles. I changed the script slightly to see what would happen.

DS – “Are you having fun?”
Me – “Yes!”
DS – “Why?”
Me – “Because I love you!”
DS – “But I hate you!”
Me – “Are you sure?”
DS – “…”

She understands the question “are you sure?” and cannot tell me that she’s sure that she hates me. We’ve also asked her why she says she hates us and her response is “I don’t know.” I don’t press the situation, just go back to our bantering dialog. I really do think she’s hungry for me to tell her that I love her and asks for this affirmation as best she can.

We’re also working toward hugs! Sunday she stood next to me with her arm around my back and my arm around her shoulder. We patted each other’s back for a minute before she went her merry way. Yesterday was something similar, though no back patting, just her leaning into me. I expect at some point she’ll actually let me put both arms around her without pulling away and yelling “yucky!!”.

I’m amazed at the emotional growth she’s showing, even though we had a really bad night in the middle of all of this. DoubleShot wants to be loved. She craves it. She just doesn’t know how to express it or ask for it without letting her defenses down. I see a loving, caring child desperate for attachment buried deep inside of her and she is very slowly opening her heart.

3 Thoughts on “Emotional growth

  1. This post makes me want to skip.

    Not that it’s totally beautiful or too filled with pain. I guess in this moment I see myself in Doubleshot.

    God: I love you.
    Me: I hate you.
    God: But I really, really love you.
    Me: Yucky.

    And He keeps trying to hug me and I keep pulling away.

    I do this. I can see this. I know this. And I see it more clearly in the conversations you document. And when He asks, “Are you sure?” I think, “No. Not at all!!!”

  2. Michelle on September 23, 2015 at 2:36 pm said:

    My heart breaks for her.
    Im glad she has you and your husband now to love her.
    baby steps…

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