Sunday, 13 November 2011

Sorting out Emotions.

There has been so much going on in our household which has caused all of our emotions to be all over the place.  This morning I finally got the chance to sit down with my 10 year old daughter (well lie actually, I was still in bed)!

When you are struggling as an adult to cope with your own emotions it is so easy to overlook the emotions of those you love most.  They do not yet have the maturity to choose a way of letting you know this either.  As adults we can express overload even if it is not in the most helpful way, however at 10 years old life experiences have not yet given you the ability to recognise when you are overloaded.

I had noticed this with my daughter a few days ago.  One of her friends had chosen to do something really amazing for a charity close to her heart - her "Daddy in Heaven" (she was only 3 months old when he died),  had died from cancer.  She is at that stage in her life (she is nine years old) where she is starting to realise that she missed out on knowing who this person was (her older brother does have some memories).  My daughter knew that her friend doing this was stirring uncomfortable feelings inside her.

I saw this acted out by her not particularly wanting to talk about what her friend was doing, getting cross that she had been asked by another friend to sponsor when as a family we already had and then not wanting to look at the photos of the event happening.

She was feeling bad as the only emotion she could recognise was jealousy and yet she did not want to feel jealous.  As we chatted it became very apparent that she did not particularly feel the need to raise money for charity.  She understands well that we sponsor a child and 'give' regularly not just on a monthly basis but also on special occasions like Christmas when we only give very small pressies to each other but shop from places like 'Oxfam Unwrapped' for folks we don't know personally.

We then got on to talking about what it would be like to not have a daddy, which inevitably brought us into a conversation about my niece who lived with us for two years.  Her daddy has clearly shown he does not love her and is probably the main reason why she is now in a secure adolescence unit.  This part of the conversation inevitably brought up sadness for my daughter thinking of all the losses she has suffered in the last three years, her aunty dying, her grandpa dying, her grandma's sanity and her cousin leaving us and my poor health.  She was able to express how jealous she felt of her friends who were not going through the things she is  - a feeling I was able to share with her that I get too!

She did not need any reassurances other than acknowledgement that she was having to cope with an awful lot at the moment and yes on the surface it did seem that none of her friends were.  It was a good feeling when she was however able to identify what trials some of her friends were facing - especially the divorce of parents  something that she could not and does not want to imagine having to face.

That was probably the most productive 30 minutes we have spent together in a while, I know it has not 'solved' everything for her, but it is good to see her bouncy self back again this morning.


  1. She is a beautiful girl, who is coping well with all that has been thrown at her, this goes to show that both of you ar handling this well when it comes to your children xxxxxx