Nuffnang

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

I Can't Talk. Just Hug Me.

Everything went downhill. Nothing is according to plan. All was said and done and a conclusion was made. I packed my bag and filled the car with my boxes. I walked up to the front door, stepped out and left. I didn't turn back, I didn't hope for anything. The car ride was quiet except for the car engine's quiet rumble against the winter night air. We held hands. I broke down. He pulled aside. My heart felt like a million shattered pieces, my mind racing with every memory, my fear at it's peak - I was overwhelmed. Tears came like a mighty river. Then sobbing. 

"What's wrong?" 
I cry harder. My chest hurts, my heart hurts, my eyes hurt - everything hurts reminding me I'm alive. 
"It's okay. I'm here" 
He hugs me. I feel better. Keep hugging me. Let me cry. 

That was a memory of one of the hardest days of my life. In that moment I couldn't find the words to express myself and all I could do was cry. I had to release all my pain and usually writing helps me with that but at that moment I just couldn't find the words to express myself, I couldn't explain myself. I just felt overwhelmed and broken. I felt that way for a while and all I could do was cry. 

Flash forward to today... 

I watch her play by herself. She's laughing. That's great I remember thinking to myself. I get up to make us lunch. I come back with lunch but it's too hot to eat now. I tell her to wait. She cries like I just told her BabyGap has closed forever. 

She's playing with her doll and sees a cup of water. She reaches for it and tries to feed water to her doll. The water spills on her. She cries like someone threatened to cut her toes. 

She's tired and she wants to sleep. I'm getting her ready for bed because I know she's tired. I'm not doing it fast enough. She's cranky. She meltsdown like I ate the last cookie. 

My initial reaction is to tell her to "stop" because we "use our words and don't scream". She cries harder. I get frustrated.

One day, I put myself in her tiny shoes. I realised to her young mind, this was when she is at her most vulnerable. To her she can't "use her words" because she doesn't know what words to use. She's frustrated, upset, broken. She's overwhelmed. Just like how I felt years ago but the difference is that she really can't talk and express herself. 

I pick her up and hug her. I let her cry. I sit there with her and watch hot painful tears stream down her face. I see the confusion, the anger, the pent up emotions leak on to her face. I hold her tighter. I tell her it's okay, I'm here with her. I understand she can't talk and all she needs is a hug and a good cry. It's the only thing I can do for her now. 

After a few good minutes of crying she calms down. She looks at me. She smiles. I understand - she's happy she got it all off her chest. I understand she is relieved. We cuddle. 

***

We've been having plenty of tantrums and meltdowns lately. I'm exhausted but I know that the best way to handle this is with lots of patience and love. I want LittleLim to know that emotions are good and to never suppress or fear them. I want her to know that she can be completely vulnerable with me even when it's unreasonable. We've been using this "hug it out" technique for a month now. Whenever she has a meltdown we sit with her or hug her and let her cry it out.

She is allowed to trash around, kick, scream etc. as long as she is not injuring herself or anyone else. I have to keep reminding myself that she is only 20months old. She's allowed to cry over things that seem really small to be because it is huge to her.

I have to remind myself to let my daughter be a child and just have a good cry because even adults like me sometimes can't talk and just need a cry and a hug. What more this little 20 month old?

-Ally

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