Flailing Frustrations, Like Mother, Like Daughter

February 22, 2010 at 4:45 PM 1 comment

In a facebook note I wrote while we were with Hailey in the hospital, I recorded a bunch of things about her to help others get to know her. One of the things I shared was how she had punched her stuffed giraffe in the nose and had punched me in the nose. Did you know little babies could punch? Well they can. 🙂

There was a time when I wasn’t sure if Hailey had the ability to move her legs or arms. It took awhile for me to see her make little movements, which was probably because of her physical condition as well as her little body being under the affects of morphine I’m sure. Eventually I saw movements, first her hands, then her arms, and sometimes her legs. It was a slow, gradual process. But eventually my fear that she couldn’t move her arms and legs was provided wrong. And boy were there times that she would move!

Like any baby, Hailey had her moments of fussiness – sometimes I was unsure what she was fussy from – was it gas or was it pain from her surgery? But whatever the cause, she had moments of extreme alertness in which she expressed her extreme frustration.

In her frustrations she would flail her arms left and right and every which way. This is how the giraffe and I got punched in the noses. She was having a flailing fit one time and I bent in close to give her a kiss to try to comfort her – big mistake as she wacked me a good one! She exhibited so much physical strength during these bouts of frustration – she would make her body go rigid and swing those arms all over the place – you did not want to get in her way! Those moments were a mixture of a mother’s worry (was she okay? was she in a lot of pain since she is behaving like this? my poor baby…) and a mixture of humor… I’m sorry, but she looked so silly when she’d get spitting mad for what seemed like no reason to me! Even when she was angry she was cutie pie who melted my heart…

During those times I would just have to hold her the best I could and try to soothe her with my voice, a song, rocking, whatever I could come up with. For the first few moments of her expressing her frustrations and flailing about, nothing I could do would console her. I just had to sit back and let her go at it…eventually my attempts at soothing her would work…but it was probably more of her being exhausted that made  her stop if I was going to be honest.

Today, as I thought about writing this post, I thought the topic was actually quite fitting for me today. Today was “one of those days” for me. Little, stupid things frustrating me and adding up and building up a greater frustration inside of me that ends up bringing to the surface all the “junk” I’m carrying around in my grief. My frustrations, my grief, my anger, whatever emotion it might be from whatever origin, will build up inside of me to the point of extreme agitation, at which point my soul longs to flail about.

My “flailing” about sometimes comes in the form of breaking down and letting sobs overtake me. Sometimes I literally flail about, like my little Hailey would, and punch some pillows (as I’ve mentioned in a prior post). Sometimes I desire to let my frustrations out by punching something – like a punching bag or something – but I don’t, I control myself. And all the while, God just sits by my side and lets me go at it like I did with Hailey.

It’s interesting that I can relate to my baby girl in this way. We both have been through a lot and have plenty of things that can cause us to become so very frustrated that we long to flail about and just rid ourselves of our frustrations. We lose control in our frustrations, we desire to let it out on something.  In the end, we end up being exhausted – physically, mentally, emotionally – it takes a lot out of us…Building up all that emotion and releasing it…But it needs to be released…

While it’s exhausting, once it’s done, Hailey would have me to hold her tight and soothe her back to a peaceful state, and I have God holding me close in His arms, working His peace in my heart and soothing me back to a peaceful state.

Don’t we all experience this? We get to the point where we’re carrying our burdens on our own and we need to let it all out in a scream, by punching something (no I’m not encouraging violence here…), etc. We all throw our tantrums, babies, toddlers, and apparently even adults. The beautiful thing is that God loves us and lets his children have our tantrums and moments of flailing about in frustration – and He waits for us to lay our burdens at His feet, crawl into His arms, and find that comfort and peace we so desperately need.

Give your burdens to the Lord and he will take care of you. ~Pslam 55:22

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. ~Matthew 11:28


Entry filed under: Hailey, Me. Tags: , , , , , .

Something to read and think about… Sharing Hailey’s Story

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. ileamarie  |  February 23, 2010 at 3:36 PM

    Oh, I so do this. I scream and literally stomp my feet and shake my head. It usually only makes me feel a little better though, because then I feel silly for stomping my feet 🙂

    Do you have the Wii Fit? There’s a rhythmic boxing one on there. It’s nice because it’s a good upper body work out, but it helps you get frustrations out too, and if you pretend you’re Buffy, then you feel super tough when you’re done 🙂


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In Loving Memory of Hailey Marie

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