fiddlehead.....every changing, ever growing

fiddlehead....ever changing, ever growing

Thursday, February 10, 2011


My heart feels like it is bleeding.   I am reaching out right now because sometimes I get in my head.  big surprise, huh?!   We were just out of town for 4 days (Superbowl mania).  Beyond the normal Mommy anxieties about leaving their children, I always wonder if it will effect Tessa's attachment to me when I leave.   I feel like we have been making really steady progress from where we started (which in the beginning I was a nanny to her...her only frame of reference).  But with every few steps forward I do realize now that when you go out of town their is bound to be a step back.

Full disclosure....I am very tuned in, very intuitive in general.  Possibly too much so to the nuances in relationships, always have been.  And while it is so important to be aware of your children's state of mind, sometimes during this bonding process it makes me feel insecure and anxious.  Insecure about Tessa's need for me.   This has been ever present the last 4 days.  She has literally been "reaching up" to any woman when I am present.  I'm right there.  I am there ready to pick her up when she reaches and she is searching for someone else. I will reach down and she will often look for another option if we are around other people.  She has even been going to the boys for comfort.  It makes me feel so sad.  Defeated.  I am trying so very hard to build the trust, attachment and love.  To be the one to comfort her and so often she doesn't seek or want my comfort.  I don't understand.

Today Tessa had a round of vaccine shots.  (always awful to watch as a Mommy and scary for her).  After her vaccine while she was screaming and needed to be comforted, I was holding her and she reached for the nurse that had just given her the vaccine.   I felt so hurt.  I don't know what to make of it. I almost felt like she was trying to hurt me.   That sounds crazy, I know.  Obviously, we are still on our journey.  But sometimes this journey hurts my heart.  Each time she reaches for someone else, avoiding me.....while I am reaching for answers, for an end, for comfort of my own that everything will be o.k. for Tessa and I.  I love her so.....

below is my beloved chandelier.....half of it is looking through glass.
Things are distorted....
Among these tears and this heavy heart there must be hope, there must be clarity...


Rachel said...

I definitely notice differences in Clementine's behavior with Kevin out of town. It's not surprising that Tessa would test you when you get back from a trip... she knows you're there for her, it just takes time to pick back up where you left off. Hugs.

Meg said...

I'm so sorry you are going through this. Tessa will learn in time that you are always going to come back. Just keep being her Mom and she'll know it. :) I'll keep you both in my prayers!

SherilinR said...

i know that's got to be so painful to deal with. my own daughter was never a snuggler & would rather be comforted by inanimated objects than by me. her stuffed animals make her feel better, but i'm in her way. i'm pretty sure she's got asperger's. it can definitely feel like a rejection of you as a mom.

The Lost Planetista said...

Guess what- we have the same issue. Anytime our family balance changes even the slightest bit then P starts avoiding me. Even now, traveling, I can barely ever hold her.(it just happened 10 minutes ago- I reached down to pick her up and she wouldn't let me). I remember when we were in the home study process and reading so much about adoption that this is 'classic, text book, attachment stuff', but somehow never thought it would happen to me. Then there's the shame aspect, because as a mother it's humiliating to not be able to comfort your own child. One thing that we do is to play baby and mama. We take turns being the mama and baby. It seems to help- maybe not solve the problem but it's a way to dialogue with her about it in a way that she can understand.

Just like all things, though, our attachment issues ebbs and flows. Last spring we actually implemented a strategy where I was literally the only care taker- since she regularly prefers my husband. Within a week of doing this we saw BIG improvement- but it was exhausting for me to have to be the one to do everything. I highly suggest doing this, if even only for a week or so, just to get things back to normal between the two of you. Plus, I guess you're still doing your 15 minutes of rocking. I would think that would help. Sorry for rambling here- but it illustrates so much the hurt and the need that our kids come to us with. That just breaks my heart that kids this young have such issues with trust and attachment.
Big big hugs.
I also appreciate that you blogged about it- you would laugh if you saw how many posts like that I've written and then deleted because I lack the courage to admit that we have a problem. :(

Phoenix Peacock said...

A) I am so sorry. That sounds so heartbreaking and difficult. Particularly because you are so intuitive - so it must be a much bigger sting.
B) You are a great mom, you are a great mom, you are a great mom. I would think that it is particularly difficult to noy have that validation from her right now. But you are still a great mom.
C)This is not your fault. You are an amazing mother. You understand attachment. I can't even start to tell you how much ahead-of-the-curve you are in that alone. It also means that Tessa is so very lucky to be with you.
D) and she is attaching! Not in that magic, ideal, if everything were perfect, expectation sort of way - but she is attaching none-the-less. So what you are doing is working.
BIG BIG hugs to you my dear. I wish we could sip tea and eat chocolates and bitch, laugh, cry together.

Her Momma said...

oh wow. i'm so sorry you have to feel this way. sending big hugs your way!

Thank you for visiting the fiddlehead report!