It is called arrested development.
A person gets to a certain station in their lives and something happens that stunts their emotional growth.
My child is emotionally stunted because of the condition of Autism. I am emotionally stunted because the childhood that should have been mine was interrupted.
It is part of what makes me a good parent. I give my son the space he needs to just be himself. Himself is awesome and its given him a grounding and a strength I did not get until my 30s.
My maturation was delayed.
There are things a human being needs to go through in life, and those things were altered in my timeline. It is what makes me to this day Daddy’s Little Girl.
One should never underestimate the need for a child and parent to bond. Raising our children doesn’t begin at school age. It goes all the way back to our most fragile early moments. It goes back all of the way to the uterus.
When I explain that I have bonding issues and trust issues people nod and say they understand. At times they even do understand. What they don’t do though is travel with me to the source material and see how I was set up for something less than success.
My adoption was early, I was not yet 2. Those earlier months mattered in ways that manifested later in my years. I felt compelled to cling to those surrounding me. It didn’t matter if that compulsion was toxic. What mattered was I needed to be connected and feared severing those connections even at personal harm.
Yes constant reader it goes all the way back there. Even back to ‘daddy’.
When given the place called home my parents created for me, my strongest tie was to Lewis. He doesn’t get called my father any longer for many reasons, but once upon a time he was daddy.
He was the most important person to a little girl learning late how to make a bond with those around her. I was not curious about others in the way I was curious about daddy.
I was the little girl he took the time to raise….for a while at least. I found out later I was not the first daughter. I found out later that I was not the biological daughter. He was for me the first love and the first loss that I could point to as a human being.
My ‘daddy’ issues didn’t totally manifest until adulthood. It took the introduction of someone into my life who inspired in me the safety to look for a Daddy again.
At the time I was not evolved enough to recognize the need nor the connection. I eventually did however and the pay off was wonderful.
I struggle to be vulnerable. I struggle more now than ever with that stae of being. My vulnerability invited into my life someone who hurts others. I am living through their lash out and curse myself daily for letting her into my life, and my heart.
While I celebrate my ability to see her toxicity and remove it from my stream of consciousness……I also weep at not seeing it sooner before she did what she did to my life.
Her actions set into motion what I deal with now, and those I cherish the most are paying for my moment of vulnerability. I have to forgive myself for this, and I have to convince myself that being vulnerable is not a bad thing, it was simply misplaced. Multiple times through my day though I struggle with the anger that couples the hoops I must now jump through.
Anger is not the perfect word but it is the simplest to describe what fuels me. Once upon a time it was love that fueled me. I really want to believe in fairy tales again.
I lived a fairy tale with the partner who let me have a Daddy again. He healed me in ways that I was too damaged to see that I was broken. In hindsight I wonder if that love and trust and vulnerability was also misplaced. I wonder even now as the man who loves me grants me gift of being able to call him Daddy.
While I understand the reality that without that connection in my 20s, I would not have B in my life……I conflict over how I got to this place.
It is not an unhealty place even while it is also a precarious place.
For the Daddy/girl relationship to flourish there must be vulnerability. That is a state of existing that does not inspire comfort. It does not inspire safety. What is does is set off the danger Will Robinson alarms and begin me building a safe room. It causes me to create a place that is safe for me because vulnerability has not been rewarded in my past.
The data says flee.
While today I stand in that place, I cannot deny my “happy feet” which dance without tire and seek the way out.
I know that B will never hurt me in the way that first man did. I know that B will never hurt my family the way she did. I know that with B my inner girl – my arrested development – has a place she is safe. Yet trusting in that safety is something that I can’t do today. I am closer than yesterday, not as close as tomorrow, and not at all as close as I will be in 10 months.
What was once the simplest thing in the world is now complicated because of her. The irony is without her I would not have him. I would not have my spoon. I would though have fewer sleepless nights. I would not be experiencing this torturous existence. I would never know graham crakers or all that comes with that. I would be living as I was, not how I am today.
In a way I needed this, to make decisions for me I refused to believe needed making. The data says: this is how the road turns and there are no other ways. Without her special brand of evil I would be off road.
I will not ever thank the universe for this reveal. My faith has been shattered and believing in anything at this moment is too much to ask. On the other side of this I know that things will be altered, and likely for the better. I haven’t gotten to the other side though and won’t for some time.
It is a bitter pill, and one that I can only swallow if Daddy tells me it is gonna be alright.
At this moment though I am not unlike that orphan girl waiting for parents. Existing without bond, even though there is love out there waitng for me. I don’t trust myself to rely on that love. I don’t trust anything.
And there is one other thing that you need to be Daddy’s Little Girl.
Care to guess what it is?