It's funny to me how sometimes there are things that we expect to leave behind us because we are adults. There insecurities and the sometimes incomplete sense of self that you expect will go away once you "know who you are". As we get older we are able to look back over our lives and see things that were the "end of the universe" to us as children and teenagers, with the clarity of experience, and understand how inconsequential those thoughts/feelings were. In the grand scheme of things the problems of Then are so small in the Now.
Once we have children we watch them go through some of the same situations that we did. While the circumstances are never the same, the situations are. I watch my daughters go through the same struggles that I did as a young girl. While it breaks my heart to see that they are having to fight with these things I know that the experiences are going to make them The Woman She Will Become.
Sometimes though, it doesn't happen like that. I am that Woman. As we age we are (or at least should be) constantly evolving. We are learning from our experiences and forming new relationships. Our personalities are like a muscle that is constantly exercised. While the same basic shape is there, the abilities are forever changing. Every once in a while though, we are forced to come face to face with the fact that we have not overcome things that we had expected we would or even thought we had.
I had a conversation with Krysty last night that brought this very thing to light. While getting the basics of what was going on was a slow and painstaking process getting to the root of the matter was much simpler. I watched as she looked at me with increasing sense of awe as I was able to put exact words to her feelings. Feelings that she couldn't quite explain herself. "You're feeling like this, and this, and this". "This is a problem here, here and here. What other people don't get is THIS". No, I am not a mind reader. But I am Mom. I come with my own experiences and yes, sometimes those experiences will mirror your own, Kid. I know from experience exactly how you are feeling because I went through that, too. I have the wisdom that comes from living through it and being able to have the hindsight of an adult to look back and understand what is going on with you now. Unfortunately there is nothing that I can do to change it. I can't stop it. Here are some tools, some tricks, and the best words of advice I can offer you but that's all I have.
I hope for now that it is enough. I hope that one day she can look back at this conversation and understand that I am doing the best that I can. Maybe this will stand out as one of my finer moments. A mom can dream, can't she?
In trying to explain the situation to Doug I realized that this is not only something that I Once dealt with, but is something that I Am dealing with. I know that it was difficult for him to understand what she was going through. I know he doesn't understand and doesn't know what to do to help her because he is unable to recognize it or help me while I struggle with the same issue. Intellectually I understand how his brain works and where the discrepancy is in the situation. It's not that he's unwilling to help. It's that he does not recognize the problem as I do and sees no need for resolution. There's no need to fix something that isn't broken. If he does acknowledge the problem there is still little that he can do to help because he lacks the skills necessary to be part of the solution. The old adage holds true here that "If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem". This is something that we have struggled with for the entirety of our relationship. For me, it's like having something stuck under your contact lens.
I would've rather hit the corner of something hard with my pinky toe than have had to come to this realization. Finding yourself racked with the same insecurities as your 15 year old daughter is difficult. Facing those insecurities while struggling with the shortcomings of someone you love sucks.
I went to bed with a head full of questions and problems there seems to be no solution to or chance or resolution for.
It was a long night.