I think I’m not really in a good place again. I might get back to it soon.
I like the idea that “this is developmental work.” It’s expected I won’t always be in a good place. Progress is still going on.
The day before, I had fired off that impulsive text to C, “What do you like?” She never directly responded to it. I noted that and left it alone. It would be hard for respond to it, and I left it.
Yesterday, I thought of following up. “But what do you like?” I wrote in the evening. I have my phone set now to show delivery of messages, which has its advantages and disadvantages. It was a few hours before it was delivered, and I kept watching my phone. (The disadvantage.) Then I saw she had seen it. No response. I waited about 10 minutes, struggling with my own feelings the whole time.
She can’t really respond, actually. I know she can’t. So I wrote, “You can tell me.” No response.
I had a picture in my head as this was happening of how she was feeling. Very touched, very emotional, very shy, unable to say anything. That is how it felt to me anyway. It might be how she really felt, or just my imagining, but it gave me a feeling of closeness to her. I wrote once more, “You do not need to feel shy. I am your mom.” And then I left it. And I felt very, very close to her. She didn’t respond, but I felt very, very close to her, imagining how she might be feeling about what I was saying.
It was bedtime then, and I went off to sleep.
In the morning, I knew she had probably felt very close to me, and all these feelings would be swirling around in her head, as she looked at my texts and didn’t answer them. She might feel a lot of longing, a lot of sadness—”I am your mom” would be very hard to hear, because I am not like her own mom. Her own mom she struggles to ask anything of, because her mom will scold her for everything she wants or desires. While meaning to be kind and understanding, I had touched a very deep wound and I knew it. I didn’t know what kind of state she might have flipped into, and I wanted to connect again in some way.
So I sent another text, “I am still here and I love you. When you feel close to me, you might have a lot of feelings. You might feel very sad or scared or angry, and it is okay. All of your feelings are okay with me. I always love you.”
Which might have made things harder for her. I know she really needs to hear that. She really needs the acceptance as she struggles with her grief and her own baby trauma. She needs to hear that it is okay she is going through this. I am holding her hand through it. She will survive it and she will also not lose her support because of it.
But it is so painful. It is painful for me even to read my own text. What if someone had told me that when I was a teenager? All of your feelings are okay with me. What if someone had given me that kind of acceptance? I cannot imagine it. It would have helped so much to feel that sense of safety inside my own mind, with my own feelings, and to be told regardless of what was going on in my own heart in mind, I had still had a connection to count on. It would have helped so much.
So I don’t have that feeling of knowing emotionally where she is at the moment. Too much pain, and she might be in Detached Mode, which I think is the hardest mode to be in, because then she is cut off from all warmth and support—absolutely distrusting of everyone and everything. She might be very angry at the pain she is and be in Teen Mode, not wanting to be reminded of her vulnerability.
Patience. I just need to keep being here. Work on my own stuff, and keep being here.