Such Damage

She fell right to sleep, my precious little one.  She aged so much today, too soon. I am responsible for it.

It’s quiet now, she is resting, all is done for the day. Now, my tears fall.

Deep, bitter, grief stricken… the silent depths of my soul weep.

I failed today, in so many ways. I failed to keep my home calm and loving, to keep the tension of the adult world at bay and out of my little one’s concerns.  She is 4. She is too young to cope with the stuff her adults are dealing with. It is wrong for us to not keep that protective barrier present and in force for her. It is selfish of us, and so damaging to her. Yet, avoiding these issues is just as damaging, and this child never sleeps. Coordinating her being asleep with me not being asleep, with her Papa being willing to have a conversation and not working, is akin to realigning the galaxy, just because.  However, this is no excuse, and I won’t hide behind it.  I completely failed to protect her; I did not manage to put my own emotions on hold long enough to deal with them with her father when it would not directly impact her.

To those who might read this tonight, I hope you will find courage for your own life in my failure. The confusion and anger that is present in my home at the moment, because of so many things that have mounted and accumulated, and because of two adults that were not grown quite whole, who are now struggling mightily to grow those parts that are missing.

Honesty is dangerous. It carries with it the very real situation of unpredictability, especially in the response to it. Yet, for me, it is necessary.  Perhaps I am naive, but in my head, honesty (complete in the case of an intimate companion, i.e. spouse) will always end in good. Somehow.

Perhaps I will change my mind at some point… But here, is where I am.

I asked my little one today if she had a happy family. Today she said no. I asked why. She said because of me (mama) and Papa. I breathed through my tears. She saw them.. So she pressed her heart up against mine and told me she had enough happy feelings that she would share them and maybe it would help.

He and I battled all morning, and most of yesterday. It feels like it’s an on going, right  under the surface waiting for the slightest provocation, persistent reality.  We do our best to maintain tempers and keep our words out of her hearing reach, but she knows. She feels the pain we feel, she senses the tension, and she knows when we are not friends.

She is perceptive, and for this I am grateful. She seems to have been born something of an old soul. This has it’s benefits, and it’s curse.  It’s my job to give her the environment in which she can build her foundation, so that she can manage this aspect of her being. It’s my job to give and insure her security and confidence at this point, as it comes from the relational foundation her father and I provide, and from our interactions with her.  It’s our job, at this point, to build her up, strong and whole. And while she is unbelievably strong, confident, and intelligent, our actions and inactions are destructive to her (and us).

We have to make a change; we are not preserving and protecting… You’d think, given I am fully aware of the damage potential, I’d cause it to cease immediately.  But you see, this involves more than just my mind and choices, this is beyond just me. I can control only me. And I must choose to remain in control of me, consistently. I have to self regulate. But it’s a very hard thing to do sometimes, especially when emotions are huge. Yet, this is when it is most crucial, because my little one is watching. She’s learning how to cope with, and manage, and work through the really big feelings by watching me do so (or not, as it were).

The weight is so heavy. Tonight I have crumbled beneath it.

_____

I grieve for her struggle with our tension.. the pressure and threat to her foundation and security that our inability to see what we need to see creates for her. That our inability to change what we need to change does to all of us…

All that I want to teach the world, and I cannot even protect my own daughter from the harm of my own behaviors, and those of my spouse. Tonight we are not partners.  And tonight neither of us deserve to be parents.

A while back I wrote a post concerning how the stress of the demands of work, and those of the house renovations were negatively affecting my kiddo.  It’s found here.  The situations we were dealing with when I wrote it were solved. But they are not the same as those present tonight. Then, we were dealing with me working too much on the house and not being available for her enough. I solved this by finding a teen that she enjoys the attention of to come and play with her while I work, and we found a couple people to work on the house with me, so that when they’re here, I can be with her. The desired end result is that I am more available to her, and better for her when I am with her (less distracted).  And since she is my first position, my first job, this is where the largest percentage of my energy belongs.  This is also where the most positive and genuine part of my mind and emotional being belongs… there for her.

Tonight I will read my post to me, if I can get through it. Perhaps after doing so, I will have the courage to end this day as I ended that one.