The above is very true. And the most of the time, I acknowledge and respond in the right way. I recognise that my child is hurting and that I need to recognise how she is asking for help.
What it doesn’t say is that even when you respond in a loving way (nearly every time), they will keep asking in unloving ways.
Even when you spend all your time thinking about how you can help them, how you can make things slightly easier, how you can change things/move things/do different things to make even a single part of their time even a little bit easier, they will respond in unloving ways.
That when you’re responding to their unloving ways in a loving way, you also have to minimise the impact of everything on their sibling. While trying to manage the impact on you.
That you can sleep on the floor on the living room, to ensure that they have their own space, and they will still spend most nights up until ten o clock hurting you.
That when you’re trying desperately to respond in a loving way, they’re throwing all the love back. (Sometimes literally by selecting the heaviest things to throw at you so they can hurt you the most.)
That when you’re trying desperately to respond in loving ways, that love is emptying out faster than you can pour it in. And as much as you try to fill it back up, it will empty before you have time to catch a breath.
That they will always need more, even when you’re so empty you have no energy for anything, they will always need more.
That responding in a loving way to a child who is unable to be loving, is quite possibly the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
Every night this week I’ve gone to bed thinking that I have nothing more to give. And everyday I’ve had to find more. And I’m sure tomorrow I will too. But just now, it’s really hard.