Sunday, May 6, 2012

When our children hurt us.

As relationships go, it’s a given. If you are capable of loving, and building a relationship with someone, there is vulnerability to be hurt as well.

As parents of hurt kids, we all are deeply aware of this. The fine line we walk, the dance we do, to gently help our kids take down their walls, and heal, while building a relationship.

But what about our walls?

What about when they hurt us?

Just like our children, we try to develop these thick skins so their words, and actions and pure rejection of us, do not break us….but sometimes (a lot of times) they are successful.

and then we feel like we failed.
But, did we?

The theory that really we all operate out of two feelings, FEAR and LOVE speaks true to me. When my kids hurt me, emotionally or even physically, my deepest fear is “they will NEVER get better.”

When my kids steal or break or throw away things that have value, and importance to me, my emotions kick out “They don’t love me and are trying to hurt me.”

and I do get mad/sad/hurt/rejected/pissed/livid/devastated/. I do.

I just returned from a weekend get away.
Much is happening that beyond breaks my heart with Papillion and the life choices she continues to make for herself, as I stand ready and available to love her despite all of it.
As I return I am met with a clean bathroom, and all of my jewelry messed with.
Out of each matching pair of earrings, one has gone missing, many I have had for years, heirlooms, thrift store gems, my grandmothers costume jewelry, items bought in moments for remembrance. Gone. All of my rings, including my wedding ring, have gone missing as well.

I went to find the child responsible. As I told her my feelings and sadness…she shared that I was hurting HER feelings. In that moment I was selfish, and let her know, “NO, child, in this moment these feelings are mine, in this moment, I am worthy in my anger and sadness and disappointment, I
GET TO BE MAD, I GET TO BE HURT, you get to see the result of this, and know, I will still love you, I will still keep you, but NO, right this moment is not about your feelings.”

Afterward, I questioned myself, as she raged and slammed doors, I wondered how I could have dealt with that better, more therapeutically…and then I realized.,,

Sometimes this human stuff, where we get to show our hurt, our vulnerability, the reality of the consequences of what they do, in a non violent, safe way, is O.K. too.
This too is modeling safe ways to show hurt, and disappointment. This too is good.

And as I stared at the ceiling after numbly lying on my bed and letting the tears leak out, I allowed myself to feel the loss, and sadness and hurt….


  1. Sorry, Lindsay. This chapter of your story is not finished yet. {{{Hugs}}}

  2. Lindsay,
    Sorry you are suffering - you are so awesome and you deserve better days than the ones you have been having. If our kids are ever to have meaningful relationships, they need to learn that they are reciprocal. You can't keep hurting people and have a relationship. It's o.k. to let our kids see that they have hurt us and that we have boundaries. Wish I were there to give you a hug. Loved seeing you this weekend!!

  3. And you will be reminded of the loss from time to time, now and again. When you want those earrings, that wedding ring, all of those lovely things that you build one by one, creating you, and mementos of you. That’s the biggest loss, momentos of you. The years added up, it hurts. I know it hurts, and it will always hurt. Sorry.

  4. Oh, Sweet Sister.... I am hurting with you and for you. My heart is aching for you. No, my heart is searing with red-hot pain for you.

    I love you.

  5. Oh Lindsay, so sad for you. It's not fair, so.not.fair.

    I sit here and think about how I would feel and I have tears for you. I would be so angry.

    ...Her feelings were hurt ...
    always the victims, and sadly, yes they are the victims. that stinks too.

    I just typed - and deleted - that maybe you could hope to get your jewelry back for Mother's Day. and maybe it would reappear.
    And as I was typing I realized WHAT AN INSANE THING I was saying. Oh yeah. And Mother's Day is coming. That was so crazy I hope it made you at least shake your head and smile a wee bit.
    I wish there was something I could say to make you feel better.
    Love you.

  6. :(
    It is ok for us to have emotions.... It is good for them to realize that they are not the only ones who have "big feelings", It is good for them to see us hurt and ache, and then MOVE ON and not let it ruin our lives or control our every word/move.

