As I look back at my own life, I realize how much tougher it's been on her than it ever was for me. It has left her with PTSD. From age 3 to 7 she lived through the following. The sudden death of 2 Aunts she was very close to. The taking in of an older bi-polar sister who was constantly in turmoil, but was a great big sister...till she moved out. She became a middle child, I lost 2 jobs, her grandmother almost died from a stroke. That's all in 4 years folks. Any of those individually could affect a young child...to have so many, so close together was too much for her growing brain to handle.
Ever know those kids that seemed wise beyond their years? Like in HS, they were always quiet but you just felt like they had somehow elevated themselves to be more mature, more experience in life. Now back that up and look at an 11 year old. That's Jordan. Life has made her wise beyond her years, it has also jaded her view on life.
She is such a microcosm of her grandfather. A perfectionist, someone that needs to clearly understand what is at hand. Someone not necessarily "quick on their feet" but rather slower, wiser and mature. But sad as well, very sad.
Any parent hates to see their child suffer. To me there is nothing more painful that watching that and feeling helpless. To see an 11 year old seek out therapy is odd as well.
School has been rough on her. The PTSD has led to frequent crying spells in school and in 6th grade that simply isn't socially acceptable...of course once she starts crying and the kids pile it on...she can't stop. She's called names, picked on, actually has people try and get her to cry...it's all very sad. School is a joke at this point, I won't even go there...but they are hypocritical, lack any sort of affect on kids and I live in the Republican Taliban of the Midwest which just confuses everything as its a wealthy area and there isn't much acceptance of those that don't fit the "Johnson County" lifestyle. I truly only live here because of my dad, otherwise Johnson County pretty much sucks if you are not wealthy. Last I heard it was like the 5th richest county in America. And it shows.
Jordan has now asked to drop out of school for home schooling (internet style) Of all my children, when given time, her point of view is always lucid, very deep and again shows wisdom beyond her years. Jordan doesn't lie, she is prone towards self discipline unlike any of my other children, any other 11 year olds' I know and most adults as well.
For three years she was in Girls on the Run, a great organization. It's a program designed to get girls from 3-6 grade and teach them healthy relationships with other women. Great in theory...poor in practice. As is the case with pre-tween girls, they are one way in front of adults and starting to explore and bend to (All the evil as far as I am concerned) society's norms. Which frankly STILL include bullying. Just like Mental Health too much reaction and not enough pro-action. It's been especially tough on Jordan though. Again, wise beyond her years, she can not comprehend the 2-facedness of the others. Nor will she accept it. One example is she has lost most of her friends by sticking up for a girl that is bi-polar. The other kids are mean and hateful and though Jordan finds her a handful at times, she has staked her tent on whats right, not whats practiced. But it has caused a rift with all her friends. They have ostracized her and on top of what she has experienced at such a tender age...its quite crushing to her. She comes home in tears most days.
Last night, while my wife was putting the 5 year old to bed Jordan came in with me. All I could do is tell her I love her, I understand. Her feelings are very valid and gives her a peek at the "real world." It scares her. We just sat here holding each other. I told her how proud I was of her. That it does get better, she will make friends, she will find the right boy. Mostly I told her I loved her and she was everything a Dad could want in a daughter.
I take her in on Tues/Thurs for choir. Last Thursday I dropped her off and she spotted a "friend" (One that is nice to her 1:1 only) and she "lay" her head on her shoulder, giggling some girls secret. I saw my sister, my first girl friend, what my wife was like at that age...all at the same time. It hit me that she was growing up, right there in front of me. She is a beautiful child, inside and out. She has so much to give and I know she will get to a point where SHE sees what others do, how strong she really is.
Anyone that has followed me knows that "letting go" is tough for me. I want so much to protect her from the harsh realities of life. I worry that the next tragedy in her life will be too much for her to handle. So much, at such a young age. Part of life though is dealing with the hand we are dealt.
What I really want to tell her is best summed up in a song (Shock and surprise!) This is a Brad Paisley hit called "If I could write a letter to me" It's about a 40 year guy writing a letter to himself that he wish he could have sent to himself at 17.
Jordan- I love you. I know you have so much good in you and for you. This too shall pass my darling.