I have that idea a pattern has been established—that I send C a text in the mornings—and I should not break it, so although I don’t feel regulated or that I am in a place to guess very well what she needs to hear or even to sort out what I would want to say, I send one.

Then I look to see if she has read it, and she doesn’t. That is the disadvantage of the delivery notifications. I know when she hasn’t, and sometimes this is comforting. (If I send a text during the school day, she doesn’t read it. Good. She is not using her phone at school.)

I keep checking all morning, obsessively, even though I know this doesn’t do any good and just wastes my time. She never reads it. There are quite a few reasons this might have happened. She might actually have stayed up late chatting to someone and overslept in the morning, and then been rushing. She might have checked her phone when she woke up, before I sent the message, and then didn’t check it later.

She might know I will send her a text and feel afraid to look at her phone, because last night she reached and asked me for something, and even though she did it in a Detached Mode kind of way, my response was very worried and protective and warm, and that is going to hurt. That is going to hurt because she does not feel anyone else worries about her. She does not feel she is important enough for anyone else to worry about. If she is very hurt, she is going to feel angry, and she is going to feel angry at me, because it will seem to her that I am the cause of her pain in the moment, and she will want to hurt me by rejecting me. Or, she really did stay up late talking to a boy or wanted to talk to a boy or I thought she wanted to talk to a boy, and she feels ashamed now. Or she did and she feels afraid I will be angry at her and reject her.

It is hard to be with that. It is hard to remember this is developmental work and I can’t take this away from her. I feel so worried. It is hard to just let her hurt.


9 thoughts on “Pain

  1. Cat's Meow April 8, 2016 / 10:27 am

    That is one of the hardest things to learn as a parent.

    • Ashana M April 8, 2016 / 11:20 am

      When do you give encouragement and when do you do something further?

      • Cat's Meow April 8, 2016 / 12:10 pm

        Good question. And I wish that I had a solid answer for you. I take into account all of the information that my daughter gives me and then use my gut. But I have the benefit of being with her from day 1 and living with her, so I get tons of info, as long as I keep on inviting her to share with me. We end every day with 5 or more minutes of “cuddle time”, in the dark, in her bed. Some times she just needs to be held and loved. Sometimes she needs to talk about what is troubling her. Sometimes she just needs to make a connection and chat about trivial things. Starting to do this is one of the best moves that I made as a parent.

        In your case, it’s hard to do much further because she’s so afraid of connection. I suspect that gently working on building that might be the best thing that you can do. Is it possible to invite her to a regular Sunday dinner or something?

      • Ashana M April 8, 2016 / 12:31 pm

        That’s really helpful. I think a regular Sunday dinner would be too much for her. I don’t know. I have not seen her in 3 weeks now, and I don’t know what kind of contact will feel okay to her when I do see her again. I think she needs the evening cuddles. That is what has been happening in the evenings , but I am feeling too worried about her reaching and what it does to her to reach. I know it makes her feel vulnerable, and then I am too worried at how vulnerable she is feeling.

      • Cat's Meow April 8, 2016 / 6:52 pm

        Maybe dinner every other week or once a month to start? I think that something that she can count on happening might be a good thing, whatever the interval is that is best for the two of you.

      • Ashana M April 8, 2016 / 8:28 pm

        I think the things she starts to count on get really scary for her. It always seems to me like something regular will help too, and then she inevitably runs away from it. As soon as she starts to feel it’s something she can expect, it creates a whole chain of fear that maybe it won’t be there this time and she feels very vulnerable. I don’t know what to do except play it by ear at the moment. I think even a daily text was too scary for her.

      • Cat's Meow April 8, 2016 / 9:51 pm

        Poor kid. 😦

  2. Rachel April 8, 2016 / 9:43 pm

    It is really hard to accept you can’t take away someone’s pain, someone you care about. And they have their own ups and downs to contend with. Especially when you don’t have that regular physical contact, it is hard.

    • Ashana M April 9, 2016 / 5:26 am

      I don’t even know if I can give her the sense she is not alone with it. And that’s really hard for me.

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