I have an eleven year old daughter. She is amazing. She is a good human being. She understands people. This year, especially I have watched her go from a child slightly uncomfortable in her skin to a confident young lady. She has her moments of crazy (who amongst us doesn't) but she told me the other day, "Only with you Mom. I don't care when we get in arguments, I know you love me." We sat there and laughed because there are times that child will not take no for an answer, will not back down, will not just walk away. Even when I say, "Walk away." At the time it's kind of annoying but after a while if it was her deal, she always comes in and says, "I'm sorry." I do too if it was my thing. It works.
Today she had two friends over. They were supposed to be here til 6.30. She came in and asked if they could stay til 8. I said, "sure," and went about doing what I was doing. I was on the phone with my friend and Saige came in and whispered, "What kind of therapist did you want to be Mom?" I pointed to the phone to signal I was busy.
She said, "It's really important."
I got off the phone and she said, "Lily is in there crying."
"Why?" I asked.
"She called her dad and asked if she could stay longer and he yelled at her and said he was coming to get her now. Now she is afraid he is going to scream at her when he picks her up. Can you come talk to her. Be a therapist."
My heart sunk. This isn't the first time I have heard about this dad. She has cried while at my husbands house about him. I have heard stories. Her parents are going through a divorce and she is happy about that. She tells the girls that she hates him. I don't know her mother well enough to talk about it. I feel awful having this little girl at my house and sending her off in tears because she is afraid of her own dad. It breaks my heart in a million little pieces.
I sat down on the floor with them and she cried and said that he gets so mad. It scares her. She was crying so hard it made me nervous that it was more than yelling. I had to ask her. I said, "Sweetheart, are you afraid if he's going to hit you?" She kept her eyes down and said, "I don't remember if he ever did that." I asked if she had called her Mom and told her and she said that her mom didn't answer. We sat and talked about how she felt and what to do and I don't remember feeling quite so helpless as right then. The other friend here had all sorts of ways to get her away from the dad. Trying to make her laugh. Not understanding the situation enough, having never lived it. I asked Lily, "Have you ever told anyone before or talked about it?" She tilted her head up with all those tears and said, "Just Saige." as she looked at my daughter. The beauty of that friendship made me smile for a second. Then I got sad again.
I walked out with her when he got here. My daughter and her other friend hugged her so tight and said, "We wish you were staying." I wanted to yell at that man and tell him he was a f*#kin' bully. Seriously, men who scare their children on a daily basis make me sick to my stomach. I know it wouldn't have helped her though so I made small talk and tried to be nice. The girls gave him some Halloween candy to try and make him happy and smiled. It was so fake and such bullshit. It made me so mad. I felt like I was teaching them the wrong thing. Smile. Be nice. Make sure you don't piss the bully off even more. He's bigger, he's stronger, he's louder. Just smile. But she's just a little girl. I wanted her to get home and feel safe. That should have been a given.