Sunday, May 10, 2015

I had a lovely few hours with Katie today.  Almost two weeks ago she was started on an antidepressant to see if that would help reduce her anxiety.  And yesterday I realized that I had to see my daughter as she really is, not how I want her to be.

I come by it honestly, this desire to see things as I want them to be and not how they are.  My mother was the same way.  Needless to say it leads to endless disappointment. 

Since Katie turned eleven, almost twelve years ago, she has been physically attacking me.  She pulls my hair, pinches me, scratches me, bites me, rips my clothes.  The hair pulling is the worst.  And every time she does this I am hurt both physically and emotionally because well, how can my baby girl hurt her own mother?  My feeling are hurt, every single time, for almost twelve years. 

Katie attacks me when she's upset, when she's anxious, when she's scared.  It's understandable and a part of me does understand that this is her acting out her feelings, feelings that's she unable to understand or even put a name to.  But another part of me is hurt and surprised.  So why would something that has been happening for almost twelve years be a surprise to me?  Good question.

It's a surprise because I don't want to believe that my beautiful daughter is dangerous.  But she is dangerous and I refuse to accept this.  It's funny because I always talk about accepting my daughter the way she is but I haven't really because if I had I would have been more careful around her, I would have understood how dangerous she is. 

So today we visited and for the first time I accepted that Katie is dangerous, that I need to be careful around her.  The big guy has known this since he first met Katie three and a half years ago but obviously I take a lot longer to catch on. 

And today, I don't know if it was the new drug or my realistic understanding of how dangerous my daughter is, we had a good day.  I didn't force things.  I didn't make her be what I wanted her to be. 

The hard part about writing this is also seeing myself as I am.  Deluded.  Unrealistic.  Unaccepting.  Bruised and battered from hitting my own head against a wall for years and years.  I suck at accepting what is but I am learning. 


  1. I think this. I think that as a mother you need to be much more forgiving of yourself. If this was any other relationship you would be able to make decisions to keep yourself safe. For instance, if it were a partner or a friend you would leave. You would have to come to a point where you realize that you are not facing reality. It is not so easy with a child. As a mother I know I never give up on my children. That is our job. And the job of children is to have that one person in the world who always believes, always hopes and always sees the best. Yes, we do need to accept certain things but I don't think your nonacceptance is because you are unrealistic. You are a mom. And I think that is beautiful.
    I am sorry that you have had to come to this reality, It must break your heart. Not that it is not already shattered.

  2. I agree with Birdie. I am beginning to think, in year twenty of this gig (and I know you've got a few years on me!), that all these states of mind are constantly shifting, appearing, disappearing, etc. over and over and over again. I think being kind to yourself is probably paramount -- even as the tendency to berate ourselves comes and goes. Does that make sense? In any case, I love you woman.

  3. I think its entirely human to want your daughter to be who you want her to be. But I'm glad to hear you are being more careful. It's important to take care of yourself no matter what you wish for with her.

  4. I think there is another dynamic to this: it's unacceptable in society to say your child is dangerous and beats you. My son will be four next week, and has wailed on me to the point of leaving huge bruises, bitemarks, and bald patches of scalp. Yet when I mention to others he's violent they immediately judge me as being an "unloving mother." A doctor told me that I'm setting my child up as my adversary, when in fact I'm supposed to be his advocate. I have concerns for other children and other people he would harm, but I'm supposed to keep these issues to myself, and keep the fact that a four year old is battering me a secret. "How can a four year old "batter you," they ask? He can batter me because I'm disabled and weight less than 100 lbs, and can't physically wrestle a near 50lb child to the floor. As my son gets older, and if he should kill me, I bet no one would even blink or call it abuse.

    There was that mom in the news who tried to kill her severely autistic daughter by putting a grill in the car with her...her daughter had knocked her unconscious and given her a TBI three different times, yet this autistic child was still allowed to live with her. Under no circumstance do I advocate the the attempted murder of anyone, disabled or not...yet it seems that physical abuse by children is not something that is acknowledged by either medical staff or society. My bipolar brother physically abused both my mom and I horribly, and was never held to account for it by the law.

    Protect yourself and be one else is going to do it for you.

  5. What I find very interesting is that she only attacks you. Am I right? If so, this would actually (I know this sounds weird) say a lot of very lovely things about you. She has great emotional ties to you or she wouldn't feel compelled.