Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Another Layer

I had a wonderful time at the convention. Lots of laughter, lots of fellowship, just what I needed.

I returned home tired, 6 hours sleep in 2 days was just not enough.

I also came home to a daughter that is falling apart. My sweet Abigail. My baby.

I've had 2 phone calls about her not doing certain projects. Her teacher is concerned because she appears withdrawn, just not herself.

I have to make her go to school, we are usually late because it's all I can do to get her out of the house.

She is extremely clingy, she hates for me to leave to go to meetings.

I don't really know what is going on. I know she's had some problems with a couple of girls in class, girls she thought were her friends. Being the sensitive girl she is, it's been very hard for her. Short of removing her from the class and putting her with a new teacher (which I don't want to do because the teacher she has is the best one in the 5th grade), I just don't know what to do.

I've started reading to her every night before bed. We are making our way through a book of classic stories and ever since we've been doing that, she is sleeping in her room no problem. And we both enjoy the alone time.

I'm carrying some guilt with all this. She is my 3rd child and sometimes I think she got the short end of the stick. I had postpartum depression after she was born. My mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer when she was a baby. The demands of having 3 children and a sick mother didn't leave me alot of extra time. I was depressed and though I was there physically, emotionally I was distant.

And then Mom died and I started drinking again and became severely depressed. I withdrew from everyone.

She was just a little girl.

Here we are now, I'm trying to work on my sobriety and handle all the demands of life. I try to find balance whatever that is. And I think she has gotten lost somewhere along the way. I've been so consumed with myself for most of her life, between being depressed and then in active addiction.

I never took the time to see that I matter to this little girl. For so long I had convinced myself that my children were better off without me, that I really wasn't that important. I guess I did that to justify my actions.

Maybe this is just one of those layers of the onion being peeled away. I can see the consequences to my decisions.

Thankfully I'm seeing it now and I can help her. I'm not really sure what to do other than just be here for her, spend time with her. Now that my eyes are open I can see how she's been crying out to me for months and I either was unable to see it or didn't want to see it.

You see, sometimes it's all I can do just to take care of myself. Sometimes I'm exhausted and I have nothing left over. But that's not fair to any of my children or JR.

Just like with my sobriety I'm going to take this one day at a time and ask God to guide me.

We have a snow day today so we're hanging out at home. I'm getting ready to make lunch, then we're going to bake cookies. I'm going to take advantage of the day God has given me.


Cat said...

As mom's our children depend on us to show them compassion, support, love and comfort and I know how easy it is to fall into a routine and not forget about those important things, but lose track of it for a short while...

Been there done that. We have so many things we could be down on ourselves for, being human should not be one of them. We are not perfect but instead perfectly imperfect.

Hang in there.!

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a good plan. As a woman who was once a girl like Abigail, I can assure you that it will be the small things that you do that will make the most difference. She will notice the subtle differences as you make your attempts.

clean and crazy said...

That is an amazing insight you have become aware of. It sounds a little humbling as well. You are in a great space today. I recently had troubles with my oldest, as in my posts, therapy with family and learning to be more attentive to her is helping a lot. Glad you went to the convention and had a good time, sleep, we never said you were going to sleep through it!!love

Gabriella Moonlight said...

Oh dear mean so much to this girl and your other two...I lost my mother to this disease and trust me on this, she needs you and she wants you in her life for as long as you will be there...
Being sensitive is a difficult place to be, I am that way and was that way with my own mother, I slept with her when I could and was a clingy child to her, even in her drinking, depressed days, weeks, months. One thing she did do, which to this day I am grateful for is once or twice a term depending on my grades (had to b B+ or better) she would let me stay home with her and we would watch old movies on tv, eat popcorn and hang out...I loved these moments and still many, many years later cherish them...

You are a brilliant mom...never forget that and your star will shine to her and she will see it!

steveroni said...

Hey Tyra!

WHO said Abigail's teacher was the "best teacher in the Fifth Grade"? Was it Abigail? Another teacher? the principal? Mothers? Abigail's teacher? (I'm being facetious, of course!)

But ya might think about it...-grin.

I'm praying that Abigail realizes how much her mommy loves her. I guess mommy will have to continue to stretch herself in that direction
to show your deep love, NOT YOUR GUILT--if any is there. And, Tyra I know you can do THAT! God is there to help.

Enjoy this snow day
Steve E.

vicariousrising said...

My heart goes out to both you and your daughter. It seems like you are doing the right things in trying to listen to her. Is there a counselor for her to talk to also? Or maybe someone the two of you could see together? Not in a "you'd better straighten out" way, but rather a "let's work together to help you feel better."

In the meantime, don't beat yourself up for the past. You're a loving mom. In the end, that will bear out with your recovery. {{{hugs}}}

Prayer Girl said...

You have gotten a lot of good comments here. Just keep working your program, pray, have faith, trust God, and continue on one day at a time. In my experience, this is a recipe for everything turning out better than you anticipate in the future.

Prayers your way.

child is ill said...

I love what you've said. don't let the guilt eat at you. my very wise sponsor told me that guilt is a Worthless emotion and so is jealousy. I have attempted to let go of those.
Continue to do the next right thing and the blessings will not be able to be stopped or counted. She loves you!( your daughter) That is a wonderful thing!

Pam said...

oh sweet girl.
we do "the best of our ability" on the DAY WE ARE IN.
That's all we have. That's what we give.
Stay in the day.