Last night, after a full day of mommy being a bitch, QiQi had HAD IT!
Mid morning I had gotten my shit together and was not longer actively being a bitch. But by mid afternoon, I was face first involved with my computer, and made very little time to be with her.
She would periodically come over and ask for my attention or help with something or another. As usual, this was of course not about whatever she was asking help with, but rather just a cry for some ATTENTION.
She just wanted my presence. She just wanted to bask in her mother's love. Such a sweet and pure desire, now corrupted by years of not being fulfilled instantly and easily every time, often having to resort to tricks and treats to get what she wanted.
I think every family must experience a degree of this.
No, it is not ideal, neither for the child who wants more real presence and expressions of love, nor for the parent who wants their child to be fulfilled, but doesn't actually feel like fulfilling them every time. But basically every kid I've ever seen wants more attention than their mother wants to give, with some frequency or another.
With QiQi and I, it is honestly much more than I would wish for her, or myself for that matter. We often have a hard time meeting each other. She wants me to do certain things with her that I am often not into, and vice versa. Looking now at the situation, it seems as if I should obviously be the one to just get over it, or suck it up, or tap into the love I have for her and use it to fuel my interactions with her. And sometimes I can, but sometimes I can't, or won't perhaps.
I have often had the realization with one issue or another that my belief that "I Could NOT" was actually just a convenient illusion masking a deeper unwillingness to just make it happen. Basically, just an excuse that I made myself believe. This is probably the case here, but even as I write that, I have a hard time facing it.
So late last night, after being given the minimum amount of attention possible for hours and hours, QiQi began to have a meltdown. At the bottom of the stairs, escalating fast from whining and squirming to all out wailing and flopping, QiQi clutched a pile of clothes she had wanted to bring up with her when Noki and I went up 15-20 minutes earlier. I had been unaware all that time that she had wanted us to wait for her and then was devastated that we went on without her.
I could hear it all clearly from my desk perch at the top of the stairs. I could feel the authenticity in her tone, and I could tell that this was not just another attention tantrum. She was really hurting.
Her father was there immediately, soft and gentle. He told her the truth of what was happening, from a bigger perspective, as he does. It was something to the effect of "QiQi, your mother is scattered and disconnected a lot, and if we base our feelings on her, we will be as stressed as she is. If we want to be happy, we have to learn to do it with or without her",
As true and practical and real as he was, QiQi was not receptive to him. He made some attempts to steer her energetically back towards fun and play, but she only continued to freak out, now trying to get away from him so she could cling to her misery.
I went halfway down the stairs, stopping to listen to Quinn and feel out how best to engage, then continued down and reached out to pick her up. She exploded at me, shouting "If you would have just waited a minute! If you would have just waited for one single fuckin minute! You Bitch!"
(Yes, my 4 year old swears when she it upset. Yes, she called me a bitch, and it isn't the first time. We really value keeping it real around here, and the kids are no exception. We have no rules about what language they use or don't use, and we certainly don't tell them that some words are "only for grownups". They cuss in perfect context.)
She squirmed out of my arms. I let her know calmly that I was there for her when she was ready, but I wasn't going to play games and try to chase or coax her. When she was ready to talk, I would be too.
"It's too late! I gave you so many chances but you are still a bitch! I'm not giving you any more chances!" she wailed.
I accepted that she was not ready, and went up the stairs and sat in a chair right at the top of the darkened staircase. She followed me when she thought she was losing me, but scampered away when I turned back to her. She stayed just out of visual range at the top of the stairs. She continued to rant about me.
In those moments of listening to her rant about me, I felt the truth underlying the feeling she was expressing. I didn't want to face that truth and have turned from it many times, unable to cope with the judgement on myself that comes with acknowledging that truth.
The truth was that quite frequently, I was really disconnected from my love for QiQi. I often perceived her as a burden, a nuisance, a pest. I often wanted her to go away and leave me to my whatever. And the worst part is that I would often treat her with some degree of either disregard or even outright disdain. I would treat her as if she were not beloved, important, cherished, but rather according to my own low vibe and disconnected state.
The painful and tragic truth came clearer than ever before to me.
I was breaking her precious little heart, one small rejection at a time.
Rather than run from it this time, I acknowledged it to myself, allowing myself to see and feel the horror that I was creating, considering the ramifications for her through the rest of her life.
I realized how deeply damaging this pattern of mine was for QiQi and, rather than plunging into guilt, I deepened my resolve to shift this within myself, on every level where this experience has roots.
Quinn tried talking some sense into her, and everything he said was true, of course. Yet she couldn't hear him.
I spoke into the darkenss to her, saying that I agreed with her father, but that I also could feel the truth of what she was saying. I actually in those moments tapped into a new and better use of language than I think I have ever used with her. I usually talk way too much, so much that the point is lost and she turns a deaf ear to my rambling.
But last night in those few moments, I was able to see, think and speak in such a clear, simple and concise way. I honestly don't remember exactly what I said, but it was short and to the point and from the heart.
I spoke gently into the darkness where she still lurked just out of my sight near the top of the steps. I acknowledged that the way I treated her was often cold and insensitive, and it was not the way that she deserved to be treated. I sincerely apologized to her for treating her that way for so long.
