Small was seven yesterday and she already wants to be eight. She’s one of the youngest people in the class and thinks their age gives them authority. She is a month older than one of her friends and a year older than another and she lords it over them. She is always the one in charge, she makes the decisions and they execute them.
Is she always going to be like that?
I sure hope she’s not bipolar. Bipolar gives you weeks of being on top of the world followed by weeks of crashing in to the ground. Your friends who loved your energy and love of life often abandon you. It’s not that they don’t like you anymore. They probably didn’t really like you in the first place. For someone who enjoys people and wants to be around them, this could be detrimental. When she is at the top, she’d be at the top. When she would be depressed, no matter how much she struggles she won’t be able to snap out of it. She does care about what other people think, and psych-hospitals are the joke to end all jokes and she would probably be shunned. I don’t know if she’d be able to be on top ever again.
Does it seem like I’m obsessed with my daughter’s future popularity? I guess I am, because I see that being around people and having BFFs feed her spirit. I have real friends, now, like T and L. They cook for me and invite me over. I have a feeling they aren’t talking about me behind my back, or if they are, it is not picking me apart, or finding fault with me. My friends in high school weren’t that real. I had mauditmo but she lived very far away. Other didn’t even notice they were trampling my body in to the ground. None of us were knowledgeable enough about anything to notice I had something serious going on. I have the twisted idea that, if Small is at least moderately popular she will have more friends, and among those friends she will have good friends. I should find some former homecoming queens (are there any “former” homecoming queens or is it something like in the Marines, “Once a Marine, always a Marine”?”) and ask about their friendships and relationship. Or football quarterbacks. (Can I think of any other stereotypes? I never even knew our school had a quarterback.)
It occurs to me, in a flash, that punitive parenting would destroy my daughter. I don’t think it’s good for any kid, but a kid like Small could be crushed. I raised my voice to my husband earlier this week. They both were shocked, but Small was spooked. It reminds me it is good that I don’t yell. I don’t want her to get used to being yelled at or at hearing yelling. Same thing goes for corporal punishments, from slapping hands to spankings. I got ticked at her when she was almost two years old for grabbing at something. I smacked her hand and she laughed and smacked me back. It was silly. It put the whole thing in perspective. I said I was sorry, but she had dropped it before I could. I can hear dissenting voices – I should have hit her harder. I should have been doing it more consistently. I can’t expect punishment to work if I don’t make it hurt. What? Why? As Small says, “That doesn’t even make sense.”
It also doesn’t make sense I was able to fly below the radar. Although I had obvious symptoms, I was not diagnosed or treated for any mental illness until I was in late twenties. I struggled alone, fighting to do the very best I could. I didn’t have the luxury of any kind of support team or the counseling I desperately needed. When I was first diagnosed I used to joke that, although was sick for over a decade, I didn’t get “caught” until much later Most people get diagnosed in their late teens/early twenties. I managed to plow through those times with sheer willpower, fighting against my body and mind and was chronically suicidal. Maybe you could have met me and I’d look fine, maybe you would be insightful enough to tell.
P.S. The title of the entry comes from the 80s flick, “Can’t Buy Me Love.”