Mina came home yesterday after a week with her dad and grandparents. She decided she was ready to talk about her feelings regarding the Divorce. Typical Mina style, she told me that she finally had words to express how she felt and she wanted to discuss them.
“It’s hard for a little girl to go from one house to the next, missing the parent that is not there. I don’t feel it’s fair that I only got to spend 4 birthdays with both my parents married and I want to know why!”
No, it’s not fair for you and I can only imagine how hard it must be to go back and forth.
Gently, we go back in time to when we were all together. She still remembers, in her mind, the day her dad left. It’s not the actual day, but it was a pretty bad day in February and I understand how it made an impression on her. She gets scared when people leave because she is afraid she will never see them again.
One by one, we began breaking down those fears and looking at reality. She calmed down. By looking at the past and comparing it to the present, we made it like a picture book. We described images and feelings when we were all together up to now. “We were all sad, Mommy. Why were you and Baba sad? How come you couldn’t make each other happy anymore?” Baba and I realized that for our family to be happy, it was more important to be happy, separately, then to be sad together. Then, we took the time to look at how we have learned to be happy, separately, but as a family. Listing all the ways we have grown since the divorce, our new extended family members, and experiences helped her understand a bit better.
In her perfect world, Alex and the girls would move in, her dad and his partner will live within walking distance and the grandparents would always be around. She needs security and to know her loved ones are always around her. One way we were able to do this, was to create a Love Jar. She drew hearts, cut them out, and put family member’s names on each heart. The hearts go in the jar and each night she picks a heart and sleeps with it under her pillow, keeping that loved one close to her. The closed jar is also close by either in the bed or on the nightstand.
As long as she knows that she is loved and safe, she will make it through.Kids take a bit more time than adults do processing the divorce. She still remembers how she felt, but now has the Emotional Intelligence to ask thought out questions and be able to comprehend the answers. For now, all I can do is snuggle and comfort her when she needs a bit of extra love.