Friday, January 19, 2007
Yolie updated her blog yesterday, writing about being parentified. She made me look incredibly understanding, but the truth is, I went through the process blindly feeling my way, never having encountered such a strong case of it before.
We have the benefit now of looking back at it, it was as she said, but she looked like the very forlorn baby, watching her baby drive off to the Army, this week. Like all Yolie's childhood pain came rushing back, slammed her while we stood there, but even that was mixed with extreme pride about Daniel.
She'd poured 21 years into him and done a whale of a job, sheltering him from the abuse and neglect in their birth home, him and Joe, plus she showed them both what love was, paved the way for me, and taught them about attachment.
They were banged up, shell-shocked kids when they flew to Georgia in 1991. Always watching Yolie for cues, Joe and Daniel slowly learned to trust me. Yolie was the slowest to warm up, no other mother figure had ever remained in their life until then. Somehow Yolie never undermined me, but she watched me like a hawk, hovering and ready to intervene if necessary.
This was my third sibling group, but the first time I'd encountered such parentified behavior. They'd even been spilt up once in foster care, Yolie crying and trying to tell me how if felt to see her brothers carried off.
Yolie floundered hard at age 18, I didn't see it coming, didn't understand how she perceived she was aging out of a family. It only lasted a couple of months, but then again, after she married, she had a tough time understanding her place in the family.
She worked through it verbally with me and she's since explained, even translated behaviors for me, of my other children's thought processes. I've been so clueless at times.