I think it’s officially been almost 7 months since I’ve seen my niece Jade. You know…the one I practically raised from Ages 1-6? Yeah, that one. The last time I saw her was a birthday party for my other sister’s kids back in June, I think. If I think on it too much, I cry. All the time. So I’ve had to shut my thoughts down, and last night I realized I’ve put up a lot of walls in my heart and in my head to keep myself from being an emotional wreck. Anytime someone asks about her, I have to say “Dani (my sister) doesn’t let me see her, and when I visit my mom’s randomly (where Dani is living til she moves again this weekend), it’s usually a weekend and her father and stepmother have her, so I just don’t even know if she remembers me. But I can’t talk about that too much or I start getting emotional.” and they say “aww! I’m sorry. well how’s work?”
It’s just hard, when they aren’t actually your child, and of course you can’t control how their parents live. Jade is switching schools for the 7th time since she started pre-k. How is she going to be able to form bonds with children her own age? Will she end up with an attachment disorder? How upset is she going to be when she can’t go on the field trip she asked my mom about because she’s moving again. Does she know she’s moving again? Why is Dani moving where she doesn’t know anyone? There’s no family close by, so there has to be a guy she met online…or her 1 year old son’s loser father is moving with her somehow. He’s mentally unstable, so is he going to abuse Jade if she gets whiny? What about the baby? If Dani IS somehow moving alone, nothing will be kept clean..Jaxx will be stuck in his crib alone in his room while Dani sits at the computer doing her call center job. As I was telling my fiance about Dani moving again, I started thinking about these things and I couldn’t stop the anxiety and sadness from flooding in. I did what I normally do and redirect my thoughts toward puppies and kittens and cute things so I could fall asleep.
My family breaks my heart more than any man ever has. I’ve built myself mental and emotional walls to cope. I’m hoping those walls stay strong, because they are holding back an apocalyptic size wave of hopeless, helpless grief in the loss of the relationship I had with my niece. And while my charge naps peacefully after a car ride, I might let myself have a tiny cry just to relieve the pressure a little bit. This nanny gig isn’t to replace one baby that isn’t mine with another, but it does make me miss my niece a little bit more.
And it’s just really hard.