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When I Asked My Daughter Why She Told Me She Hated Me

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The other day, I was having a conversation with my daughter. It went something like this:

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Princess: “Mom, I really hate to say this, but I think I love you more than Dad.”

Me: “What make you think that?”

Princess: “Well, I’ve been thinking. You know how I was always a Daddy’s Girl? I think I am now a Mommy’s Girl.”

And then my heart melted. I assured her she could love both her father and me equally, but she insisted she loved me more. On that day, I did not argue with her. I just basked in the sun of this newfound revelation of my daughter’s.

Hearing your child say “I love you” can melt any mom’s heart, but those words can eventually lose their novelty and specialness. I think I will cherish them a bit longer than most. It’s not because my daughter has been nonverbal — it’s because she was so unstable for years.

There were many days when my precious child screamed, “I hate you!” At the time, it hurt to hear that phrase even though I knew it wasn’t how she really felt. She was angry and confused. One day when she was upset with me over a homework battle, she etched the words, “I HATE MOM” onto our kitchen table. I shed a few tears over that one. We still have the table with those spiteful words embedded in it. My husband has not sanded them out yet, and I’m not sure I ever want him to. They serve as a memorial of sorts. They remind me how far my daughter has come since that day.

With the right medication and therapy, my child is now happy and thriving. Our home has become a peaceful one.

Gone are the days of aggression. Gone are the days when I had to lock myself in my bedroom just to be safe from my own child. Gone are the days when my child was someone I did not enjoy being around. Gone are the words, “I hate you, Mom!”

Those ugly, dark days have been replaced with cuddles. With random shouts of “I love you!” With my precious girl telling me she loves me more than her dad.

Recently in the midst of so much joy and peace, I asked this reborn child of mine why she used to say she hated me. She told me she never really hated me — she hated the way she was feeling. She was confused and had to take it out on someone. Since her life was in such a turmoil and she did not have the words for what she was feeling, it was easier to lash out at me.

I’m thrilled my daughter has learned how to express herself in a more positive manner. It warms the cockles of my heart to hear her say that one sentence I never thought I’d hear: “I love you, Mom.”

daughter kisses mother on the cheek

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Originally published: April 14, 2015
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