I’m sorry I went dark for a week.
I’ve been struggling. Struggling with what I wrote about in my past post. Struggling with the fact that I wrote it at all. That I put it out there. That it can’t be taken back.
After I wrote that post, I just… couldn’t. I didn’t even respond to the comments. I just shut down my wordpress tab in my browser and went about my business.
I was in denial.
My daughter turns five this Sunday. I need to stop telling the stories that aren’t completely mine to tell. The ones that belong to both of us: those stories I need to keep close.
But it’s hard because I feel really alone and I can’t help but want to put it out there so that others don’t feel so alone. I want to think that the anonymity I strive for is infallible but we all know it’s not. I can’t write about my daughter under an assumed name and be confident that it will never come back to her. If my words, here or anywhere else, ever caused her pain I would never forgive myself.
I will be drawing the line moving forward. I’m not quite sure where that line will be, or what will reside on either side. I’m assuming a lot less will be said because of the line. It’s a relief. And a devastation.
Did it seem like I put that post up with out a care in the world? I churned out some thoughtful paragraphs on parental instinct and not trusting my own, and then dropped a bomb at the end, without even the hint of a wind change.
But that bomb was not a wind change. It was a sea change.
I hit my kid. Sure you can argue about what that really means given the circumstances and the history. I’m sure it means something different to each person reading it. I’m sure it would mean something different to you if you ever had to hold such a thing, to own it, to never let it go.
For me, it’s been a very heavy burden to bear. It’s been a sign, a massive, blinking billboard, shouting at me that I’ve failed. Not because I broke down in that moment and did something I regret, something I promised myself I would NEVER do, but because I let myself end up in that moment feeling so powerless and overwhelmed.
I thought I could handle it. I thought the books and the articles would tell me what to do. I thought she would grow out of it. I thought I could manage it in the meantime. I thought it would work. The alternative was… well I didn’t really know there was an alternative.
A friend of a friend has done CPIT before. It’s how I learned about it. I know this woman, tangentially. I have chatted with her in the fits and starts that characterize multi-family play dates at the zoo or a playground. It wasn’t totally random for me reach out to her for her thoughts on CPIT. I even, to my surprise, already had her number in my phone.
I was really glad I called her. It was very helpful to know what to expect, to both temper and bolster my expectations. She assured me it would help. She counseled that it would be slow going. She and her daughter have been at it for over a year.
Maybe it doesn’t seem like such a big deal, to somebody outside, looking in. Does it look like taking your kid to the doctor? A specialist of some kind?
It doesn’t feel that way. It feels… devastating. My child and I are going to therapy. Because she hits me. My child is just five years old. This is not what I thought motherhood was about. No one ever told me about this.
It’s hard not to think that all this is my fault. That I did something wrong. That I failed in some way. Some profound, irreconcilable way. Already the necessity of these steps weighs heavily. How will I shoulder the weight of declarations, or even suggestions, of things like “insecure attachment”? How will I keep telling myself that my choices were the right ones, that my daughter hasn’t suffered for me working full time?
How will I trust myself again?
I have been told I make things into four alarm fires. That I blow things out of proportion, get worked up over nothing. I’m trying to keep this in perspective. It’s not a diagnosis. It’s not a prediction of our future. It’s not a determination of my abilities as a mother. We just need some extra support. Eventually it will get better.
But I can’t help but think that this signals a disintegration of something, something essential, something profound. No one talks about needing this. No one admits it ever gets so bad that they can’t fix it, they can’t wait it out. I don’t know where I belong anymore, in the parenting community. I’m not a part of the “parenting kids with a diagnosis” club but I certainly don’t feel a part of the “everyone else” club.
I feel very much alone.
And I doubt anyone reading this can tell me they understand, because I don’t think they’ve ever been here. I’ve admitted to a lot of taboo thoughts and feelings about parenthood and usually someone can tell me that they get it, they understand, they have been there. But not with this. This sets me apart. This makes me different.
No one wants to be different. Especially not in this way.
I talk to the therapist for the first time today. I hate explaining it because it seems worse when I say it out loud. My only goal it to keep from crying.