Repairing a Damaged Child
So how does one go about repairing a damaged child... when they themselves are damaged too? I suppose we are all damaged in one way or another. It would seem that the first step would be to repair ourselves! I've been doing this for approximately 20 years! Now, I am not perfect... far from it! And yet, in my imperfection I am the embodiment of perfection. I've done a lot of good work on myself. But I admit, there's always more work to be done! It never ends. Thank goodness! I wouldn't want to get bored! Well, in reality, I hardly ever get bored. I love challenges! And I'm grateful for all the challenges that come my way... even when the challenges appear extremely difficult or complicated. When resolved, these challenges bring an amazing sense of joy and satisfaction!
So along comes a child... a damaged child. And now, while continuing to repair myself, I must attempt to gently repair this damaged child as well! After all, the universe did send her to me for a reason! Perhaps many reasons? But she's here now... and as an empathic healer/ splenic projector it is my job to guide her- when invited! (FYI If you haven't read my previous articles... and you're a little confused... I recently inherited a 6 year old step daughter!)
As I was practicing silence for approximately 5 and a half days last week (my silence officially ended on Friday night... Shabbat!), I've been analyzing this new child in my life and my relationship with her. I've been observing the whole dynamic from a silent distance. Up until recently my new step daughter was living with her abusive drug addict mother (may she rest in peace now) and her schizophrenic grandmother (who was known to skip taking her medication often). My step daughter recently admitted to her father, my best friend/ spiritual mentor, that her mother would leave her with her grandmother for weeks at a time. And her grandmother would often leave her home alone by herself which scared her tremendously. I remember one time I made a surprise visit to the grandmother's home (with a court document from the father) and my step daughter answered the door all by herself! Well, there was a small dog there with her too. But I was shocked! She was way too young to be home alone! And she was eating a Happy Meal! What if she choked?
Speaking of Happy Meals.... her father and I were shocked to find out what they had been feeding her! She was living off of potato chips, fast food and candy! She drank at least one soda everyday. She hardly drank any water. It was terrible! At first when our daughter was visiting our home on the weekends I had created a 'no candy' rule. It was the craziest thing because her mother and grandmother would send her over with a whole bag of junk. We would end up hiding it or throwing it all away. Sometimes I caught my friend eating some of it! lol But I knew when this child had eaten something bad because she would start to behave like a maniac. I also knew when she had been screamed at or hit at home because she would come over with a weird upset vibe. And sometimes when she came over I would just start crying out of nowhere because her pain would run through me. It was not an easy energy to digest! Quite toxic at times!
Both the grandmother and the mother did their very best to get my step daughter to hate her father. They wanted her to hate all men because they hated men. My step daughter really loved and trusted me from the very beginning, so I intervened on her father's behalf in an attempt to reconcile their relationship. It worked! Thank goodness! Although my step daughter still dislikes and distrusts most men. She is definitely more comfortable with women, even though her mother and grandmother supposedly tried to drown her in the bathtub. Then again, one of her aunts supposedly tried to drown her in the swimming pool. This little girl is known to tell lies. Her mother lied all the time. She picked up that very bad habit from her. Both her father and I have caught her in quite a few lies already. She lies to get her way. She is also very good at crying to get her way... so we really don't know what to believe. But for some reason, I'm one of the only people she has not told a bad lie about. She never told anyone that I tried to hurt her... and ofcourse I never did try to hurt her. The worst I've done is yelled at her and I really try with all my might not to do that! She came from a home full of screaming and cursing and fighting. I do not wish to recreate that hell for her! In fact, I refuse! Instead of arguing with her father in front of her, I now text message argue with him. It's healthier for our daughter not to be part of that! Even though the energy in the apartment is still relatively thick when we text message argue!
My step daughter is very smart... although she thinks she is dumb. Someone made her believe this! She recently admitted to me and her father that she would never go to college because she wasn't smart enough. I told her that's not true! The only reason she fell behind in kindergarten was because she wasn't going! It wasn't until her father stepped in and took control of the situation that she stopped missing school! Then she started to catch up with the other kids. I had to explain this to her. She isn't dumb... she was just missing school! But that is not going to happen anymore. I told her that I went to college and graduated. She asked me how I did. I told her that I graduated with honors. I did very well. I could feel her energy becoming hopeful. I could feel her thinking, "If Jennie graduated from college with honors and she says that I'm smart enough to graduate from college as well... then maybe I am smart enough to go to college and graduate too". So I'm doing my best to reinforce her intelligence to her all the time now! She just started first grade and I told her that she is so smart that she will probably be one of the top students in her class (especially since she won't be missing anymore school.) This little girl is so smart that at 6 years old she speaks both English and Armenian. And her vocabulary is becoming quite exceptional for her age... especially living with me and her father! We are both writers (and talkers).
