Tumultuous.

I realise I’ve dropped off from my blog a bit. I haven’t had the emotional energy to relive my last two sessions from last week. They weren’t good, I can tell you that. Monday’s session was especially awful, and I can’t even remember it to tell you why it was so awful and stupidly, I didn’t press “ record” on my phone, so I can’t even listen back.

I do know that I was angry with her on Monday, not for anything new particularly, just for everything that’s been going on lately, for feeling blamed and shut down by her in previous sessions.

Sienna said that she’d spoken to her supervisor about how I say she’s not connecting to me and she thinks and feels she’s is. And she feels she’s definitely trying to. And I feel confused about that because I don’t see how she could say and do the things she has lately and not know there’s an issue or not see that I’ve withdrawn and she hasn’t been getting through to me. How can she not know???

Her supervisor suggested that since I am extremely sensitive to any changes in Sienna, that maybe I’m picking up on some of the things going on in her life right now. Sienna asked if I wanted to hear about it?

I was in defence mode, so didn’t really feel ready for more bad news and it felt like bad news coming. But I’m also super nosy, so obviously I wanted to know what this thing is. So I nodded yes, I wanted to hear it.

So it would seem in her school job as a play therapist, they’ve asked her to take on a new role, to cover someone else. This will be for a year. So she’s going to be there full-time now. And she no longer has her private day clients, only evening ones.

She said it won’t affect me. (Which is probably why she didn’t tell me that was happening.)

But my back was up. I felt real fear about this change and I felt pissed off that she’s given up half her private practice. And I felt really sorry for the day clients she’s got rid of.

Somewhere in the session I asked rather bitchily “ So, how did your day clients feel about being dumped?”

Sienna said “ I didn’t dump them!”

And I said quickly “ I wonder if they see it that way?”

Sienna said really firmly and in a tone that told me she was angry “ SIRENA, I DID NOT DUMP THEM!”

I said sarcastically “ right, okay.” Clearly not believing her.

She sat forward, I’d obviously pushed her buttons and she bit. “ Sirena, look at me.”

I refused.

“LOOK AT ME. I am not letting you away with this behaviour. I want you to look at me, because you’re being a little Madam right now.”

I shouted back at her “ No! I don’t WANT to look at you.”

So she told me in no uncertain terms that she didn’t dump her clients. That they’d all ended naturally and she’d just not taken on any new clients.

I thought to myself how convenient it was that they were all ready to end naturally just as she needed them to fuck off to make way for her shiny new job.

As it turns out, at my next session when I asked why she got so angry when I said that, she explained that she understands how damaging bad endings can be and she’d never dump her clients. She also said that she’d stopped taking new clients since Easter time and just let the ones she had run to their natural end. So, no clients were dumped or terminated.

The fact that she called me a “ little madam” makes me laugh. I don’t know why. I think partly because I was being and also I’m partly pleased to see her lose her cool a little bit. I’ve spent so long being the one pissed off and freaking out that I was glad to rattle her a little bit. And, also, I kind of like that we have that relationship that can take that sort of familiarity and calling out.

The laughs were short-lived though. Mostly my session on Thursday was painful. I told her I don’t trust her. I told her since the rupture and actually since before that, I’ve been withdrawing and she hasn’t noticed. She said she thought we’d been doing some really good work lately.

And we have. But when there’s a split of parts, I think I can put the bits I’m unhappy about to the side and do other bits of work – until the rupture a few weeks ago and nothing has been right since.

I told Sienna that I don’t trust her and I won’t be doing any more work until I can establish that trust.

I told Sienna that I need trust and safety and containment and right now I don’t feel like I have any of those things.

I cried. I felt so sad at the loss of those things from my therapy. I told Sienna how sad I am because there was a time last year where I felt so safe and contained and I trusted her so much. I felt so connected to her and that grounded me so much, even when things in therapy were bringing up a lot for me. I know the attachment work had been done, the foundations laid by lots of contact out of sessions which had served to stabilise me and reassure me.

