Ooph. It’s been a bumpy morning for me.
I’m SO GLAD to report that my daughter slept just fine last night (wipes sweat of relief off forehead, haha). And she woke up happy! I highly suspect that all of the challenges involving her lately are a result of our trip to Washington, the stress it put on her, and the way her little mind is processing it all now. I believe she’s having nightmares and she looks to me as the one person who can keep her safe. As she goes through her process, things seem to be gradually improving.
I mentioned in my last entry that my daughter panics without me. What I meant by that was she panics during the initial separation, but once she is adequately distracted she does just fine. As a matter of fact, I think she does better when I’m not around. She’s much more balanced and stable.
I did some light research about why my daughter gets so emotional around me, and I found something that made a lot of sense. It said that when toddler’s cry, its usually about either power or connection. She may be trying to communicate something to me and when I don’t get it right away, she gets “louder.” It’s not necessarily about being “sad” or something like that. She’s just trying to get me to pay attention to what she’s saying. I think she does this with me more than with anybody else because our connection is already significantly stronger than the one she shares with other people. I also suspect she’s going through a developmental growth spurt, and she’s desiring a lot more information input, so her need to communicate with me is damn near constant. I have a very hard time keeping up with it. And the less I keep up with it, the “louder” she gets. I try to remind myself in the moment that it’s good for her to learn to cope with some frustration and disappointment.
Yesterday the Mariah Carey song, Obsessed, lyrics started playing in my head: “Why you so obsessed with me? ooooOOOOh.” It brought me some satisfaction to sing that to my daughter when, after about four hours of one-on-one time together with very little independent play on her part (and a very painful head butt to my lip that messed up my mood), she was losing her damn mind trying to “stay connected” with me.
Anyway, she woke up happy and when I grabbed her from her crib and brought her back into my bedroom to “say hi to daddy” (which we do most mornings) she lay down in our bed and wanted to stay and snuggle for a while. Usually she will spend two or three minutes smiling and greeting her daddy and then she wants to go play and get ready for the day, but today she didn’t want to get out of our bed for a good 15 minutes. I decided to just let it happen, because it was sweet. So we got a bit of a late start.
After I dropped her off at my in-law’s house I came home and looked at my to-do list. One of the things I needed to do was to schedule a TB test, and long story short that swallowed up a whole hour of my morning! Just to schedule it. Ridiculous. And now I’m here, it’s nearly 11:30am, and it feels like I’ve accomplished next to nothing.
Oh! I almost forgot. I wanted to mention my therapy session last night. I told my therapist about contacting Ian, and she had a lot of questions for me, which was nice, because it helped me gain some insight about what the hell I’m doing with that. It became increasingly clear what a drug he is to me. I think about the high I get from contact with him. I also think about the “withdrawal” I felt after our relationship ended and all of the actual drugs I took to try to survive it. She referred to contact with him as “poison” and asked me what I think compels me to talk to him. I said, “control.” It feels really good to feel like I can play with fire, but I’m in control of the fire. Just some food for thought.
Anyway. I gotta run. Until next time <3
I wanted to add one more thing to this entry (my mind is going in a thousand different directions today).
I also talked with my therapist about how my friends seem to feel more attached to me than I feel to them. I gave the example of when I was an adolescent and would visit my friends in California each summer. After I left, my friends, and particularly Terra, would tell me how she would feel depressed for a week afterwards. However, I felt very little. I’d just say goodbye and move on with my life. This sort of dynamic seems to be a pattern with me. I also gave the example of how, moreso in my twenties, in conversation with people I would only talk about myself. It wouldn’t even occur to me to ask questions to other people or to convey any version of thoughtfulness toward them.
(Side note: The reason I get so upset when I schedule things with friends and they don’t show up or follow through is because it takes so much mental prep for me to show up in the first place. If they don’t show up, I’ve done the mental prep - which is often spread out over the course of several days, by the way - for nothing.)
My therapist said, “You like to keep people at arm’s length.”
I was like, “Yeah, but I don’t know why. There was nothing in my childhood that would lead to this kind of… detachment.”
She pointed out my relationship with my father, and how I never knew when he might suddenly emotionally withdrawal or, worse, punish me.
I said yeah, but it feels a little odd to think my relationship with my father would have such a direct impact on my relationships with female friends. Then I was like, oh. But my relationship with my mother was quite dysfunctional as well. In a lot of ways, I have had to protect myself from both of my own parents. And then it clicked. I have learned to protect myself from everyone.
Except Ian. I let my guard completely down with him. I allowed myself to get completely enmeshed. My therapist asked me if Ian is a sexual fantasy for me, and I was like not at all. It’s an emotional one.
So there you have it.
Last updated September 02, 2020