Saturday, January 22, 2005

I HURT WHEN SOMEONE I LOVE IS HURTING

What children take from us, they give…We become people who feel more deeply, question more deeply, hurt more deeply, and love more deeply.
Sonia Taitz, O Magazine, May 2003

            The survey form I lifted off Ann's J had a therapeutic effect on me. There is something cathartic to owning my feelings and my thoughts. The power of the word "I" unleashed a flood of memories, reflections on the present, and possibilities for the future.

When I filled the blank for I HURT, this is what I wrote:

I hurt: when my children, husband, friends or family are hurting.

            I am hurting right now because my daughter is. She came home on Friday and I immediately knew that her heart was heavy. I do not know what it is about being a mother that makes me feel I have a radar detecting my children's feelings. I somehow know whether my children had good or bad days as soon as they hit the door or can divine their feelings by the inflection of their voices. This sort of sixth sense is a heavy burden to carry during the bad days and a joy to have on good days.

My daughter who is averse to picking up the phone and blubbering her feelings, sent a sort of signal by calling and asking me if we were still "on” for our breakfast date. I said," It's almost lunchtime.  Do what you want or needed to do. Call me when your social calendar is not full." I detected in her voice the absence of the usual I-am-in-love-with-life lilt but I was a little irate about her canceling dinner on me the other night and not calling like she promised about our breakfast and trip to the black lacquer exhibit. I felt guilty when I hung up the phone because I knew there was something wrong and she was reaching out to me. I went on line and e-mailed her. A little later, I saw she was online so I started talking to her. I told her that I was planning on seeing the Phantom of the Opera and I would like her to come with me if she was available. She said she would love to. We met at the theatre and my premonition about her world falling apart was validated. The vibration between us was so heavy and painful I wanted to take her in my arms and cry.  I gave her a quick kiss and a hug instead because I did not want to break down. Whatever it was, she was trying so hard to be strong and I was not going to deny her that by turning into an emotional mush. I told her, "I know you are hurting because I can feel it. You do not need to tell me if you do not want to." She looked at me with a sad face and said, "Thank you. Thanks for inviting me to this movie because I needed it."  

She came home with me after the movies and I gave her a dinner of warmed roast and potatoes from the night before. I really wanted to take her to dinner with me but I knew both of us would want to fill the silence while waiting for our orders and I got a feeling that she was not ready to talk so I opted to come home instead because I wanted to respect her silence. I knew it was her way of telling me that she is big girl now and she wants to deal with her own problems on her own terms.

It was so hard for me to sit by idly and let my daughter nurse the pain she was feeling on her own. I felt so sad because I can't do anything about it. She gave me a kiss on my forehead and said she loves me before she retreated to her room. I knew she knew how I felt too.  

17 comments:

mom23nca said...

I'm sorry your daughter (and you) are hurting.  I hope she opens up or feels better soon, so you are able to as well.

jcole16757 said...

You are so right, a mother knows her child's pain.  Whatever it is, I hope she works through it soon and bounces back quickly.

my78novata said...

aww I hope she will feel she cna open up to you. Its so hard for us mommas. ITs so easy to see they are hurtning. So hard not to ask. I knew one day Rachael was being strange she was helpingme get the camper out of the garage. I wiated till that was done and that is when she told me how she scraped her car on the fence putting it in the yard. Soon as she handed me the moulding she said I m not driving. I Siad OH rachael how oh my. I was so shocked. Hubby popped it right out being a body man. BUT it was so hard it ruined her whole day right before the camping trip but we started to joke about it and make wise cracks and she was fine by the time we got there. It was so neat how we made it not such a big deal. Todd told her well you did not hit another car that is good. could be worse. BUT Oh well it was a  hard day. But that moment when they reveal thier pain is such a defining moment that we have to handle it with such care. Men rae not as good at that. I think men dont always do that. I had forwarned him so he was prepared. But I Think moms in general are so much better at on the spot release. I know you willl be there for her at just the right moment. Lori

karensull12 said...

Sorry about your daughter.  It's the worst feeling in the world to watch our children hurt.  I hope that she is ok...

derasta said...

I know what you mean, when you see your children hurting you hurt even worse for them...hope everything works out for her...

http://journals.aol.com/derasta/ADayInTheLife/

alphawoman1 said...

Your very smart in not forcing the issue.  She will tell  you when she is ready.  It does not make it any easier.  I have been in pain all week because my daughter had a very bad week-end (last) at work and it KILLS me she is so upset.

ryanagi said...

The mark of a good Mom...knowing when to butt in and when to butt out. I'm sure she will talk to you when she needs to. :-)

sonensmilinmon said...

You did your best possible.  She KNOWS who is there for her when needed or when she is ready.  Sometimes the best thing a parent can do is just sit silently by and wait until the child is ready to share.  I've been through this myself and I'd have done anything (like you) to take away the pain or to make it yours not hers.  I'll keep your daughter in my prayers.

Monica
http://journals.aol.com/sonensmilinmon/SmilinMonsAdventures/

justaname4me2 said...

I wanted to reach through this computer and give you both a hug. I'm sure in time, she'll tell you what was on her mind. Even if she doesn't, I think it was a beautiful thing she just wanted to be near you, feel your comfort in her time of need. The fact that you let her take the lead, you gave her space to let it out if she wanted, or hold it in without pressure, says so much about you and what a wonderful Mother you are.
Rebecca

samnsmile5 said...

Loved your entry today.  I am feeling for both of you and hope that soon she will be able to open up to you, but even if she doesn't, I sense a wonderful relationship the two of you have.  That is something!  What a great mom you are!!
Michele   http://journals.aol.com/samnsmile5/LettingItAllSinkIn

yakima127 said...

I have much respect for you in this case...I am the "tell me, tell me" and "I KNOW something is wrong" kind of Mom.  I am sure I bug the crap out of my kids...I have learned something here, today...thank you!  JAE

lindainspokane said...

what a wonderful entry...id write moe but having a hard time typing today since my hands are hurting...but i loved this and can understand...much love..

linda
http://journals.aol.com/lindainspokane/LifewithLinny
http://journals.aol.com/lindainspokane/LinnysLuciousLickings

oceanmrc said...

You sound like a great mom: dinner and space -- what a gift.

saintpwt said...

I do hope her pain is lifted soon.

~Eliza~

heyleesilentd said...

You sound like such an awesome mom! I hope my mom can do that for me when I have something weighing me down and don't feel like talking about it.
-Haley

candles102 said...

Wow that's so sweet of you!  I'm only 16, and just like your daughter...I don't really like to talk about my problems either.  Anyway, you sound like a really good mom!  Neat journal!  :o)
~Sarah Flansburg
http://journals.aol.com/candles102/SarahFlansburgsPoliticalJournal

musenla said...

What a wonderfully supportive and loving mother you are.  Sometimes silence is just as helpful as talking things through.  I'm sure your daughter appreciates you for being there for her on her own terms.  Being with her in silence probably did more wonders than you can imagine.