I understand why it had to come to an end (our first huge rupture last September had been the same as this one, about taking away outside contact because Sienna needed predictability.)

But I think that’s when the little cracks started. Actually, they were huge, gaping wide cracks in my trust in her. But it seemed like by Dec/January this year, we actually had gotten over it quite well and I felt pretty close to her. The rupture had propelled us to a new level of work.

But this time, this rupture, once again taking away what little outside contact we have, through no fault of my own, it was just too much.

On top of that, she hasn’t noticed the trust dwindling and the detachment setting in. (Even though I’ve told her in email and probably in session too.)

She has just never addressed it. I feel like she’s steamed ahead with her own agenda lately. She hasn’t checked in about the issues I’ve flagged up.

I think when she involved my Dr a few months ago, the trust I had in her reduced even further and I know the teen parts, Sofia particularly is really angry about it. And It’s never been addressed properly.

And of course, Sienna taking away the texting from me triggered the abandonment wounds. It’s a really complex thing that I’ve found hard to find words for, because my deepest distress and heartbreak hasn’t been about the texting, not really.

It is and it isn’t. The trigger has been the loss I feel and the space I feel in that symbolic act of her withdrawing from me. She has chosen not to be there for me. And even though there’s good adult reason for it, all I can feel is the loss and fear and I am flooded with too much space between us and that in turn relates directly to how I felt when I couldn’t get hold of my mum as a child and I didn’t know where in the world she was and I wasn’t always allowed to phone her. So, I had to wait for visiting hours which felt like an eternity away.

Now, every time I feel the pain of Sienna’s withdrawal, I am triggered straight into a flashback.

For some reason, I haven’t been able to put that into such clear word until now. So, I’m not sure Sienna even entirely understands why I am so distressed.

I think I’ve been very dissociative for quite some time, because the past few weeks feel like a blur.

Funnily enough, it was Sienna who spotted that a new part was attending Monday’s session. She said it wasn’t Sofia, but someone new. I hadn’t noticed but I think she’s right.

The parts stopped communicating with me a few months back, and I am only aware of Sofia, who’s been around the most and Keira if I can sense her. But the rest, who were falling on top of each other in March/April to make themselves known, have all but disappeared.

I’ve felt parts move in, because I haven’t felt like “me” and I have sometimes heard them speak, but they won’t make themselves known to me and they won’t show me their memories. So, no name and no memories. It makes it very hard to work in therapy.

On Thursday, I told Sienna that the parts wouldn’t talk to me anymore. They’d gone away. She said they’d come back. And I felt annoyed because she wasn’t asking why they’d gone away or even curious as to why that might be.

Actually, 10 year old Libby came back last week and this week. She is quite distressed and wants to self-harm really badly. It’s been hard holding her emotions and not acting on them.

Libby looks pretty similar to this… except she wear a white vest that comes down to the top of her thighs, like an underwear vest little girls wear.

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After Monday’s session, I took a really bad migraine which lasted all of Tuesday. I was sick three times with it. I haven’t had a migraine in years and I suspect the emotional turmoil on this rupture is taking its toll on me.

And after Thursday’s session, I felt so exhausted and bereft that I asked Sienna for a check-in on Friday morning.

She agreed to it.

On Friday morning I broke my heart on the phone. I think I was regressed. I told Sienna that I didn’t want to accept that my mum isn’t coming back for me, that no one is coming for me.

Sienna was very gentle and lovely. And she told me to get back into bed with my teddies and to cuddle in to them.

When I got off the phone from her, I didn’t go straight to bed. The grief racked my entire body, it stiffened with pain and emotion. I couldn’t stop sobbing. I felt bereft. So strenuous was my crying that I almost threw up. And it wasn’t until my muscles fatigued from the emotion that I suddenly got so tired that I had to climb into bed and sleep for a long time.

