Friday, January 08, 2010

Haven't I Been Here Before?


Poor Eve. When she came into this world as my daughter, she had no idea what she was in for. Of course, she didn't really have a choice, either, but being my daughter has got to be difficult. All of the demons I alternately ignored and wrestled with in my teens and stuffed away in some closet throughout my twenties came slithering out as soon as she began to separate from me.

For the past several months, Eve has been fighting some major anxiety issues and in my efforts to help, I'm afraid I've only made things worse. I am sympathetic to a point, rational and logical about new strategies until a few of them fail, and lose my ability to hide my frustration fairly quickly. My heart is breaking for her but wishing it were different and desperately hoping for some epiphany is not making it so.

Talking with Bubba last night, I finally gave voice to the dark cloud that has been lurking inside me since this all began. Eve's fears and my inability to penetrate them with love are feeding my own greatest fear a hot fudge sundae with whipped cream and nuts. There aren't many things I'm truly afraid of. I've learned to trap even big, hairy spiders and release them outside in the garden. The things that could unexpectedly happen throughout a lifetime - debilitating accidents or illnesses, losing material possessions - those don't give me a moment's pause. The one thing that stops me in my tracks is the thought that I might fail my kids. That I might somehow prove a completely unworthy parent who, not for lack of trying but perhaps for lack of ability or talent or sheer capacity, had no business having children in the first place. My attempts to help are failing her. I am beginning to lose faith in myself and I know she can tell.

So we're asking for help. Again, this is not something I have ever done lightly. Admitting that I don't know where to go from here is difficult, but I need to get my little girl back. Tonight I am meeting with a therapist who can hopefully give Eve the tools to combat her own fears and provide me with the support I need to trust my own instincts as a parent again. That pervasive belief that there is a 'solution' out there that I just haven't found yet is beginning to taunt me instead of giving me hope. I need to remind myself that I'm not solely responsible for bringing up my children and that drawing on the resources and knowledge of others is not an admission of defeat, but a caring, compassionate way to give my daughters the tools they need to grow up happy and peaceful.

Been here before. Guess I'm learning this lesson again. Wonder how many more times I'll circle this tree before I get it...

4 comments:

fullsoulahead.com said...

Forgive me if I'm way off base, but I think when we are put in impossible positions as children to feel responsible for siblings, it is that much more heartbreaking for us to see our kids suffer. We can't let it happen again. Not to them.

We have to remember this is now. Our kids are okay. We don't have to hold up the whole world.

You will figure it out, but you don't have to do it alone. Good for you for seeking help.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

I agree with what Michelle said.

Are you trying cognitive behavior therapy? We are just about to start this with Woohoo. I hear great things about it in relation to anxiety!

Deb Shucka said...

I have no better wisdom to offer than Carrie or Michelle. I do believe deeply in your ability to find the answers and your ability to parent. So proud of you for asking for help. I know how hard that can be. Love.

deb said...

I don't know about you, but I keep circling the tree, again and again and again. My parents had a hard time letting me be an adult, it wasn't until I was in my thirties with three children that they finally got it, kind of. I'm doing a little better. But it's difficult because we can only do what we were taught.

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