In our family, we’ve had three pugs. Two that are still with us, and Pete. Pete was a rescue who had been abused, He would flinch when we’d go to pet him or near him until he learned we’d never hurt him. Buddy was passed home to home I believe, and he’s an anxious fella- I adopted him from decent people off of Craigslist, His life before us I know little about- he flinches even to this day. Mona was bought to be bred- We took her when by circumstance her previous owners couldn’t keep her, She’d been well taken care of so far in her short life- She does not flinch.
I thought if she wanted to talk to us about things, She’d learn to trust us and that she could talk about anything. Tonight Ryan threw his arms open for a hug and she flinched, Finally I had to ask what happened that causes her flinch so often.
She said mom used to hit her but once she had cancer she became too weak to be able to hit her..
It’s moments like these that make me thankful for my Advantage in being her sister. Even if Id only see her a few times a year- I know first hand where she came from, It was my hope and understanding that our mom had been a different, Capable mom for her that she wasn’t for me. Mom hit me too, and I was always too ashamed to tell.
I had ordered a lot/group of books for children regarding foster care/adoption on EBay, They came today. I read them as Chloe did her homework to find discussion points- “Finding The Right Spot” made me cry, The girl that is in foster care, her mom wouldn’t feed her, Would be drunk and hungover so she’d miss school to take care of her mom. Her mom appears to be bi-polar with frequent highs and lows. This is how the girl got to be in foster care. Ryan and I talked about how this reminded me vividly of mom- How did I not go into foster care in earlier years before I lived with my dad? How did Chloe not get put into foster care before cancer happened? I would guess that we both felt ashamed enough, And protective of the parent we knew had wronged us- to not tell anyone.
My tears soaked Ryan’s shirt as Chloe came in our room, Hopped on the bed and found her place between us. She said she missed her bear family (we’re the three bears, Daddy bear, Momma bear, Baby bear- According to Chloe.) I couldn’t help but smile, Feeling both a large amount of empathy, Thankfulness (for how things came to be,) and a hint of sorrow that this little girl is similar to the little girl embedded in me- Raised by the same mother.
Due to this I can read her pretty well, When she’s in trouble she cries and runs away to hide, This I understand because I always felt that if I did anything out of line I would be abandon or unworthy of love and because moms moods were so up and down, I truthfully for years believed that this was how things worked. Like a light switch- On and Off. Now with Chloe I reflect on how I wished someone would have understood me and helped me, held me, Provided security and unconditional love, and because of my own experiences, I can give her what she needs.
I am thankful that she’s starting to open up. Yesterday and today she’s been more loving, I think she’s starting to see that we’re not going anywhere, and for the first time in her life- She’s seeing what a healthy family is like.
Yesterday we went to the Zen Center for ZaZen and Dharma teaching. We met another family there and it felt great to be around people who didn’t need to know the whole story or wouldn’t know enough about us to even ask. The monk referred to me as Chloe’s mom, Shortly after that-Chloe did too. I took her aside to let her know “Brittany,” was just fine- But if felt great to just Be a family, surrounded by others who wanted to focus on Here and Now rather than Who and How.