She had calmed down quite a bit by this point, and grew even more quiet as I spoke. I could feel her listening, and receiving what I was saying. She still insisted that it was too late and she would give me no more chances. I simply accepted, offering no resistance, only the reassurance that I would be ready to love her whenever she wanted that.
She continued to say how it was too late as she climbed up the last few steps and into the chair next to me. She said "I still don't feel it", and I knew that she meant that she didn't feel loved by me.
She asked "How come I don't feel it?", looking straight into my eyes with hers wide open and so vulnerable.
And yet, I was numb.
I could honestly barely feel anything.
Inside I was asking myself as I sometimes do when I am in a pickle, "What would my ideal self do?". The answer was that DUH! I would scoop her up and blast her with love! Obviously!
But the truth of my being at that moment was that I simply did not feel that way towards her. I was at that moment utterly disconnected from my love for her. I questioned myself, "Do I even really love her? Or is that just something I tell myself is true because I need it to be, (otherwise I would have to judge the fuck out of myself)".
Well OF COURSE I DO LOVE MY DAUGHTER!!!
But what the hell does that EVEN MEAN!!!!!???????
We all tell ourselves the "truth" that of course we love our children, as if that were a static truth, equally true in each moment. But IT"S NOT A STATIC TRUTH! The truth of how we feel is ever fluctuating and shifting.
So it isn't a simple matter of I love you or I don't all the time. It is a moment to moment, ever shifting set of feelings, constantly changing relative to everything else within that is also constantly changing. I don't know about you but I can barely keep up with just being aware of the truth of all my complex and conflicting bajillions of feelings, let alone addressing them all and keeping them on the up-and-up.
While it is always true that I want her to be safe, healthy and happy, I have many moments when serving some other purpose seems more important than serving her well being. And I commonly have the problem experience of feeling like I have to choose between caring for her and doing anything else at all that I want to. So, of course my experience manifests that way.
She asked "How can I feel it?", eyes still teary, yet obviously open to a solution.
I held her tightly and gently rocked her in my arms. I tried to put our hearts close together but she re positioned herself sideways, burying her head in my breast.
I searched inside myself, trying to conjure up my feelings of love for her, but I couldn't really tap into much. I was sad for myself and for her that I was so cold. I considered sort of faking some love and then thought that would be the worst. I realized that I had to be truthful with her.
And to be truthful with her, I had to be even MORE truthful with myself. In revealing myself to her, I discovered truths that I was blind to only moments before.
"QiQi, the truth is that sometimes I feel really disconnected from Love itself, and it is hard for me to feel love for anyone or anything at all."
Holy shit. I hadn't realized just how true this was until I heard myself say it to my tiny sad cute little daughter.
I have been aware on an intellectual level that many others in my life have found me cold and insensitive, even as a child. As an adult, it is actually much worse, as I am now numbed and jaded by years of abuse, manipulation, exploitation and violation at the hands of my parents, my employers, my culture and perhaps most especially by my own self.
But in this moment, it was so clear on multiple levels of my being just how disconnected I really was from love, quite more commonly and deeply than I was previously aware
I also acknowledge to her that I have another huge problem- a fragmented consciousness- I am a major scatterbrain, distracted in a heartbeat. This is something I have been becoming increasingly aware of recently, and something which I know I must overcome if I am ever going to achieve or have anything significant or fulfilling, including my family relationships.
She listened intently and seemed to understand. This was the most present, connected and coherent conversation we had ever had. By a lot. It was a milestone moment.
Quinn was right there with us, holding space for clarity, truth and connection. I said aloud that it was the best conversation QiQI and I had ever had, turning to look at him in the dim light and I could see the love and joy in his eyes when he agreed. He has perhaps wanted this for us more than we even wanted it for ourselves, being generally much more tapped into the awareness of more connected realities and much more tuned into the frequency of greater love. Daily patterns that seem normal to me seem tragic to him because he is aware of such a higher vibrational frequency of daily existence.
QiQi sat quietly looking at me, the most full and continuous presence of her attention with me that I can recall experiencing since she was a baby. She was very calm.
Since the moment I tapped into and bean telling her the truth and took responsibility for my own dys-funk-tions, something shifted between us. She seemed to understand and accept that I was emotionally unavailable because of me, not because of her.
As soon as I had relieved myself of the pressure to love her and to be an awesome mom that I am constantly applying on myself, and just allowed myself to just be a disconnected, fragmented crazy little humanimal, my love for QiQi came gushing forth.
I pulled her in closer, beaming my genuine and heartfelt love at her, kissing her head and saying "I love you so so so so so so so so much-y-much much, my QiQi!!! Love you, love you, love you, love you! Can you feel it now?". I certainly could.
She said that she might give me another chance but maybe tomorrow. She must have felt complete with it all because she then hopped up and went to play with her sister.
The truth truly does set us free.
By being more real with myself and with her than ever before, our whole relationship is subtly shifted.
By allowing for not-love to be, rather than resisting and judging myself for it, and by owning my not-love out loud to my family, I have actually made much more space for love to be, true and real and free.
Inok Alrutz is an ordinary woman living a truly EXTRAORDINARY life, led by True Love and a sincere desire to EVOLVE and to Live Consciously.