Originally posted 2008-01-24 17:23:34.
Following up on my last post on separation anxiety; about which Caitlin was separated from us for a matter of weeks rather than just hours or days, I want to share my thoughts and feelings on what I had heard about her when I was still away from home.
I have previously mentioned too that we have had conversations with Caitlin over the internet using webcams. At the last session when it was time to sign off, Caitlin actually started crying not wanting to end it.
While we were away, Caitlin was left in my parents’ care, shuttling between her 2 sets of grandparents on some days. During one of Mummee’s cousin’s visits to see Caitlin, cousin messaged us saying Caitlin “gets quite emotional whenever we talk about you guys; we have thus resorted to using signs to talk about you”. Another chat message, from my sister in law, “Last week, when she was in my house – suddenly, she started crying n kept on saying ‘ I want my daddy’”.
The more I think about this, the more I am getting distressed myself.
I can’t help thinking about what possible emotional or psychological impact this had had on her. Abandonment is one that comes to my mind. Her favourite people are away. I try to stay in touch by calling her once a while on top of the webcam use (whenever that happens; I have to rely on Caitlin being physically in my brother’s house, not my parents’ house next door), yet even though Daddee doesn’t mind it at this end, I know she has been told to keep the phone calls short because “it’s expensive”. She obliges. Yet after hanging up and left on my own to ponder– what’s that “idle minds” and “devil’s work” cliche? I couldn’t help imagining “bad things” that Caitlin must be feeling, and left on her own to deduce further bad things when her thoughts are unguided.
Tonight I am typing this after arriving from the airport & a shower. She is already asleep, down with a flu. The first contact I had with her was when she woke herself coughing, and puking (not very much) on the pillow and on herself. “Hi… I am home”- I could only offer this between doing up the buttons of her fresh pj’s and her sobs, as puking kids do. She is dead tired from the illness. It’s also midnight now.
Since I am actually home earlier than office had expected, I plan to stay home tomorrow to be with her. I was already planning this during the flight, considering all the stories I have heard about her being “on her own”. All the more reason to now.