Holding her hands back as she attempts to punch me, I forget about her feet and one connects with my side. Hard. All of her limbs are in motion with the intent on doing damage. She is still small and I can handle her blows.
It’s what is coming out of her mouth that feels like I’m being repeatedly stabbed with a rusty knife blade soaked in poison.
“I hate you!”
“Your a bad mommy!”
“I wish I’d never been born because your so bad!”
“Your a stupid, ugly mommy!”
Each hurtful phrase is followed by a scream that comes from deep inside. It shakes her whole body and seems painful. I hold back my tears and try to remember…she is only 6. She is in pain.
But it hurts.
It feels like I’ve failed at the most important job in the world, being her mother. I’ve failed to give her the tools to handle things.
My poor sweet, sensitive girl.
From the time she started talking it was clear she has strong feelings and emotions. She thinks about things little ones should not and comes up with phrases that often leave me speechless. She is always concerned with how people feel and is often brought to tears when hearing a story about someone sad.
For those reasons, and many others, I have to be careful of what she is exposed to. We limit media and she attends a Waldorf school. But I can’t shield her from every hurt and, truthfully, I don’t want to.
This “I hate you” stuff is new. This is the first full week of school and 3 out of the 4 evenings have ended with an outburst (each getting progressively longer and meaner). After the rage comes the real tears and we get to the hurt and pain. Then, most horribly, it ends with guilt.
“I’m a bad kid.”
“Your a good mommy and I’m just awful to you.”
“I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
Those words twist the knife and I want to run out of the room sobbing.
The truth behind all this pain is that my girl wants a best friend. She is obsessed with the idea of having someone she can count on. Someone she can trust. I’ve explained that it takes time to build friendships and that she just needs to play with everyone right now.
“Time is all you need.”
“Just keep being yourself and people will line up to be your friend.”
“You are awesome. You are amazing. Give people time to see that.”
I even brought out the old Girl Scout song:
“Make new friends
But keep the old
One is silver
And the others gold”
She wants it so bad that every interaction becomes “is she my best friend or not?” Then she decides the answer is no and is as heartbroken as she will be when her first boyfriend dumps her.
I’m not stupid and can see the correlation between her pain and my own. I know that even at age 6 she can feel her mothers depression. I am not whole right now. I’m broken and I can’t help but feel that she senses it.
How can I expect her to be strong, resilient and confident when I am not?
I hate this.
I want to give her skills that help her find meaning and love.
I want her to feel whole and confident.
I want her to stop freaking out and saying mean things, because this mom can’t take much more. Words freaking hurt.
How can I do all that? I have no clue.
I know some of the answers can be found by seeking Gods help. It keeps coming back to that. We read her book about guardian angels last night and she found some comfort in that. I’m talking to her more about prayer and we are going to start praying together.
My daughter is amazing. I am certain she is destined to do something great with her life.
I only wish I could fast forward through this hard stuff. But, of course, this is the stuff parenting is made of. The hard stuff.
I just hope I survive.