You know as a parent you feel you sometimes 'get it right'? I mean, you have a child that's crying their heart out for unknown reasons and you know how important it is that you find out what was wrong, and you feel you have said exactly the right thing and said the right words of encouragement and validation to the point of giving yourself a good old pat on the back?
So for the next hour I talked with her, telling her that it was OK if she was mad at me for telling her "Now" in a strong voice, I'm still here, we're not going anywhere, we are your family, etc, we've only known you for several moths and sharing is a way for us to know more about you so we can be more supportive, it's important to talk about what's making you sad, keeping it in doesn't make it go away, and there were times I would not say anything telling her I would just sit there and wait until she was ready to share. Still after an hour, she stayed under the covers crying. Then my pager went off saying there was a multi vehicle accident on a main road. I asked if she felt it was all right for me to leave because multi means more than two cars, she nodded her head, (still under the covers) and I took off.
Yes, it was a four car accident that closed down a large part of the road. All four vehicles were totaled. It's a good thing I went because only two other EMTs from my Department showed up. It took three ambulances to transport all the patients, we had two, another one had two, and the third had at least one maybe two. I got home about 3.5 hours later. My dh had dinner prepared, and the daughter who had been so upset needed to be woken up because she had been sleeping, we ate, and after the kitchen clean up I suggested to my daughter that we finish the conversation that I had started.
We sat down and I said, "All right, what was so upsetting to you this afternoon? Was it one thing or several that had piled up? Do you want me to ask a question or would you like to just start talking?" There were long pauses with no answer to each of these questions. So I said the "We love you, you are family, you can say anything....Etc" Thinking that I'm about to solve a huge problem for her, heal a hurt, sooth the parting from her Grandmother or helping her feel more accepted into the family, getting more involved as a family member, you know all the BIG things. I was thinking, this is good, movement is good.
I tried for 45 minutes and she just said it's nothing, and I replied, "Nothing doesn't make you cry and hide under the covers..." Back and forth we went, I said, "When you say it's nothing, and there's nothing to say, I find that hard to understand because something was upsetting you, so I am not going to accept 'nothing'".
Well, guess what? All that, "I'm making a breakthrough, I'm really reaching her, and whoa I'm really saying the right things..." was bogus. It WAS nothing. She was just very tired and it turns out she becomes overly sensitive when she is tired. Hmmmmmmmm, guess the only thing I learned from this is — she becomes sensitive when she's tired.
Well at least I learned something from all that.