Today, or tomorrow, my first grandson will be born.
He’s not even born yet, and he’s been the center of all things for quite some time.
Of course, his arrival is one of the main reasons I’ve come to Texas — I didn’t want to miss those first moments of seeing his precious new life.
Or miss the experience watching my son beam with joy when he holds his first son.
Or miss the first weeks of complicated adjustment that my little 2-year old granddaughter will have after her tinier-than-her new baby brother arrives in the world. She’s a clever little whippet but she has absolutely no idea how much her entire world is about to change. I’m here to help her through those days, because you know, I expect a few tear-filled bumps in the road as far as she is concerned.
So I’m here — to be part of that, to see it happen, to feel the beauty, to help with the chaos, and to be busy with all things “Mimi”.
Oh. I’m “Mimi” by the way.
Mimi is the name the little 2-year old gave me, and I’m happy with that! I’m far too young to be called “grandma” so being called Mimi is a fantastic plan.
I’ve been watching all the planning and preparations that have gone into welcoming this new little fella into the world. That prep has been happening for months, but has ramped into full speed, as the “any minute now” arrival has been expected, waited for, hoped for.
His momma has been paying close attention to everything from getting proper nutrition and rest, to folding tiny little clothes placed neatly inside drawers under the diaper changing table. She’s read tons of information, studies the newest child development recommendations, has gone for regular health check up’s, and has done a wonderful job carrying this little guy for more than 40 weeks.
His dad has done tons of reading and preparation as well. He’s helped with setting up the crib, rearranging furniture, getting the house ready, safe and secure for this new little guy, preparing both home and business so that it’s possible for him to also take chunks of time away from work to be available for baby care and momma care.
But they’ve been at this for a couple years now.
I’m so proud to say that both parents spend hours — every single day — playing, nurturing, enjoying, tending, teaching their little girl about shapes, colors, numbers, animals, words, boundaries, manners, playtime, quiet time, structure, laughter, music, language, safety, movement and all manner of things needed for 2-year olds. As parents, they know that the first three years of a child’s life is the time when the brain develops the fastest and the child learns the most.
As dedicated and protective parents, they are diligently doing the very best of their ability, every single day, to fill their little girl will all the goodness, love, and helpful information they can give her. They want to give her the very best start in life possible. She’s learning, and growing, and doing really well because of it.
It’s a joy to see.
And such a stark contrast to the way so many other children are introduced to the world.
It breaks my heart to see the happiness held in this tiny little girl bouncing with joy and freedom, and then to think of all the DID kids I know who were being severely traumatised by this young age.
And to think of how truly small and tiny those little DID kids really were when they had to deal with such huge overwhelming trauma by who would have been giant-sized people.
And to think of how tiny those little DID kids were, with so many needs unmet, and being unable to get even simple things for themselves…. Such as healthy food, or a cool drink, or clean toiletries, or warm clothing.
And to think of how itty bitty tiny those little DID kids were when they were left to cry, or not allowed to cry, or controlled, or manipulated, or neglected, or beaten, or assaulted….
It’s shocking to see a tiny little person right in front of you, and then to think of how terrible adults could be to such a tiny little person, knowing that was exactly how it was for every single one of the DID kids I sit with…
And while it’s beautiful to see my son working so hard every single day to teach his daughter all things good and wonderful, it’s devastating to think of the ways creepy guys worked equally hard to infiltrate the minds of young DID kids with darkness and devastation.
Who are these creeps anyway?
To be purposefully willing to shatter and damage the mind of a child?
To purposefully plan to hurt a tiny little one, not caring about the life-long scars they were creating?
It’s just a lot to think about.
And it’s really and truly disturbing to think of how vicious predators can be.
And once again, my heart goes out to you.
And to your system kids.
Because I can’t even fathom how you survived those atrocities and grew up to be decent and wonderful people!
My little granddaughter cries over an ant bite (okay, to be fair, a fire ant bite does hurt!), but you know… that’s the worst of her injuries, and that is NOTHING compared to what DID kids experience.
My little granddaughter was repeatedly comforted after that ant bite, and she’s been allowed to talk about ants and bites as much as she wanted to talk about it (which has been a LOT). Her injury was recognized, properly tended to, and she’s been given all kinds of reassurance after her painful experience. Since the ant-tragedy at the playground, she has learned lots more about what ants are, what they look like, what to avoid, and how to keep herself safe from further ant bites. She is now a little expert on fire ants, and I don’t expect her to be bit again any time soon!
DID kids who were hurt in much more extreme ways didn’t get that kind of emotional support, or help, or comfort, or freedom of expression, or taught how to not have to be hurt again.
If anything, they were told the opposite, and taught that they were going to get even more pain and more injuries. Which they did.
So my heart goes out to the DID kids, because what they went through in their early years of life, and what they had to manage and navigate on their very own, is truly inconceivable.
They are the heroes of your system, and they most certainly need the care and tending now that they didn’t get then.
So don’t ignore them.
Don’t neglect them.
Don’t be afraid of them.
They are little kids who need your help.
PLEASE tend to your littles. They need to experience the care and nurturing and loving kindness that every single child in the world deserves, without question.
It’s bad enough to experience abuse as an adult, or even a teenager. But really and truly, it’s gotta be worse when you’re a tiny little child, barely able to talk, not able to get away, with absolutely no resources available to protect yourself.
Your DID system kids have been through some horrific experiences. Please please please take good, kind, GENTLE care of them.
They need it.
I wish you and your kids the very very best in your healing journey.
