The worst parent of the year? That's me today. It's not because of something I've actually done. It's how I feel. It's how a realization has made me feel.
I went to therapy today. I almost feel like that sentence should always be taken as a negative sign. Kind of like when your partner looks at you and says "We need to talk". You know something not so pleasant is coming your way.
I thought today was going to be a good therapy day. I suppose in the true context of therapy, it was a great day. However the aftermath has left me disoriented and wrung out. I feel lost and confused. Therapy is supposed to get at the inner stuff and really make you think and figure things out, to help you grow and become someone better, for yourself, for your loved ones. No one ever tells you that process can leave you feeling like shit. Yeah, it's one of those swearing kind of days.
Today my therapist did as all therapists do, she got me thinking and self analysing and bringing the crap to the forefront to be confronted so it can be dealt with in whatever manner it needs to be. Today, my therapist was a bitch for what she poked and prodded to the front. Maybe after some time I won't see it that way, but right now that's how it is.
I've talked a little bit about Jayda here. About her difficulties. I will be completely honest. I've never fully accepted what her report said about her. I put up a block that said "That can't REALLY be the case, let's go see a specialist, they'll tell me something different". I've always felt a wrenching pain in my heart when I think of that report, or what that report says.
Here's some self analysis for you, kindly directed by my therapist. Growing up as I did, being told the things that I was, I associate "being smart" with "being good" and "being pretty" with "being bad". Them's the fucked up facts. For me, it was all important to BE SMART. After all, that is what I got recognition for. Screw being pretty, that was for DUMB girls. I didn't need to be pretty, I had a "God Damned Good Brain In My Head" and I shouldn't take 2nd fiddle to anyone or anything because I had the brains to do EVERYTHING.
Yeah. Fucked up, right?
Well here's where it carries over to my kids in a nice fucked up manner. We've all got to do it, we'll fuck them up as we were fucked. Vicious bitchy crappy cycle, but someone's got to do it, right?
To me, smart is good. With my kids, they can have any manner of difficulties as long as they are smart. Smart is something to work with. Smart is potential and possibility. With being smart, we can figure out how to work around the difficulties and teach them something useful, that they are quite capable of.
Pretty gets you nowhere, ESPECIALLY the girls. It gets a guy looking at your ass or trying to look down your top. It gets you groped. It gets you oggled and mistreated. Pretty goes away. Very few women, as they age, are still considered beautiful. With most, you say "She was really beautiful when she was younger". Ouch.
Jayda is a beautiful girl, but she isn't smart. She will never be smart. Her possibilities have become the Atlantic Ocean and there isn't any swimming across it.
That was, I think, the hardest thing I've ever had to say about one of my kids. James is bi-polar and has Asperger's. Kati is a bit OCD. Izzy is a non-verbal autistic. However, they are all extremely smart. To me, the smart is the most important. Everything else is just dressing.
For Jayda, she doesn't have that creamy center. Where smart should be is nothing. If she is lucky, she'll be able to read at a 6th grade level, even as an adult. She will have to always use a calculator (or have something physical to use) even to do the most basic of math.
Jayda has never been one to ask why or how something works. She's always taken it at face value. She doesn't want to learn new things, to explore things she isn't familiar with. While the rest of the world goes on around her, she is perfectly happy sitting at home playing her dolls or playing tag with her friends.
So I'm left trying to figure out how to parent her. I admit that I don't know how. The thought of even trying is so overwhelming to me it's shutting me down. I am having a very hard time envisioning any kind of future for her, what are her options? She could be a....stripper? Or a...cheerleader? She could be the perfect 1950's house wife. Oh wait. We don't live in the 1950's. And she'd have to be able to thing logically in order to keep a home running and organized enough to keep things going smoothly. Well, crap, where the fuck does that leave her?
I know, she can be a trophy wife! Won't have to think, just needs to look pretty. And in about 5 years, her husband will dump her, leaving her nothing (because she didn't think to make sure she was taken care of) and marrying some new girl. Obviously, that is every mother's dream for her baby girl. *snort*
What do I teach the child who doesn't have the desire to learn? How do I guide her to become the most that she can be when that most is so little that even she sees it as depressing?
Part of the problem is that while Jayda isn't smart, she is smart enough to realize that she is different, that she isn't like her brothers and sisters or her friends. That she is being left behind in their jokes and conversations.
For all of this, I feel like the worst parent in the world. First when she came from me, when she was born, I didn't make her (literally make her) as smart as she could be. I left her short in that area, so short that her future is empty. Second, because I see her future as empty. I can't get my head wrapped around her possibility, her potential. I'm getting sucked in to seeing only an empty vastness that will never be filled and that is doing Jayda an injustice. And yet, I don't know how to begin to change it. I don't know what it is that she COULD learn to fill that space so she can grow into an adult and BECOME as we all do.