As you might recall, I have 2 young nieces – E is 5 and A is 3. I love them dearly. They’re adorable and smart and funny as hell. And their auntie isn’t at all biased.
E is showing tendencies of being a little emotional. She’s always had a lot of energy and a great imagination, but lately my mom says she’s acting a little different. She’s crying very easily, she seems to get upset very easily, and to express her emotional distress she shakes her hands and kind of jumps around. She also seems to be incredibly concerned with whether or not people like her.
While this doesn’t quite sound like what I remember of my sister or I at that age, it doesn’t sound like she’s possessed by demons or anything traumatic like that. My mom is getting worried, I think mostly because my sister is not reacting to this well at all. Her preferred way to “deal with it” is to yell at my niece and call her a weirdo. (one of these days I’m going to punch that bitch in the mouth)
My totally non-expert opinion is that E is having more emotions than she knows how to handle and then gets a little physical when that happens. I think as long as she isn’t hurting herself, her sister, the puppy, or the walls that this isn’t something to freak out about. I would like to have the opportunity to talk to her about other ways of expressing emotions that won’t upset her mother but still give her an appropriate release. My mom agrees that this is a good idea and I’ll try doing just that this weekend while the girls are with us.
Mom also suspects that something has happened to upset E that she doesn’t want anyone to find out about. This part is especially troubling. She used to tell my mom 100% EVERYTHING and she’s been a little secretive lately. What could be going on in a 5 year old’s life that they don’t want anyone else to know about? Nothing good, that’s for sure.
I don’t think my brother in law would have anything to do with it – those girls are his whole life. He’s said to my mom and I many a time that if it wasn’t for E and A he’d have left my sister years ago. He won’t leave now because he’s convinced she’d get sole custody and he’d never see them again. So I don’t think it’s sexual abuse coming from him.
However, I wouldn’t put it past my sister to be raising her hands to E. The bones in E’s head fused way too early when she was a baby and the pediatrician didn’t catch it until she was almost 6 months old, so she spent that first 6 months constantly in pain. Possibly because of that my sister and E didn’t bond quite right. As soon as A was born my sister basically tossed E aside in favor of the new baby who would snuggle and didn’t cry all the time.
I’ve never actually seen my sister hit either of the girls – which is good because I’d have ripped her arm off and beaten her to death with it. I just don’t know what else would cause my girl to act out if it wasn’t something serious. She so desperately wants everyone to like her, even her mother who isn’t worth a dirty tampon. What the fuck has happened that’s got her acting like this?
E gets done with school at 3 this afternoon. They’ll run back to my sister’s house, pick up the girls’ things, and head to our house. I’ll have a little time to talk to E before we meet her folks for dinner. Then the girls are staying with us for a sleep over and in the morning we’re going for pedicures. There’s talk of either going to the zoo or the children’s museum tomorrow.
Please ceiling cat, let me figure out something to help this precious little child and make it so I don’t have to kill anyone to make it right. Amen.