It counts as loss

I've been grieving for about 2 days now. The loss of my youngest's sense of innocence. I look back at pictures of her, and the joy, energy, and wonder in which she lived her life. Full of co-sleeping, healthy foods, outdoor activities, love, laughter, homeschooling.

Since divorce rocked her world, she now is short-tempered, screams out her frustrations, cries so often, speaks about herself negatively, doubts her uniqueness (something she used to be so proud of), and I can just see the hurt behind her every movement.

I've been grieving for about a lifetime. For myself. For that family I never had. That love I never felt. That inadequacy scarred into my soul.  These are not the things you want for your children. And so I worked hard to be the kind of mom that exuded love, closeness, fun, awareness, health, and I tried to model what close family looked like.

To invest so much into creating that for my children, and have this knock it to the ground like none of this cultivation ever happened - this is why I tear up when I look at the pictures of my little one. I want for her to feel loved. To feel joy.  To not carry the weight of the world. To sing. To dance. To love herself. To see her own beauty.  To be in her bliss. Not in her hurt. Not to distrust of the world. Not to be overwhelmed with negative emotion.

How can she be that when I am in my hurt, when I distrust the world, when I am overwhelmed?

Fake it till you make it isn't a good option when your child is empathic.  And so I will just continue to work on returning or reinventing something my children can model. And continue to send love. And continue to get ahead of the overwhelming feelings. And continue to stand up after I fall down until I finally don't fall down anymore.