I love that G is becoming more able to express her fears and concerns with me. We have had a rough week what with the molluscum treatment and mama exhaustion. G also has had a break through of sorts. Wednesday night was just terrible from treatment to past bedtime. G is not the most cooperative kid when she doesn't want to be. She is generally compliant but very strong willed. She is not defiant until she doesn't get her way or gets in trouble for something then watch out.
Wed. I was putting the medicine on her as she wiggled and giggled and squealed (yes in my ear) and generally wasn't cooperating much. I am very task oriented, when I am on task I need to get it done and am very serious doing it. Giggly wiggly girl is not helping task oriented mama to git 'r dun, know what I mean?
So I told her to get still. I had my mean mama face on that meant I meant business. She on the other hand did the whole closed mouth laugh at mama laugh (do you know that one too?). I said, "You are being disrespectful. Stand still and stop." She did the whole thing over so I said, "You just wait, one day you will understand." I, in my mind, finished that thought with "when you have a child being disrespectful to you, you will understand what I am telling you now."
She on the other hand threw out the challenge question with anger/attitude/fear thrown in for good measure and said, "When will you stop loving me?!" She really said it more as a statement not a question though.
So I stared straight into her eyes and said, "NEVER. I will never stop loving you and if this is what this all disrespect not minding business is about then you can quit because I will always love you!"
Well, later while reading her books she was turning the pages for me. She would do them v-e-r-y-s-l-o-w-l-y which drives me batty, testing cutting her eyes to see my reaction. Remember me task oriented, lets get this done? So I said, "G turn the pages right or I will put the book up." Two pages fast and one slow so I put the book up mid-read. G flipped out in all out rage. I jumped into the shower. She called me a meanie. I told her I still loved her no matter what she called me so she called me dummy and stupid. Oh yes she did. Then she would say "sawwie" and then turn right back around and call me the three names again.
I told her that she would have to sleep in her own bed for the disrespect. Can I just tell you how much easier no consequences would be in the short term? But long term would be awful for her. So she cried harder, this time the rage turned to bargaining and fear about sleeping in her own bed or rather away from me. For me her sleeping in her own bed meant another set of sheets to wash in the morning due to the molluscum.
Two and half hours after the initial "when will you stop loving me" comment, she finally was asleep. I had explained to her that she was MINE whether she wanted to be or not. I told her that love was forever not just at a whim to end when she makes bad choices or when I am frustrated. (Notice no quotes? I don't remember the exact words I used so I am not quoting directly from the evening. Just the jist folks.)
I want this to be a simple discussion where she hears what I say and accepts it. But I know that is not what is happening. She hears it, and then doesn't believe it because, hey, one family already abandoned her. I had lain down with her to rub her back and comfort in her fears/tears and just got mad at the whole injustice adoption is to the kids. There is just so much loss first.
Yesterday was PCIT day. On the way from school I asked G if she wanted to talk about the not loving her statement and she said that she was afraid that I would stop loving her, get rid of her and give her back to the orphanage. So at least she was able to verbalize it to me. I had to tell the therapist and G let me tell her grammie later. We had a much better bed time last night (well until 1 am when I had to put anti-itch medicine on her over her very loud and painful protests but that is another post).
I don't want G to act well behaved just so I will love her. I also don't want her to act out to see if I will stop loving her. But the very fact that she verbalized what she did made me both feel hurt and happy at the same time. She has asked me what my fears are before and I have told her what things I fear. I hoped to get her to talking about hers too because lets face it, we all have fears. Maybe because I can tell her mine she is able to now tell me hers.
I have told her that it is all okay if she tells me she is frustrated with me or a decision I make but disrespect, ie name calling, is not ever okay. I also told her that it was not her fault for being adopted or being abandoned. I explained that for reasons beyond our control we may never know her family's reason for not parenting her. I told her that some of the reasons were due to government rules and unscrupulous or greedy people (reference to the LA times article on stolen Chinese babies) but that we may never know for sure. I told her what my guess was and explained that a guess is just that, not truth, just a thought about the situation (which I will not mention for her privacy) with her first family.
She was able to tell her therapist that her first family abandoned her (I wasn't in the room then though). I like to focus on the whole found side but something has to be lost, whether accidentally or on purpose, in the first place in order to be found. I told her that her family had other options but they made sure she would be found so in that sense they had loved her to keep her alive to be found alive. I also affirmed for her that it is a very confusing situation to be in. I wish it was me and not her dealing with it all. But this is her journey that I will walk beside, support and guide as best I can.