The mother and grandmother were doing their very best to keep her father out of her life. But her father fought a great battle and in the end righteousness prevailed and he was awarded full custody over his (our) daughter. Soon after this happened her mother died from a drug overdose!
My step daughter is beautiful and troubled. Reminds me a bit of myself! Not perfect! Yet perfect! She is a healer. I've been sending her reiki (spiritually guided life force energy) since she's been in her mother's womb. At the tender age of 6 years old this young girl has experienced a tremendous amount of loss! More loss than many adults have experienced. At around the age of 2 years old her father and I disappeared for approximately one year due to a fraudulent restraining order that was placed on him by the mother and grandmother. After about a year or so her father started receiving monitored visitations once a month. I would only get to wave to our daughter when dropping her father off and picking him up. Within those short moments though I could tell that my future step daughter was in a very dark place. But with the visits her energy perked up. She started to have confidence in her father again.
This little girl lost two puppies. One died from eating small stones that got stuck in its stomach or throat. No one had the money to save the dog. The 2nd puppy came back with her mother from Mexico. When her mother died, the grandmother gave the puppy away. Soon after her father decided to permanently remove our daughter from the grandmother's residence and she moved in with us instead. When the grandmother went completely nuts and told her father that she prayed to Jesus that he would die (and than contacted child protective services with a fraudulent claim), her father decided it was best to keep her away from her grandmother and the rest of her Armenian family. She also lost her best friend who was the daughter of her mother's best friend. The mother and her friend were doing drugs together. She was also removed from her former elementary school. She lost everyone... except her father and myself (and our 3 cats... who she loves very much). Like I said, that's a tremendous amount of loss for such a young girl.
I suppose in the end she was meant to be with her father and myself. But we sure do have our work cut out for us. My step daughter definitely has abandonment issues... And she appeared to experience separation anxiety with me for a little while. She seems to want to be around me all the time which is not healthy... for either of us! If it's a choice between going to the park with her father or going with me to the library she always chooses the library! If I stay home all day then she wants to stay home all day with me too. She has grown very attached to me. I suppose this is understandable under the circumstances... And I'm trying my very best to be there for her. I give her lot's of hugs and tell her that I love her all the time. I believe her mother was always pushing her away and not giving her the affection that she needed. I remember hearing that her mother was locking her in her bedroom by herself when she couldn't deal with her. Slamming the door in her face and leaving her to cry by herself when she was just a baby! Her father would step in and remedy the situation when he was there... but he wasn't always around to stop the abuse.
Our step daughter is always asking me to carry her like a baby. She's obviously trying to regain her baby years with me! But she's heavy! I can't hold her for very long! But I am affectionate with her and I try not to push her off of me... at least not immediately! I let her get her hugs in! Although it's difficult when I'm looking under my bed and talking to the cats and she jumps on my back often knocking me over all the way down to the floor! And she doesn't want to get off of me! Her father is very strict with her but she does need the discipline! If he wasn't around the child would be terribly difficult to manage. She doesn't want to be told what to do by anyone. I can't blame her for that... but she's only 6 years old! She has to listen to me and her father and her teachers... etc! She has to learn to adhere to societial norms if she's going to survive in this world! She was very spoiled by her mother and grandmother.... spoiled and abused!
I suppose I'm in her life to bring her comfort, love and healing... and to teach her quite a few things. I know it's going to be difficult... This situation has already been quite challenging for me. But I'm starting to adapt. A child's life is at stake... and I know in my heart that I have the capability to make things better for her. So as I continue to repair myself... my inner child... I now take on the responsibility to repair a new life... a new child... a reflection of myself! I will try to do the best I can! That's all anyone can really do!
Jennie H is a Reiki Master Energy Healer, Co-Founder of Self Saviorz Society California Non-Profit 501(c)(3), Poet, Author and Entertainer with goals to help raise the vibration and consciousness of humanity!