I talked last night in a round about way of what is going on at home with A. Reading through some old posts, I also saw how anxious and all she had been lately. I got to thinking this morning about some very important truths.
I DO have it all together. Want to know why? Because I have my priorities straight. I know what is important. I have everything I need and I am in a good place. A’s anxiety was amped up, as was her impulsiveness. It happens. Did I get frustrated sometimes? Sure I did. One of the things that frustrates me most is not really being able to help her when she is like that. And I mean really help her. As in come up with some magical solution that is going to make it all go away. Well, that is never going to happen. Tools. I try to teach her tools. Sometimes things are just going to fall apart, and this time it was due to underlying stress. And come on, what mother and pre-teen girl don’t butt heads from time to time? It’s going to happen. I guess that is the point. We don’t even argue about “normal” pre-teen silliness. She isn’t defiant. She doesn’t rebel against the rules. She speaks her mind, sometimes maybe not at the appropriate time, but she knows she can tell me how she feels about something. When I’m frustrated, it’s because our ADD is running willy-nilly all over the house. And even though that’s been worse over the past few months, normally we do a very good job of keeping things running smoothly – or as smoothly as two ADD’rs can, in a system that works for us.
The important thing, is I have a very good relationship with my daughter. She knows I love her unconditionally. She trusts me. I am the person she comes to when she is sad, angry, frustrated, confused, or afraid. I am the one she tells things to. Last month, when she broke down with her teacher was the first time she had really talked to someone other than me and her counselor about how she really felt. When I talked to the teacher and principal, and they were so afraid that she was suicidal, they didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, it was just the first time anyone else had ever been involved in the situation.
There are people that would swear they know A up and down. Know what she thinks, how she feels and whether or not she is happy or sad. Those people are sadly mistaken. A only lets people see exactly what she wants them to. If she knows you won’t understand, or will get angry with her, then she contrives how she feels. She puts on a show. She is also wickedly sarcastic and some people are not well versed in sarcasm, and so if they are taking something she said at the face value of the words she uttered, then they have missed the point entirely because what she said is NOT in any way what she meant. Even with people that she cares deeply for, if she doesn’t want them to know she’s sad, then they don’t. She picks and chooses her moments and she chooses the people she trusts with her true self. I wish she didn’t have to feel so guarded all the time, but that is the way it is. That is the shell she has put around herself as a protective barrier. Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves, not A. Yes, she is a sensitive soul, she is an empath and she feels things deeply and sees things other people miss. She can read people and sometimes it feels like she can see their very souls – but unless she wants you to, you aren’t going to see hers.
I’m lucky. I get to share the life of this extraordinary young person. I get to see her inner thoughts, her feelings, how her mind works. I get to have the deep, meaningful conversations with her about life, death and everything in between. We get to share stories, laughs, tears and a bond that I never even could have imagined was possible. Even when things are “rough” it is never about our relationship, or that things are difficult between us. There are just times when too much is going on, or she’s been anxious and regular things start slipping through the cracks. Then when it’s time to pick up the pieces (or the beads all over the floor) it can seem like an impossible task and overwhelm mode begins. We get through it, it’s not the end of the world, it’s just...life. In those times, though, I’m never worried about us.
That is a beautiful thing. She’s growing up and it will be hard. I can’t be with her all the time, and I can’t make her choices for her. I can only hope that she will do the right thing when she knows what the right thing is, that she doesn’t let her friends sway her, and that she remains true to herself. Any parent hopes those things for their child. She will make mistakes, and it’s hard for me to let her go enough to allow her to make those mistakes, but it’s something I have to do. She knows that no matter what the future brings, I will not change. I am her constant. I will be right here, and I will not judge her.
I sometimes wish that other people could see the girl I know. I know that some people might have that chance but others never will. The sad part is that some of those people don’t even know it. They are so blind to anything but their own truths, that they fail to see the child who is hurting. A child who is desperate. I don’t think they ever will, because they will continue to see what they want to see. I am grateful for the small number that A has let in to a degree, and they “get her.” She has a couple good friends that know not only her quirks, but a little about her hardships and they are there for her. They love her for the girl she is, not the one they expect her to be. That is a beautiful thing.
So yes, I do have it all together. I can look myself in the eye and know that I’m on the right track. I can know that I’ve done all that is in my power to be the best parent I can be. I can be confident in the relationship that my daughter and I share, and grateful for the honor of getting to share her life. I am truly blessed and I am thankful every day for the gift that is A.