A Letter to Lola

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Dear Lola,

Today I took you to Delight. You cried and you cried for most of the trip. I could tell you were frustrated because you wanted down to play. You definitely couldn’t do that. You screamed and made my heart hurt.

Lola, I want you to know how much it hurts me when you scream. It hurts me because you’re upset and I can’t fix it. Sometimes it’s because you want the impossible like a snack we don’t have. Often it’s because you want to do something you can’t do like today or when you tried to escape the house the other night. Either way I feel bad.

The worst are when I don’t know. I speak of those mornings when you wake up screaming. You’re pure upset and I don’t know what to do. I feel so frustrated. Sometimes I have to leave the room in the hopes you’ll calm yourself down. Then I’m more scared than I’ve ever been.

Lola, my child, I want you to know how frustrated I can feel as we enter this tricky stage. You’re not yet truly verbal but you are communicating. You’re willful and stubborn. You don’t know your limitations. You’re testing us constantly. It’s hard for me because I can’t just wave a wand and help you. I want to though.

Right now I’m wrestling with a real struggle. Am I good enough? I’ve felt such doubts lately. I’ve screwed up nonstop in every area of my life. I’m not feeling like a successful adult, Lola. I hate that.

It’s hard for you to understand, I know you’re still 2, but then it’s hard for anybody to understand. When you’re an adult, you’re supposed to be fixed. You’re supposed to be this whole thing. And I’m still me. I’m still this guy trying to fix years of being very broken. And I wrestle with him.

I’ve been so mad at so many people of late, even when I’m mostly mad at myself. I hate living with anger but I’ve felt it so much of late. Often it’s just reflected energy from others. Nobody’s happy and it hurts me.

What makes it worse is how I’m not allowed to say how I really feel in public. I can’t vent these emotions easily. I used to throw up statuses where I admitted how I felt at a given moment. Of late I can’t and I hate it. I have to wear a mask even though this isn’t my brand.

Lola, I worry about you. I don’t want you to hurt like I have in life. I don’t want you to face these issues. I want life to go well for you. It terrifies me that you might ever have to struggle like I do. But I know you might.

My fight is to be better so I can be there for you. It drives me to fight even when my reserves are gone. I do it to make sure you are happy. I’ll never stop doing it.

My angel, please know how much you are loved. I ache because of that love. I want only to make you smile. When we snuggle while taking a nap, I feel rare moments of fulfillment. In these moments I feel hope. You are my star.

Love,
Papa

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