Several times a week I get a startling reminder of Hope’s losses and varied experiences in her early life. It’s always jarring. I marvel at her strength and ability to just talk about things now. I’ve gotten so much better on focusing on that moment and figuring out what she might need. Sometimes she doesn’t seem to need anything but the comfort in knowing that she can interweave these moments into daily life.
The moments sit in her memory bank, and whether I like them or not, they are life points of reference for her. However awful they may be, they often represents how she sees the world.
Sometimes it’s a random reference to some kind of abuse she experienced. Other times it’s a reminder that neglectfulness made her miss out on childhood trimmings. Some days it’s wondering what it would be like to have been adopted by another family in a foreign country. Still other times it’s her fear in asking for something as simple as a snack because she’s used to such inquiries coming with consequences.
In the moments I feel anger first, compassion second, sometimes my own sadness third. I feel blind fury that she has had such a hard time. I am mad because so many of our struggles have easy to understand, obvious triggers rooted in these random moments of loss on a day to day basis. I am reminded of loss I have experienced in my own life. Sometimes I hurt even though I know she loves me and I’m her mom.
It’s like a really long, crazy game of red light, green light.
Green light: we are cruising through life.
Red light: Screeching, distracting halt.
Yellow light: Tread lightly, maybe stop, maybe go.
We are making such progress, but some days…Sigh.
I am glad that she feels safe. I’m glad that she is able to express herself. I’m glad that I have better skills to help her navigate these challenges. But I wonder if we will get to a time when we have less of these moments and more green lights.