    I think modeling those feelings in a healthy way is so important.

    sucky :( Will pray your special mementos are found- you might check the trap in the toilet if there is one. shove your hand down there and see if that is where they might have gone.

  7. It's ok to feel it and let it show. And yes, it is healthy. It sucks major buckets of rocks to feel it and let it show. But it's still a good thing. It's SCARY to feel it, too. There are days it's easier to block the pain and utter heartache because it seems like a tsunami that threatens to destroy us. Take it one day at a time, precious mama, let it out slowly, and let yourself grieve for all that all of it means.

    Even if it feels like it, you haven't failed. Not by any stretch of the imagination. You have courageously done more and continue to do more for your children, your family, and other people than any other human being I know. It's ok to give that same compassion and understanding to yourself.

    Agency and mercy. Study both. Both are necessary. Both are possible. Father in Heaven gave us the capacity for both for a reason and both are gifts that are precious beyond price.

    Love you so very much!

  8. You are absolutely right, my friend! Our son's therapist told me that when I model hurt, forgiveness and how to work thru pain in a way that is right, that IS therapeutic parenting. We not only love them, but have to desire that they learn the right way to treat others. You are so very right in letting her see that you hurt, that you are human, that you can show her how to deal with loss. I'm sorry, Lindsay. (((hug))) I love you.

  9. This is so true, and so good... There is so much guilt we heap on ourselves, isn't there??? ugh... You are a good Momma! i am so sad I wasn't able to be there this weekend.

  10. You are so strong. A very wise person once told me it is just stuff. Amazing how God prepares us for hard moments ahead. You still have your husband and now you can wear really cool mismatched earrings and get 2 memories for the price of one. I will pray for your continued strength - you deserve to get some coming back your direction.

    many hugs to you

  11. You may have to do what I did-I now have a numbered combination lock on my bedroom door and I lock it everytime I leave the area-even to go to the kitchen to get a drink of water! I got so I could not stand to lose anything else as almost everything of any value had already disappeared-don't even know how much money was taken from under my pillow!) I don't like living in a locked world, but I need to keep my bed! Bev

  12. I absolutely love this part : "NO, child, in this moment these feelings are mine, in this moment, I am worthy in my anger and sadness and disappointment, I GET TO BE MAD, I GET TO BE HURT, you get to see the result of this, and know, I will still love you, I will still keep you, but NO, right this moment is not about your feelings.”

  13. I am so glad I came upon your story tonight because I am hurting with all the words my son said tonight to me (out of his own hurt). I held back from venting my own feelings but they are hurting me deeply. It really is hard! You are one incredible Mama and I send you lots of love, patience and you!

  14. I have learned that kids will give you the biggest joys in life and also the biggest disappointments. I have gone through so much with my girls and no matter what I am always there. I don't expect anything in return from them. It just seems the more I care the worse they treat me and it hurts so much.

  15. Yes, I am in the same boat. The more I care the more they seem to hate me. I'm only good to get money from when they over spend or do stupid things. My daughter is especially mean. She acts like the ring leader and pulls my two sons around by the nose. She said they will always have each other like a threat. Don't know what to do. The father deserted us years ago to go off to dental school and start a new life. He's become a saint in their eyes because he spoke nicely to them. I'm the mean one they dispose of at will if I don't act like they expect me to. So sad, so hurt, so alone.

  16. Why is it that you do more for your kids than anyone else you love them more than anyone else but they can hurt you so badly with words or attitudes for no reason and then seem to absolutely not care an iota that they have actually broken your heart and you are left so so sad and lonely

  17. I know this was a year ago but I just found this and it so his my heart. Having 2 boys who have abused me verbally and emotionally since the day they could talk. I know not what's it's like to have nothing to call my own. Nothing to remember. Nothing left of the life I once had as they take and then to take without any thought of how much it hurts me. I get it.