Friday, November 20, 2009
Six weeks ago, I gave birth and somehow, this Monday, she'll be turning 9 years old. What the hell??? How did this happen??? But right now, on top of everything else that has happened with me, Offspring has taken an assessment of her own life, recently divorced parents, dead dog, split up holidays, has come to the conclusion "Well this blows and hey! It's all my mom's fault!" and has developed into the singularly most obnoxious child on the face of the planet. We are now deeply mired in Bitchfest 09 and the only bright spot on the horizon is that in 6 weeks, we can leave it all behind...for Bitchfest 10!!!
One of the first questions out her mouth when I told her about the divorce was "Who said they wanted a divorce? Who's idea was it?"
Now I'm no professional counselor but I knew I couldn't say what I wanted to. "I did sweetie and honestly, I wouldn't have had to if your father had bothered to treat me like a human being 1 time in the past...oh let's say 12 years!!!" No, I did tell her the truth and said "I did, sweetie." So she blames me, just as AntiChrist blames me, for breaking up what she perceived as a happy home. My therapist and her therapist (we get a group rate) says that until she's an adult and can get some perspective, a part of her will always blame me and may for the rest of her life. Friends say it doesn't matter if she's 8 or 18 or 48 when it happens, that she will take the news of a divorce badly.
Then of course, we had the dog killed. "No sweetie, the dog was sick and died..." "Well, Mom, the dog didn't lay down and die did he? No, you took him somewhere and they put him to sleep...that's killing..."
Oh dear God just please let her end up a lawyer! She spent an hour in the grocery store with my brother last night, trying to con him into buying a turkey because "A turkey at Thanksgiving will get my parents back together..."
Except I'm a vegetarian. (Tofurkee anyone?)
The biggest issue is this. She's not just acting out and lashing out and being generally awful, all of which I am handling the best I can, confident in the fact that it's a phase and things will get better. It's that she looked EXACTLY like AntiChrist. From the second she was born, we had to have genetic testing to determine maternity. And that's fine. She's beautiful. But she acts like him and she talks like him, so she's not just doing things to test the boundaries and see what she can get away with. She's doing EXACTLY the things he used to do. And I'm fighting my knee jerk reactions the best I can.
"I CAN NOT READ YOUR MIND!" is an oldie but a goodie and while I do say that to her, I am not hysterically sobbing and screaming it across a house as I had to with him, so I think that's progress.
Any deviation from how they perceive life, any bump in the road, no matter how minor, results in a melt down. A crazy, completely irrational meltdown that I don't think either of them can control
Last night, she's going on about school, and I was listening, while also focusing on a wet road I was driving on. I would occasionally punctuate what she was saying with "Uh huh" but I was listening. Finally, in a very AntiChrist tone of voice, I hear "Well, you're annoyed so I'll just shut up!"
And I couldn't help it. It just came out. "Don't tell me what I am!" Those knee jerks can be hard to control! After that I explained that sometimes people get upset when other people (in this case her!) tell other people how they feel. So I wasn't annoyed, but I was annoyed that she called me annoyed! At this point, even I didn't know what I was talking about!
In the therapist's waiting room, she is playing with a toy while this other mom waits for her own kid. Offspring announces a show she LOVES and I point out that she's not really allowed to watch that and she says, in a sweet, lilting, sing songy voice, "Dad lets me watch it oh and by the way, he's sad you divorced him!' and then leaning into the stranger Mom, she adds "That's why I'm here!"
The drama, the constant arguing of every point from her eye color to how to spell Pickle. I stuck a JAR OF PICKLES in her face and she STILL didn't believe me!!!! I have GOT to find a way to relax. I seriously feel like I am headed for a nervous breakdown at this point. Or a weekend bender where I fall off my 12 step program and eat every doughnut in the tri-state area. Hmmm...decisions, decisions...
I am going to spend the rest of the weekend endeavoring to embrace my beautiful girl. She has been asking for a bra since she was 3. Ever heard 8 going on 30? Mine's 8 going on a 22 year old cocktail waitress from Reno!!! She is SO smart and seems very mature at times and that can make it easy to forget that she's my baby. And she's hurting. And she needs me. It makes it easy to forget how easy it would be to ignore and blow off her problems and her life the way my parents blew off mine. This is the most important job I'll ever have, raising this beautiful, miraculous, highly challenging and spirited child and I may screw it up royally, but no one, including her, will ever say I didn't give it everything I have.