So many thoughts…this is going to come out in a jumble, so I apologize for my lack of coherency.
This morning I took kiddo to see her psychologist. She hadn’t seen her psychologist for almost a year…it was overdue, for sure. She hasn’t seen her since the Ex and I separated. So we discussed that, all three of us, and then kiddo spent some time talking in private with the psychologist. I don’t know exactly what was said but she is struggling with some anxiety and confusion. She says she’s being bullied at school. She is upset about her parents being apart. She misses her dog, who lives at her mom’s house. We scheduled another appointment for her and we’re going to start working on addressing her anxiety. Good steps.
Then, this afternoon, her grandma picked her up from school and took her to ice skating. Then they went and visited the Ex. I guess some more things were discussed. The Ex called me and gave me a hard time about some things, said I could be doing better, that I needed to do better. I got defensive. Then kiddo got home and we talked about some things. She doesn’t like my house. She doesn’t like how the wood paneling creaks, or how the hot water heaters pop when they’re running. She feels like the house is too small. She misses her dog, she wants to switch schools because she’s being bullied, etc. I don’t know what I was thinking, I said something about living at her mom’s house, not because I want her to live with her mom but because I want her to be happy. I think that’s why I said it, anyway. Well then she said that she would like to live at her mom’s house for all of the reasons above. Then I realized how stupid I was for even mentioning it as a possibility; I mean, it would have come up eventually, but I had to go and open my big mouth. Well then she got upset because she felt like she had to explain her reasons to me, and she didn’t want my feelings to get hurt, and I told her that my feelings weren’t hurt and that I just want her to be happy and comfortable, and I know my house isn’t that great but I’m grateful to have a roof over my head and if she wants to live with her mom maybe she can stay there for a week this summer and try things out. I don’t think her mom can provide for her as well as I can, but I feel like kiddo is having one of those “grass is greener” moments and she’s thinking that moving in with her mom will solve all sorts of problems when in reality it will just cause a whole bunch of new ones. Her mom can’t provide consistency like I can. Her mom lives with a guy who she thought she loved and then a month later wanted to break up with. Her mom doesn’t work at the school that she would attend. Her mom has crazy ideas about private schools and keeping her busy every minute of every day with activities. It’s just not realistic. It’s not responsible.
So, of course, all of that has me in a panic. I realized a few things. First, I have spent far too much time worrying about myself. I have been all worried about friends and going places and doing things, and I need to be worried about kiddo, first and foremost. Her well-being has to come before my own. Second, she needs female figures in her life. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner. She needs to spend time with my mom regularly. My dad won’t like it, but he has to get over it. I need to have a conversation with them about it. I know my mom is tired from working every day but she’s got to help me out here. They already get along so well, there has to be a way to get them together for an hour or two every week. Maybe kiddo can start going to church with them again, as much as I hate to think of that place.
And third, I need to be more proactive about this bullying stuff. I’m sure that some of it is just kid drama, but if she feels like she’s being bullied then something needs to happen to help her with that. I don’t know what to do, but I do know that since I work for the school system she is part of, I have contact on a daily basis with people who might have ideas. The principal. Her teacher. The school counselor. I will start that conversation tomorrow.
So, I’m trying to think of ways to make these things happen. I need to forget myself, and that’s not easy because I’ve spent the last 8 or 9 months (at least) worrying about myself and that’s not right. I feel guilty. I feel like I could have and should have been doing more all this time, and I feel like a failure for letting it get to this point. I have worked hard to provide consistency and love for my daughter, maybe sometimes I’m not perfect, but I try really damn hard and sometimes I do a good job but it’s not enough, I have to do more.
And I have to remember to share these feelings with my own counselor. My first appointment is in a couple weeks.