Saturday, January 16, 2010

"I don't know what I need", cried the eight year old girl, "But I hate my life the way it is."

My daughter celebrated her 8th birthday today. There were 10 little girls in the house, running around, singing and dancing, eating pizza and cupcakes…and how there are 4. DD has3 friends spending the night tonight for her birthday. She must have caught me in a serious moment of weakness because nights are bad for me and to have 3 additional 8 year old girls in the house...

It always makes me nervous to have a lot of kids in my house. Maybe because I never know when I might have a crazybrain freak out and although I can typically *act* normal during daylight hours, the additional people in the house tend to put me on high alert and of course the hus (who has always wanted a big family) is absolutely ZERO help with any of it. In fact, I haven’t even seen him in over 4 hours now, as he is quietly tucked away in the mancave watching the football playoffs.

As I have always said, I am one generation away from poor-white-trash. The fam and I live the American dream as do the majority of the friends DD spends her time with. There are, however, a couple of exceptions. And I wonder about them…their parents – what they are thinking, how they are really feeling.  I worry about the kids - I don’t know why – but I do.

Friend 1 for the sleepover: dropped off 30 minutes early by her mother and drunk boyfriend. Her overnight bag reeked of cigarette smoke and pot and her mother and her boyfriend were practically screwing in the entryway of my house. Friend 1’s mother goes upstairs chasing after her daughter to say goodbye, her boyfriend tells me he likes my stairs and my choice in paint colors (what?). He then tells me that he wants to show me some pictures of some stairs he built and he takes out his blackberry; and as he starts to thumb through photos he says, “There may be some naked photos on here, but ignore those…” Seriously? Then he proceeds to tell me he’s a little buzzed, but not near enough. And all I keep thinking about is my daughter’s little friend and what her life at home must be like.

Friend 2 for the sleepover: had a meltdown about an hour ago, crying and telling the other girls that she hates her life the way it is. I went upstairs and she told me the same thing; she hates her life. What? She’s 8. I sat with her for a while and I asked her what she needed. Of course, that was a really stupid question; I know…I hate it when the therapist asks me that – so I cannot even believe it came out of my mouth. And she said, “I don’t know.” I told her that was okay, I don’t always know what I need either…a lot of the time. And she and I sat on my daughter’s bed and I held her while she cried, rocking her as I do myself when I don’t know what I need. After she cried she asked me for a glass of water and after she drank her water she went back upstairs to play with the other girls.

Friend 3 has always been my favorite of DD’s friends. She’s an old soul. Her calmness and patience amaze me and I often think she may actually be older than me. She used to call me her step-mom…now she calls me her second mom. I absolutely adore her. She is the most beautiful child I have ever met, inside and out. I think because she’s here tonight, I might actually get through the night.

Being responsible for other people’s children makes me nervous. I’m always afraid I won’t be able to do it. I’m afraid I’ll have one of those fear nights where I cannot move and just sit on the stairs for hours at a time unable to figure out where I am, or what year it is. But then I feel it unfair to punish my children and not allow them to do normal kid stuff ~ like sleepovers, and birthday parties – because crazybrain might show up. Gawd ~ I hope she stays away tonight…I can’t have a basement stair night with other people’s children in my house.

I had a night like that last night…one of those~ I hate my life but I don't know what I need ~ I don’t want another one tonight. It’s so unfair to everyone. I really just want to be normal.


  1. Grace, I hope all went well last night and I'm so sorry that having the children over is stressful for you. I was always the opposite - the more little girls in my home the more 'normal' I seemed to be. Letting friend 2 talk to you was wonderful and she probably thot so, too - that is normal.

  2. Lynn, wouldn't it be nice to be able to do things w/o the anxiety of wondering if you will freak out...or worse - you actually do freak and do something really stupid (hello- last Thurs)...

    Ivory, Thanks ~ yes, I have only 1 child left now...and it's child #3 :-). It's stressful only because I cannot sleep at all w/o taking a strong sleep med -which I am not comfortable doing w/other people's kids in my house, and even then - I'm afraid there will be a dissociative episode that will be viewed by one of the kids...child #2 went home last night after 10. I felt really bad that I couldn't comfort her.

  3. 8 year olds are so hard. My daughter is 17 and when she has a bunch of girls here it's not too bad - they all take care of themselves. They all seem so happy, but I happen to know that some are on antidepressants, some see therapists and pdocs, and some have eating disorders. Too much strife for people so young.

    It seems like in comforting the little girl who hates her life - maybe you got the opportunity to comfort your 5 year old at the same time. Or maybe I'm just wacked.

  4. Harriet ~ yeah, I think you're right. I wanted to cry with her...she ended up calling her mom 3x and finally her mom came and picked her up. It's the 2nd time she's tried to spend the night - the last time, she cried for 2 hours in the middle of the night and I held her and slept with her on the floor - the next day when my body reminded me I'm way too old to sleep on the floor - I decided not to do that again....