Copyright © 2008-2022 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation
This post makes me feel.
This is the way it should be. Everywhere. With everyone.
I take this as guidance. As a way of knowing that I have the desire and need to protect and love and teach and be a grandma, or mother type figure to our littles.
I know that you are also very aware that the little boy wants and need attention while his older sister is going through some tough emotional turmoil.
I know you and his parents, and everyone who knows him, knows he will be upset and unsteady and needing extra attention and care too.
In a DID system, I have noticed that when there is one little child who has just awaken to this world, needing attention and love and comfort, there are other little, tiny, innocent children who need to hear and feel and sense that their specialness is still just as important as it ever was.
How is your grandson doing during the time of turmoil and upset that his sister is going through? If you don’t mind telling.
This post was written before your granddaughter was attacked by a neighbor’s dog. I’m interested in knowing how he is and if he is acting out trying to get his needs met. I know you are very attune to the dynamics. I wonder if you could post an article that helps our insiders, (everyone’s insiders who reads your blog), understand that when tragedy happens to one little, other littles have issues about it.
In our system, when one little was traumatized, or one little was fronting, others were there too, watching. Paying attention and taking in a bunch of life lessons.
When or if you ever get a chance, can you tell us about how your grandson is doing and how you and his other family members are making sure not to exclude him from the healing.
Okay, ty, “MimiBear”. We love that! Have an awesome, awesome 4th of July!
This picture is creepy. But, this article is ok. I did read it backwards.
How is your baby grandson doing now? His big sister? This was a great article to read. Shows that there are adults out there that take consideration into older siblings anxieties of becoming the eldest (not the only) child. And everything you said about DID children made me tear up. You know through your extensive experience that there are so many people in this world that don’t have the loving family that your grandchildren do. Reading this story was bitter-sweet for me. I loved it because I got to see the love of a Mimi traveling all the way from Australia to Texas to be a supportive part in bringing a child into this world. It was sad for me personally because my system is one of the many DID systems that you wrote about that did not have anything close to the love you share with your family. Thank you for sharing this story and showing us what love is supposed to feel like. 🙂
P.S. I don’t know when this post was written, how old is he now?
P.S.S I don’t know if you received my email but I wanted to send a cash gift for the responses you have given me about the inside/outside in-between space. I don’t see a payment button. Can you set up a donation button or something like that? I have Visa that I would be using. Thanks
It is sometimes so hard to know what “normal” is. When I was raising my son I so wanted to do it right. I didn’t want to make mistakes. I wanted to break the generational dysfunction. I actually found a T who worked with kids and asked for help. Am I doing this right? What could I have done differently? We would have sessions even where I brought my toddler with me.
I remember watching Mr. Rogers. He was so calm. My son loved him…but I think I loved him more. I wondered if people were really kind like that. Watching a kids TV program to try and figure out what “normal” was seems kind of odd but I needed all the help I could get.
Hearing about these wee ones in Kathy’s post is like catching a glimpse of how to do it with my littles. I have a hard time interacting with them. They kind of scare me but I am trying.
This made me cry – especially the part about the ant tragedy. Because she got the space to talk about it and to heal and we never really saw that maybe it’s important to have that? Like, maybe it makes the hurt worse when you can’t have that space?
Congratulations! your son and daughter in-law sound like incredible parents. of course, you had great influence on your son, who learned those beautiful characteristics. those qualities are a direct reflection of the care, love and nurturing he received from you. way to go, mimi/mom!
that is how it’s supposed to work. like the comments above, it brings joy and yet a painful sadness. we are reminded of how our dad was “purposefully willing to shatter and damage the mind of a child”, how he could “purposefully plan to hurt a tiny little one, not caring about the life-long scars they were creating”. you’re right, it’s “really and truly disturbing to think of how vicious predators can be”.
i thank god that he somehow helped me survive it all, get married and raise 2 sons; he gave me a husband who had no idea about us, yet loved us unconditionally. i had no role models in my life, but many of my wonderful parts came to help me raise them. today they all know and love us in ways we’ve never experienced before. blessed & grateful.
thank you for the reminder to love, care, nurture, play, laugh, and be goofy with all my inside community! some days it’s harder than others bc i just feel like i don’t know how; other days it’s like being apart of a family you’ve always wanted.
enjoy your time with family- it’s precious!
i live in oklahoma, have thought many times about just driving to texas to meet you and personally thanking you for all you’ve done for us and oh so many more that follow your blog/work.
Congratulations to you Kathy for being the Great parent you had to be to have just loving caring children to parent their children so well. They are blessed to have you. Hopefully this will be the new generation of parents. Love and educated on caring for this special gift.
Congratulations on the arrival of a grandbaby! Precious days, precious time. I hope you have wonderful and beautiful days with your family.
Oh my Kathy but you have such a deeply genuine and kind way of reaching inside and touching my heart, mind and soul. To turn such a beautiful moment for yourself and your family into such a moving expression of concern and caring for us is simply stunning. I (WE) owe you so much more than my humble words of gratitude could possibly express here.
With sincere best wishes to one and all,
Lil Ones says
How precious Kathy. Thank you. You are so very kind & sensitive! I grieve as I read these words. I’m SO Happy for your lil Grandaughter & yet so painfully reminded of my own littles, their unmet needs & the abuse. All I can do, or Everything I can do now, is comfort & nuture myself, accept my little selves & be as good to them as I had wished for. It’s a long journey. Thanks for the encouragement to stay the course. Thank you for remembering us – all the littles.