traditional thought with a contemporary twist
The Journey of A Mothers Heart
Published on December 13, 2007 By Joan of Arc In Parenting

We have 5 daughters. I think that if we manage to get them all raised still having our faculties in tact we may be in line for the Nobel Peace Price as the flow of hormones in our house with our 16,14 and 12 year old girls seems (at times) to be akin to WWII! (no disrespect meant to veterans)

This week was really hard with our 14 year old. She struggles with anger and depression as she was severely neglected in her early years in her family of origin (not us) and puberty has heightened her struggle. She rages and then stews for days on end. This week, as she was in the "stewing" phase, I wandered into her room. Looking for clues? Maybe, or the most recent thing she had "lifted" from another family member. I began to read the writing on the wall, not literally ON the wall but writings she had carefully put up. I could not tell their origin. I wondered if they were something she had copied or if they had come from within. My question partly stemmed from not really being able to see her as sensitive and struggling as the writing portrayed, none the less, whether she had penned the words or copied, they were important enough to post.

My heart was heavy.

One in particular grabbed my heart. Her expression of how hard it is to be a teenage girl, the pressures she was experiencing with her peers, how she felt like a constant disgrace. The kicker was that it was written to someone and as I read through, I realized that someone was probably me. I was floored that she really seemed to care how I felt and that she saw herself as trying really hard and always messing up.

My heart softened.

As I looked around her room, I saw a young women jam packed with pain, disillusionment and failures, the source of which seemed to allude her. She seemed to recognize, but with very little understanding, the inferno that rages within her, yet she is forced to manage it. A restless heart, a homeless heart alone and in pain. She sees herself much differently than I see her. I see a beautiful, bright. talented, strong young woman. Who is this person she sees? Is it an impostor? Of course it is, the shadow of the past governing the actions of the the present determined to ruin the future.

My heart reached out.

How can I touch this anguished heart I wondered. Through it's own language. (A divinely inspired thought no doubt) The words began to flood my brain so quickly I ran to get something to write on and I quickly penned the response of my heart to hers. I posted the poem on her door. (read Princess in Our Eyes)

She came home in the afternoon sullen as usual. I waited. Soon she appeared in the kitchen. "Mom, can I talk to you?" I knew she meant privately. She had a crinkled paper in her hand and as we sat on my bed I asked, "Did you read the poem?" "I wrote you this", she handed me the paper. There were the words again, heart words, from hers to mine, flowing with pain and struggle and her deep felt need for love and understanding, the bridge to our souls. Finally I could give her what she needed, love, understanding that she was struggling, truth- that she was not a failure and that "this too would pass" and the assurance that we would be there for her no matter what.

My heart rejoiced.

on Dec 13, 2007
I'm glad you connected with her. That's so hard to do with kids and especially with girls. I've been through a few angst myself when it comes to my kids. Still going through them too! My oldest, 18, moved out and she's doing alright and we're still close, thank heavens. It's so hard to let them see themselves through our eyes to what we see them becoming and not what they think they are and how they seem to be through their peers. You reached her, and I'm so happy for you that you did!
on Dec 13, 2007
Me too. Good for you that you are still connected with your oldest. Hang in there with the rest, that's all we can do.
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