More War Stories & Also Some Love

March 15, 2011

I don’t know why the emotions are flying around as much as they are these days.  Things feel so messy, and so sticky.  I have less of a feeling of doom than I did yesterday, but there’s still just so much stuff going on.

Yesterday, while everything was swirling, I had a very hard time not lashing out at WD.  He kept doing horrible things, like – asking what was wrong. Wretched stuff like – doing his best to be encouraging.

But at one point, I was able to stop being irrational and overwhelmed, and to say to him, “Everything feels off right now, and there’s so many things that are icky.  But not with you. You are wonderful.  Thank you.” And then he hugged me.

I did write to the Ex yesterday, and told him what the girls were experiencing.  His response was thus:  (1) the therapist must have provided Lemon with some narrative that caused her to complain about him, and (2) Mouse is lying about her feelings, because if he does call her, she doesn’t call him back. [I will spare you the (3) “it’s all your fault, anyway” point. The self-absorbed irrationality should not be dwelt upon, I believe.]

Then he went on to say that his plans to come to our town for a few weeks this summer – which is in lieu of the girls’ usual trip to his house for several weeks – are in flux, because he doesn’t know when he’ll return to the country, and even when he is here, his wife will stay out of the country with the babies.

This is a huge disappointment for the girls, especially Lemon.  I think that they are struggling to find where they fit into his new life, and they WANT a connection to it – they WANT to know their brother and sister.  Their brother is 15 months old, and most of the times that they’ve seen their father since he was born, their brother was out of the country with his mother (where her family lives).  They’ve *maybe* spent a week with him since he was born.  They have yet to meet the girl-baby.

So I have to find a way, I guess, to help my girls through this wholesale rejection and compartmentalization.  They reach out, and he shrugs while deepening the chasm between them and his life.

In the meantime …

Lemon has been having some knee pain.  She’s had it since she started being active as a freshman in high school, and I think it varies in intensity.  It really hurt when she first started field hockey, and so we brought her to physical therapy. Physical therapy hurt, and she insisted that the knee pain was dissipating, and that she just didn’t have time to do the physical therapy and field hockey practice and homework while transitioning into high school.  So we let her give up the physical therapy.

But now crew is starting, and the coach runs them a lot.  She did winter training for crew, and ran a lot of stairs, but her knee didn’t really act up.  Now she’s running laps (on a concrete sidewalk) and it is hurting. She kept sitting out from running, and I told her it wasn’t okay to just sit out and not do anything about her knee.  She made faces and protested, but back to physical therapy we went last night.

She did a great job at describing her pain and her physical limitations.  She seemed to have a good rapport with the physical therapist … until he gave her exercises.  Some were really fine, but some brought tears to her eyes.

And by the time we left there, she was basically sobbing.  Physical therapy hurts just as much as running with a bad knee, so why do both?  Why can’t she just wear a knee brace, and be done with it?  It’s not fair that she has to go to physical therapy and other people don’t.  And she’s hungry, and doesn’t like the dinner planned.  Actually, dinner is the combination of her two least favorite foods (spinach and soup), and she hasn’t eaten since 11:10 a.m.  And no, she could not have gone home and eaten before crew, because if she ate too much, she’d throw up, because he makes them work so hard.  And it’s so horrible that she has to go home and do homework, when all she wants to do is sleep.  And her knee hurts.  And she doesn’t have time to do the physical therapy, because she has school, and crew, and now she’s in a play, and she has homework, and therapy, and voice lessons, and she’ll just never have time to do anything or eat dinner.

And honestly, it was very sad.  First of all, it does seem like a lot.  She’s never in her life had so much going on – although the only things she wants to take out of her schedule are those things that have the potential to really help her (therapy and physical therapy).  Second of all, she wasn’t grouchy and she didn’t have an attitude.  She was just sad.  Very sad.

As the evening went on, though (and she actually enjoyed the spinach soup), she perked up.  She stayed connected and talking, and seemed less sad.  We talked about when she would fit in her physical therapy exercises today, and when we would go buy new sneakers, as was recommended (doesn’t buying new things always help?).  She got a wee irritated with me when I refused to allow her to watch television, but was over it quickly.  She even cuddled with me for a long time – first in her bed, and then in mine.  That is rare, with an almost-15-year-old.

And 2 pieces of happiness:

1)  Lemon was asked to return to her K-8 school and talk to the 8th graders about high school as they’re going through the transition.  I asked her what she was going to say, and she said:  “I’m going to tell them that the high school is awesome.  Seriously, mom.  It is really so awesome!”  She is so happy where she is, and she is thriving, and doing very well.  And fortunately, she does have a lot to say, other than the general “it’s awesome!”  She is especially looking forward to telling them about how many friends she’s made from the upper classes, as freshmen end up so afraid of the “freshman beat down” (her words).  She plans to shatter the myth.

2)  Lemon told me that she was having friends over on Friday.  Then I gave her a look, and then she *asked* me if she could have friends over.  I told her yes.  These are some of her new, high school friends, not the ones she carried over from her non-high school.  It makes me happy that she wants to have them over.  I don’t know them like I know the old friends (with whom she is still very close), but they seem like nice girls.  The best part was when she said, “[new friend] said she loves coming to our house.  She said it’s an awesome house, and it’s cozy and peaceful.”

Thank you, new friend.  Thank you.




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