We had a victory this last weekend. Winnie was able to stay somewhere else overnight. My aunt, my mother’s sister, has been the most involved family member over the last few months (and since after my mom died). This is the aunt who told me she was glad I was mad last weekend. Winnie went to her house and had a blast. She missed me a little but FaceTime seemed to do the trick. She ends up in my bed every night at home still, kicking my face after two minutes of climbing in. So a sleep over away? Amazing.
I’m not nearly as mad anymore, by the way. I mean, I’m still a little angry. But not like I was last weekend. It’s more back to sadness again. But something the anger brought me was a fire under my feet again. The waves of emotion are strong and throw me around often. So the anger could return. But for now it has brought back my resolve to make a happy life.
I want to enjoy life again. Maybe that sounds bad at two months out. But keep in mind I’ve been dealing with major losses and hard things for a while now. I don’t want to be sad anymore. I still am. And I will continue to feel these waves, but I don’t want to. Not just for me but for the girls. I want them to have real joy. I want them to have fun and not have the weight of the world on their shoulders anymore. Especially Winnie. This girl. She’s just having the hardest time.
She’s so sweet though and still has her silly personality, super smart mouth, and contagious giggle, sometimes. She sounds (and looks) like a cartoon character. She said today that she wants to swing on the swings “SO HIGH up to heaven so I can see my Daddy!” She says things like this all of the time. It’s heart wrenching and heart warming all at once. I am glad she understands that he’s still out there, just not easily accessible.
Another victory we had this last week is that Winnie went to one of her therapy appointments by herself for a good 45 minutes. The therapist has practiced for a while and does everything but specializes in children’s play therapy and trauma therapy. She’s been working through some of my trauma with me since November. Winnie had even come to several of my appointments. We would go into the room used for play therapy for children, and Piper and Winnie would play while we talked. So Winnie was very comfortable with the therapist.
Her first one or two sessions, I went in with her. But she was distracted and not talking much. Many who spend a lot of time with Winnie notice something significant about how she refers to her dad. When I’m around, she rarely talks about him. I encourage it. I tell her stories. I show her pictures. I tell her I’m sad and I miss him. But I also tell her how happy he is and how happy we can be. We talk about him being in heaven and watching over us a lot. But she doesn’t often join in on the conversation or bring him up in her own. However, when she’s around other people and away from me, she talks about him a lot. A lot a lot. Constant. Maybe it’s her being protective of me? She is very protective of me in general and of my feelings. Not sure. But we decided because of these things, it’s better for her to go into therapy alone.
She has not taken to this adjustment well. I have to sit right outside the door/window where she can see me and check every few minutes to see if I’m still there. Even if she can see my figure through the glazed glass, she opens the door and says “Mommy! You’re still here!” Of course she’s scared that I’m going to disappear like her dad did. And I’m willing to bet that talking about that in therapy triggers her fear and makes her feel like she has to constantly check.
So when she stayed for forty five minutes in the room? Without running out screaming and clinging to me? And only checking every 10-15 instead of every 2-3 minutes? Yeah that’s a success.
I am counting every little victory I possibly can for now. And I think that’s okay. Actually, I think that’s a great way to deal with things right now. I’m totally happy with that.