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Followed

At the bottom of the stair

I turn and find her standing there.

Near my bedroom, at the door,

She mutely gazes at the floor.

In the kitchen, for a while,

I know she’s waiting for my smile.


At every turn and every hour,

My shadow follows with a glower.

Not for me a cup of tea

Without judgement, silently.


I feel so bad for needing space

Each time I see her anxious face,

But I have needs, my fears whirl

And settle on this little girl.


The teacher always signs and beckons

To tell me all today’s transgressions.

She is followed, just like me

But she goes home at half past three.

I take my daughter’s hand in mine

And tell her everything is fine.

It isn’t yet, but has to be.


One day, my child won’t follow me

And then I’ll wonder where she is.

Is she safe or doing drugs?

Anxiety transfers, you see,

From little one, to you and me.


I feel I have a little shadow all the time. I know this is based on anxiety, but it is suffocating. Peter, in particular is really struggling and he works hard to get away. Katie follows him even more, I think, as she is less sure of him. He told her to “leave him alone” yesterday. Yes great, thanks for that, Pete. Just took me a few hours to get her back on an even keel….


Extract taken: Therapeutic Parenting Essentials: Moving from Trauma to Trust




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