Like Looking in a Mirror


As parents we strive for our children to have a better life than we did.  It isn’t necessarily material things.  It can sometimes be personality qualities.  My oldest daughter had a therapy appointment and her therapist and I always have a little chat, with her present, before and afterwards.  When I first was told about her anxiety and self-esteem issues my heart broke.  As the weeks went by and after each session her therapist would always fill me in on things on a need to know basis. So it took awhile for me to put it together.  But this evening I was able to put it all together and it was like I was looking in the mirror.

This intelligent, beautiful, creative, fun-loving, silly little girl struggles to see how wonderful she is.  And right in front of her, I looked at her and her therapist and said, “Oh my gosh I am looking at me.”  She looked up at me and just smiled.  It was one of those smiles like you get me!  Boy do I ever get you!  On the car ride home, I asked her if there was anything I could do to help her.  I told her that we need to work on this and how I wanted her to learn sooner than later.  She smiled at me and it was one of the moments that I longed for with my own mom.

I know how she feels about herself isn’t something I did.  But I feel like it is.  I never spoke up for myself.  I never questioned anything even if I knew it was not right.  I never did anything to make anyone mad at me.  I hated conflict.  I struggled to find anything good about myself.  I didn’t have anyone to encourage me to not be or feel like this about myself.  I was just so insecure and I just – ugh!  I think back and I gringe at the thought of it.    This is not what I want for her.

I have feared this from the moment she was born.  I have always feared I wouldn’t be able to have a relationship with her like I always wanted growing up.  I admit I can overcompensate because of it.  Not so much recently but when she was little.  I just did whatever I could to make memories with her (all of my children).  Now it is more of a conscious effort to really pay attention to her, listen, and just be there.  I try to make an effort to let her know I am interested in knowing what is important to her.  I try to make time for just the two of us.

I look at her and I have such a hard time understanding why she doesn’t see what I see.  What so many people see when they look at her.  I want her to be better than I ever was or will be.  I want that for all of my children.  I know she knows I love her with all I am.  My kids actually tell me I say it too much.  I know this is something she needs to learn to see and start to believe on her own and with my help.  I just hope it doesn’t take as long as it has taken for me. This is just so hard for me to know she feels this way.  I want to shake her and say~ Look at you!  You are beautiful.  You are brave.  You are so smart.  You are everything and more I could ever want in a daughter. I don’t like seeing my insecurities in her.  But this isn’t about me.  This is about her.  So I may see my younger self in her now but she is going to learn sooner than I did how to be the best she can be.


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