Laughing In Her Sleep

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Ever since I can remember, my dreams have revolved around anger. I dream about standing up to the bullies in my life, loudly saying no, and asserting my needs.

Ever since I can remember, during waking hours I do the opposite. I’m the good girl, conditioned to fit in, play nice, and get along.

When I was two years old, a child psychologist told my mom that my crying spells were attempts at manipulation. Whenever I cried or got angry, she was to send me to my room. She eagerly followed his advice and I grew up with two mantras: “Crying doesn’t solve anything” and “Don’t get angry.”

I now have a seven-year-old daughter. She has a fiery temper that often segues into tears. Her big emotions have triggered me more times than I can count, so I tried every tactic I learned from my mom to tame her.

Thankfully, I failed.

After seven years of being her mom, and lots of work healing my childhood wounds, her anger only occasionally triggers me now. I know it means her boundaries aren’t being respected, and I work with her to acknowledge her feelings, articulate her needs, and find productive solutions.

Ever since I can remember, during waking hours my daughter has had a fiery temper.

And ever since I can remember, my daughter has laughed in her sleep... Sweet belly laughs that jiggle the bed and heal my soul.

I can only imagine what she’s dreaming about, but I know for sure what I dream for her…

I dream that life will never break her spirit. I dream that she’ll continue to harness her warrior cry and use it to stand up for what’s right in her world.

And I dream that she’ll forever laugh in her sleep.

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