Despite really wanting to keep up with blogging, I’ve not been writing as much as I’d like. I could say I’m busy, I could say it’s too hard on me emotionally, but really it’s because I’ve not had a lot to say and I’m a bit lazy. Something came up yesterday, though, that I’ve been ruminating on.
I’m pretty sure that at some point along the way I spoke of how Daughter has this incredible habit that I hope she keeps forever. It’s in thinking that whenever something is amazing, whenever it is a good day because of a trip or an event or an experience, she says it’s the best day ever. She has this way of living so in the moment that whenever something is good, it is the ultimate good. Truly, it is fantastic.
She’s been struggling quite a bit lately and, despite knowing that writing about all of that here would be good for me, I will not be the one to share that part of her story. I will simply go so far as to state that her struggling has been real. Husband and I have shared a thousand thousand conversations around what’s happening with her. We’ve shed a collective thousand million tears. We’ve had a thousand billion unspoken thoughts. Our thoughts have ranged from how can we help? to where did we go wrong? to what will we ever do if we lose her? It has all been a very private and very painful experience.
Yesterday, Husband turned to me and he commented about a little video of her that we’ve seen come up in our internet memories and have shared back and forth a few times. It’s her in a princess dress dancing in our tiny Colorado living room. She’s singing a song from the Disney movie Mulan, and she has this energy that you can feel through a small screen. She has joy and wonder and confidence and is carefree. Husband said to me, “Where is that kid? That happy, amazing kid? Do you remember when she used to feel that way?”
I thought about it for a while, and I was able to remind and reassure him that she’s still there. I meant it. Really. Because she is still there. But I realized something. What we didn’t think about when we were seeing her always have the best day ever was that, if you think all good days are the best ever, what’s going to happen when the days are bad?
That’s what she’s able to articulate now that she wasn’t able to really say as a little. When she messes up, like we all do, when she has a normal bad day, fails at something, has a fight with a friend, she’s having the worst day ever. She feels overwhelmed and like a complete failure. She feels like the worst person who has ever lived and she can’t hear reason, just like it didn’t matter when she told me she was having the best day ever in a Target and I reminded her she had just been to Disneyland. It didn’t matter.
What I’m having to teach Daughter now that she’s older is something I wish she never had to know. Depression lies. Anxiety lies. It tells you things are so much worse or even, sometimes, so much better. It tricks you. It speaks to you in the silence and in the dark nighttime hours and it tells you all the things you’re most afraid to hear, things which are completely untrue. Then it repeats them over and over until you believe them.
I hate that Daughter is learning this. I hate that I know so much about it that I can help her learn. I hate that she has to see professionals to get extra help. But I’m glad, too. I’m glad that she can tell us. I’m glad that we were trusted with scary realities. I’m glad that I’m here for her. And I’ll never, ever leave.
So, I still have my kid, the one who’s good days are always the best. And on the bad days which are the worst, I will hold her in my heart and make sure she knows she’s never going to be alone.