When You Don’t Feel Important…

Your last interaction with people before you go to bed can influence how you wake up and what type of mood or attitude you carry with you for a good part of the day. This morning my youngest daughter once again expressed her feelings about living in a family, and had an admission that probably she needed to live in a community group home environment a little longer before moving into our house. Since that didn’t occur, she’s having a tougher time adjusting to the routine and expectations of a family- along with the fact that we have an older daughter who also needs our care, love and support.

When you don’t feel important, I believe people stop at nothing to bring the focus on them. Especially our children who’ve felt their self-esteem and self-importance has played second fiddle a majority of their lives. What can break me down is the fact that I experience a form of guilty by association paradox – that my daughters do not wish to discuss painful birth trauma with me because a lot of the issues stem from relationship struggles with males.

When they assert themselves, they overpower with their words, dismissing what I have to offer and believe that they are alone with what they are going through and experiencing. Hey girls- news flash- how do you think dear old dad feels walking into a situation where neither one of you really had a consistent male parental figure in your lives? They don’t like being prejudged for the fact that may have learning disabilities or are adopted- so why do they categorize every adult male into that similar prejudged spectrum?

I’ve learned through many of the self-help and psychology books I’ve been reading that the one negative thought heard takes at least four positive thoughts to cancel itself out. So I’d like to thank all of the adult role models in both of my daughters lives who didn’t carry through with their duties to be a caring, compassionate, comfortable place for them to experience and share life with. You’ve made my work in these last few years immeasurably harder- because I have to cancel out all the doubt, fear and insecurities you’ve shaped around them due to your actions or lack of responsibility.

When you don’t feel important, be sure to do things that make yourself feel happy. Blast your favorite music and dance around the house. Call one of your favorite friends and have them tell you the funniest thing that’s happened in the last week. Go out and get some exercise- walk, bike, run, anything that could elevate your heart rate and get the blood flow going in all directions. You’ll be no good to others if you aren’t able to take care of yourself first.

The temptation is strong to crawl back within and just shut myself off from the world. But like a caterpillar that trusts itself to become a butterfly, I want these children to learn that trusting their parents can be an instinctual process. Instead of fearing the worst, why not look to a different light and take that first step to seeking the best for yourself?

Where is my whiteboard where I can magically erase the pain,the guilt and the shame from their pasts and start with a fresh, clean slate? They are important, they are special- and I want them to believe this every waking and sleeping moment of every day.

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