What Do You Have To Prove?

Do you ever feel like when it comes to life you are seeking acknowledgment or approval from someone? Or maybe a better way of thinking would be validation- that people respect your ability, your talent, and when you are unsure of yourself will give you a pick me up or a kind word of encouragement that lifts your soul.

I’m wondering what I have to prove to my youngest daughter that I’m not going to hurt her. When she’s in frantic panic mode- even a simple exercise proves to be devastating to her. Today the girls were verbally going at it in their bedroom- and it soon escalated to throwing items. I asked my youngest to leave the room. Six times. She wouldn’t give me the items she had of her sister’s in her hands. She would rather hide them from me. When she started crying, I attempted to physically escort her out of the room. Another three times.

When the incident ended, all I heard was “I thought you were going to hit me.” If I was going to be physical, I would have never adopted children. If I was going to be physical, the numerous times she’s already been physical with me would have been met with a response. No matter what type of abuse has been thrown at me from my children, I don’t get physical. What lesson would I be teaching them? To fear me even more?

My fear is that this stage of advancement in her mind is as far as she will develop. She doesn’t realize that if she can’t have a healthy relationship with me, these same types of issues (or worse) will develop when she gets into boyfriend relationships. Instead of seeking out kind people, she’ll seek out people that relate to her past. When in trouble, she’ll make those same decisions that she’s relied on in the past. It’s as if she believes she’s not worthy of a tremendous life.

I so wanted to run away today from the house. What do I have left to prove to her or to anyone in the home? I’ve been a parent for 7 years, I’ve worked in group homes with traumatic children and adults for 7 years, I’m patient and understanding of my children and their numerous families, backgrounds and all of the baggage that comes with the territory. I thought about what a statement leaving would make- that I would be weak and look like a coward, so I decided to stay.

At least the talk with my oldest daughter worked about better over the incident. She felt like she had to intercede because I can’t protect myself against my youngest daughter. I reminded her that I am an adult, I didn’t need her help and that I can perfectly take care of myself. It’s good to know that she’s got my back so to speak, but I want her to know that I didn’t need her parental guidance- that next time if her sister refuses to leave a room and I need to separate them, she’s free to go herself.

I feel like my goals in life are in stall mode with the amount of time I spend dealing with her issues. That’s why in 2010 my wife and I are going to work on taking more time for what we want to do to make us happy. Whether that includes the children in the mix or not can be completely up to how they treat us. We know that we need time for ourselves to live and breathe and that as the therapists and psychiatrists remind us of, they will still live. They are survivors.

And I know I’m a good parent. Whether I hear it or not from them, I know within my heart of hearts I’m doing the best I possibly can to meet them where they are at.

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