Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Separation Anxiety

I always knew that having a child while in the military would have some affect on Lael's mental stability.

I left her when she was 18 months old because I had to deploy to Iraq. While I spoke to her often, she was young and didn't understand mommy being away. I was gone a little over 4 months and she turned 2 a few weeks after my return.

When I returned she was very upset with me and for a short while only dealt with me in short bursts. A few weeks after my return she finally started to come back around.

I can't explain how guilty I felt but also glad that children are so forgiving. But once she latched back on to me she never. let. go.

Taking her to daycare became a nightmare. She would scream and cry and attach herself to my leg. She was afraid I would leave her there and not come back again.

She's 5 now but her attachment to me and her belongings has not loosened up. She get very upset when her sister leaves after her weekend visits. She looses her mind after a weekend with her grandparents. She has to have a kiss and hug EVERY. SINGLE. DAY before I leave for work and before she goes to bed. No exception. If she falls asleep without it she WILL wake up in the middle of the night to make it known and to correct the mistake. Recently her fish died and I don't think I can go through that type of trauma again.

But one of her biggest issues is getting rid of toys. I am not exaggerating when I say she has gotten rid of hardly ANYTHING she's ever gotten. I have managed to bag up things before her birthdays and Christmas but she manages to get them back before they go to Goodwill.

Sunday night I tried again to get her to go through her toys with me to find things we can donate.

(Note: If I get rid of them without her knowledge she notices...seriously. "Mom, what happened to my doll with the pink hair and green dress with 1 leg that I got from Suzie for my 3rd birthday that I left under the table 2 weeks ago". Yeah something like that. She notices.)

I pulled out some of the big toys.

She proceeded to climb in the toy box to get a closer look.

And this is all she could come up with.

I'm afraid her college fund will be used early for visits to the "happy" doctors. My child apparently has separation issues. And it's all my fault. :o)


  1. She is so cute. It is hard for kids to depart with their beloved toys. I know EXACTLY where you are coming from when they notice that something is missing. Who would have thought they would notice?

  2. One day, she will understand the importance of your job, and forgive you completely, but I know it's hard to get her to now, while she's stll so little. Just keep doing all you can to comfort her. As she gets older, I'm sure it'll get better.

    Btw, you've been tagged! :-)

  3. Kids remember everything, don't they? But they are so cute too :)

  4. oh i cant imagine....blessings hugs and praises to you forserving our country

  5. what you did, the sacrifice you made is so enormous and one day she will understand why. I personally want to thank you for being such a brave woman. I could not have done it. Thank you

  6. That must break your heart when she has a hard time leaving you. It's never easy, is it?

    My daughters are the same way about their toys. I will clean them out when they aren't around, usually getting rid of things that they haven't played with in YEARS, and 3 days later they will be like, "Mom, have you seen that Barbie with the white shirt and red dress?"



Those laughing with me...or at me.