Orphaned at birth

 Hello there. Hannah has been sick for four days now. I dread each additional sick day a lot more. It is just like accumulative interest. It really adds up.

I haven’t been able to attend language school the past two days, because Hannah has been too sick to go to kindergarten. She has this absolutely awful cough, that sounds like there is slime sitting in her lungs. She just vomited while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Thereby fulfilling her daily quota of puking once a day. 

Needless to say, my daughter being sick is a total curveball, that ‘disrupts’ my routine. For one, it is my first time having to take off from school. I really miss riding 16km (one way) on my bicycle, to and fro school. It has been my happy pill. I’m proud to report that after three days of cycling back and forth, my body has acclimatised to the steep hills and it no longer feels difficult to make the distance. But I guess I will have to work my body up to it again after this hiatus.

I cycled a little today with Hannah at the backseat, without any destination in mind. It was after her doctor’s appointment and the hermits needed some fresh air. But Hannah must have felt too weak in her body, because she asked me to stop riding after a while. I guess it was akin to car sickness. Though she did not throw up.

Anyway, I have been working really hard on myself since the last time I wrote a blog post. Especially on being good to myself. Specifically to speak kindly to myself. It is wonderful, to uncover that I have this warm, loving voice deep within me. I can only be as kind to the people around me, as I am to myself. But being kind to myself is also a worthwhile goal in itself. 

Side note, I am actively participating in church now. I think I’ve found a pretty awesome community. I just tried leading kids’ church last week (not alone obviously). It went really smoothly. It’s crazy to think about how I kind of stumbled into church just a couple of months ago.

One of my classmates at language school, the only one who I really talk to, asked me what do I get out of going to church, apart from the community. I said that I have only rekindled my relationship with God recently, right before I moved to my own apartment for the very first time. I said, I truly feel myself seen and taken care of by God, and not just any god, but the Christian God, who happens to be called Jesus. 

 A big breakthrough from my last therapy session was when my therapist looked at me straight in the eye and said, I don’t think that your parents loved you. She is not one to state things, my therapist, she usually listens and asks questions. In response I did not retaliate, because I have always doubted if my parents love me, but could never come to any conclusion. I needed someone else to help me realise that I am in fact not crazy. Just unloved.

At the end of our session, I felt a deep and intense sorrow that was never allowed to come to the surface. I am an orphan. Only in the presence of a safe person, was it okay for me to open Pandora’s Jar. But still, I am an orphan.

Why have a child if you are not going to love her?

That day, I went from someone who had a complicated relationship with her parents, to someone who was never loved by her parents. Woah. I guess both have always been true, but the former is an easier pill to swallow. If my mom knew, I think that she would try to convince me that what my therapist said was not true. But in the process, she will also make it all about her, and fail to take my feelings and experience into consideration. I have learnt that that is supposed to be ‘love’.

Since then, I have compared in my ‘little book of kindness’ (just a sincere title for a notebook), the difference between the toxic and the ‘healthy love’ behaviour in the people I have had in my life. I have also written down my own toxic and ‘healthy love’ behaviour. That was an eyeopener. It is now easier to look at my own behaviour and see how some of them are in fact not aligned to my values. Sobering work, generational trauma.

Of course I still get triggered by my daughter, but I am now a lot more mindful and aware of the sensations in my body, when that happens. Before, it was impossible for me to self-soothe without isolating myself. I went from zero to hundred in a heartbeat. Now, I do all the gentle parenting things like getting myself a glass of water, counting backwards, taking 3-second deep breaths, etc. But the thing that made the most difference in my journey towards being a calm parent is, *drumrolls* speaking kindly to myself.

Okay. Writing this is draining away all my nervous energy. That is just what I need. Also this chicken mayo salad with lots of freshly rinsed spinach. The spinach is curing me of the  sore throat that Hannah gave me. I’m going to wash the dishes and do some Danish homework. Maybe. Or call it a night.

See you when I see you.

Peace, Vivian


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