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Projection.

02 June 2017, by We Are Family

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What do you do when suddenly you don’t recognise the child standing in front of you? He has the  same blonde hair, the same slightly chubby, ruddy face, but the smile is gone and in its place is a snarl that seems so grotesquely out of place on a five-year-old.

When suddenly from being the loving centre of his world you are the meanest, cruelest person he’s ever encountered?

When instead of a warm, small hand sliding lovingly into yours, an open hand crashes into your arm, a tightly curled fist into your chest again and again, accompanied by a scream that emanates from so deep within them that you cannot believe it doesn’t contain all their truth when it bursts out in a stream of “I hate you; you’re mean; I don’t like you any more; I don’t love you.”?

And when you explain this to other parents and they tell you it’s just a phase, they all go through it, when your heart is hurting and when you cannot get them to understand that it’s different when your child is adopted to hear those things for the first time because it makes you project into your future when your child will say in anger “you’re not my real Dad.” And to some, and to a little bit of you, it will be true and that is your worst fear realised.

When your experience thusfar has been mostly love and laughter and joy and of course the odd tantrum, but never this well verbalised because now they have the vocabulary and it really hurts as opposed to being slightly irritating. Because now it’s not about ice cream or not wanting to share a toy, it’s about how they really feel in that moment about you?

I don’t have any answers. It just hurts. And I pray that the projections are very, very wrong.

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Comments

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  • Elle

    It is so wrenching when they get old enough to articulate feelings alongside the 'behaviour is a language' channel. I have had the same thoughts and fears as you, but I've come to realise my now 6-yo is lashing out in his own fear. And that if I stick it out we will both get through it; hopefully providing a solid foundation for communication in those future (scary) teenage years.

  • Jo

    "You idiot. You're an idiot. YOU'RE AN IDIOT!!!!!" This on repeat for a good chunk of the afternoon, the day after a train journey (first in a long while) and a late night.
    I feel your pain, We Are Family! Xx

  • Matthew Blythe

    Hope things calm soon, go easy on yourself x

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