Monday, March 27, 2006

Against all odds and family members



Dunno if I have mentioned this before, but Tamara could not be bathed for the past few months. She used to love splashing around and playing with her plastic fish and ducks but sometime in December she became histerical at the sight of her bathtub. She produces something like a panic attack, looks terrified, screams at the top of her lungs and kicks around. When I put her in the tub, she does not stand up, but lifts her feet out of the water, while her hands grab the edges of the bathtub, hanging there as if she was hanging to some rock at the edge of Grand Canyon. Last time we tried to bath her, she panicked so much, she eventually threw up into the water and wouldn't stop crying for awhile after I took her out and wrapped her in her towel. I told this my mum, who immediately offered to bath Tamara at my sister's house. We have agreed earlier that my parents come for Tamara and take her to my home town. My sister has a big house, well, big for us, at least 2-3 times the size of our flat. I told my mother that she should not bathe my girl. As the matter of fact, I still suspect that my family has something to do with my daughter's sudden fear of water. They probably pushed her under the shower before, despite the fact that she fears roaring sounds, including the shower, vacuum cleaner, drill and washmachine. No one admits it but I am convinced that something must have happened to Tamara. Anyway, I forbid my mum the bathing, but I know her well enough, she will do as she likes whatever I say and then lies to my face without a single face muscle revealing the truth. She does not mean to do harm, simply thinks that she knows better, and then denies what has happened because what I don't know won't hurt me. Anyway, I suspected that if I let Tamara alone with my family, they bathe her and do even more harm. So no matter how much work I had, no matter how I didn't want to start the inevitable argueing with my family, I have decided to go home for my daughter's sake.
I took my stitching with me, and also a copy of the translation I'm working on, so I have been able to make some progress. I stitched in the car on the way, and it was a long time, as we got stuck in the traffic jam, which lead to our first fight. I DID warn them about the road repairs all over town, but of course, they know better. Anyway, we'd arrived, said our hellos, had some food, I stitched some more. My parents took Tamara for a walk, so I decided to work while I can. They came back with a sleeping baby and the silence allowed me to translate several pages before my eyes and back started to ache. Tami woke up after the usual 90 minutes. Everything appeared to go much smoother than I feared. And then...
My dad made a joke about how he's the minority with all the women around him (wife, two daughters, one granddaugter) and I answered saying he might get some backup next year, if ours second child will be a boy. I was not prepared for what came next! My parents and sister got a collective heart attack and started INTERROGATING how I thought this would be possible?! What was I thinking? They ranted on and on about how miserable my life is, how my husband does not make enough money to feed one kid, let alone two, how I'm unable to handle housework now and will probably die trying if I had another child... plus, maybe because DH is two years younger than I, they seem to be convinced that sooner or later he'll leave me for a younger woman. What the heck? Their heads are filled with worst case scenarios and they poured it all down on me. What am I going to do if one of the kids will be so sick, she will have to be hospitalized? What if DH dies in an accident? What if my parents'll be disabled and I have to feed and change them like a baby? What if I'll be disabled in an accident? What if all of the above happen at the same time? Duh...
All along, I was sitting at the couch and stitched on Ice Angel, letting the counting calm my mind, and could not believe how negative my family was. How on Earth was I able to live with them for 24 years? How come they be surprised at my depression, when they are clearly the best explanation for it? They demanded answers but I could not give them any, because I should have used words they give no credit for. What could I have said to them? That I TRUST my husband? That I BELIEVE in my own strength and intelligence? That I HOPE for the best things to happen? They would have laughed at me an call me irresponsible.
I would also like to point out, that this was the first time I have experienced how my life was changed by my kinesiologist. A year earlier, I would have freaked out, cried for hours, screamed at my family in helpless anger and desperation because of their complete lack of trust in my common sense and abilities. I would have probably nerved myself until I throw up, run out to the street without my shoes and coat, crying, and would not have spoken to them for weeks. Instead, although they hurt me gravely, I remained calm and did not refute or argue, knowing it would be completely pointless. This was on Saturday. On Sunday, I had a nice chat on thephone with my parents and on Monday mum and I talked for an hour on the phone. My stomach felt like a huge piece of stone for two days, but that was all. And I am certain it is because of my excellent kinesiologist's work.
BTW, I have managed to give Tamara a bath, but that is another story. :)

5 comments:

Meari said...

I feel bad for the attack your family made on you. It was uncalled for. You handled it very well, though.

Shelleen said...

I feel so bad for you. You do need to stick up for yourself and your DH. What if you had been younger than your DH, would they think you would find someone younger? I don't know how you deal with it. I have such a temper that I wouldn't talk to them til they got rid of the negative energy. You did good in staying calm.

Vikki said...

I'm so sorry your family is so negative. I think some continued distance would really be the best. Hope that you can find the root of the fears your daughter is having, it really must be heartbreaking to see your daughter in such a state. Have you tried to possibly put her in the kitchen sink with just enough water to wash her up? I really think you should take her to your family doctor and see what they advise. In the meantime you need to stock up on baby wipes. I'm glad your so optimistic and that your finding therapy in your stitching. I'm also jealous of your progress with Ice Angel because I will never catch up LOL Please hug yourself for me and keep your chin up. I'm also an optimist and know all will work out just fine :)

Vikki

rose_michelle said...

I understand your concerns. My family is convinced that I am looking for heartache by marrying a Soldier who will surely die in war. (He is currently deployed!) My mother is very demeaning to me and put my brother on a pedestal. Our visits are usually long fights where we leave angry. I can't imagine having to worry about how it would affect my child(ren). My poor puppy gets all out of sorts with the fighting. Hang in there, we're all here for you. Vent, it's good to get it out.

Nancy in IL said...

Jade, I'm very sorry to hear of the problems you've endured, but your darling Tamara has a very smart mother, and I think your instincts are right.

I love your stitching too, BTW.