Later on, I felt calmer. The grief was a bit further away and I was warmed and reassured by Sienna’s willingness to talk to me in the morning. I felt a bit closer to her again and like some repair work was happening finally.

I think in part I’d had to test her promise that we could have phone check-ins instead of texting.

But also, the weekend loomed ahead and it felt like too long and too much space opening up and it was triggering me.

Something I’ve noticed this week and probably before this week too.

When Sienna told me that she’s been reducing her client load since Easter, and also that she clearly knew about this new job coming up and all the other things she does in her life that I am not privy to… well it really bothers me. I feel a sense of betrayal. That there’s all these things going on behind the scenes that I don’t know about. That I’m not allowed to know. And I really hate and resent it.

It makes me feel like I really don’t know her. She is a stranger to me. I am telling my life to a stranger. I feel tricked into feeling like we have a real relationship when really, we have fuck all; An elaborate and convincing act that looks like an intimate relationship.

As I feel like this, I feel less inclined to find connection with her. Less inclined to tell her anything about my daily life.

I just feel so unattached and floaty and so at risk from just jacking this whole therapy thing in.

I am losing hope, losing confidence in her, losing interest in her and therefore lacking motivation to keep turning up and putting myself through all this pain.

Why does she get to hide so much while I am cutting my veins open and splurging my soul to her?

I feel angry and hurt and betrayed and lonely.

I daresay I should tell Sienna all this. But the fact is, I feel so guarded and mistrustful that I really don’t want to be that vulnerable.

I guess that’s more detachment?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know how much more I can take.

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I’m so alone. And I’m so sad that I can’t bear it.

It feels like every interaction with Sienna just sends me further away. I feel myself detaching more and more. The more she misunderstands or is just plain wrong about something… the further away I go and the more determined I am that she isn’t safe anymore and that I am not going to talk about anything else until I feel safe.

But every session feels like more disconnection, more misunderstandings and the more I try to explain, the more I don’t feel understood and round and around it goes, like some nightmare carousel that I can’t get off.

And Sienna talks with such authority about what she thinks it going on and she has it all so fucking wrong we may as well be strangers.

And I feel so angry and unsafe with her that I just remain closed down. And she has it all so wrong that I wonder if she’s actually ever listened to me or knows me?

I am so tired of it all. I feel defeated. I want to leave because the pain this is causing is too much. But I know I need therapy.

So, I think about taking a break, a month maybe. I need rest from all of this uncertainty and heartbreak. And I don’t know what to do for the best…. Is taking a break good self-care or avoidance/fear?

I’ve never wanted or needed a break as much as I do now. But the fear and pain of whatever this is that Sienna and I are going through is so overwhelming that If I was to take a break, I’m really not sure I’d go back. I think the fear of what’s to come would overtake me and I’d just never return.

I need the break, yet I feel fear about the spaces between sessions. So how can I contemplate taking a month off? How can I want a break when I still clearly need my therapist’s input as often as I can get it?

And if I stay, and continue down this path, how do I tolerate it? How do I minimise the traumatic effect of staying in relationship when I feel so frightened?

I don’t know what to do. I desperately want the pain to go away. I can’t take much more of it. It feels like every week the upset and fear and shut-down ramps up and sessions are physically painful for me.

I’m overwhelmed and alone. And really sad. I don’t know what to do with myself.

 

 

 

detached and far away.

I haven’t written about my shitty session this week yet. Partly because I’ve been busy and partly because I’m sick of thinking about and listening to the audio session and hearing how off the mark my therapist was.

I don’t understand what happened, she knew I want to come in and just be supported in the overwhelming grief I’d been experiencing, I told her explicitly, “ no boundaries talk.” So why then were boundaries brought up? And why did she try to force me into remembering certain things about my childhood? She really pushed on a day I had specifically asked for a gentle session.

And why did every single thing she say sound like an accusation? Like everything I think and feel and experience is all down to me thinking wrongly or acting wrongly or not being forgiving enough? Right down to my grief, that is also my fault for letting myself get stuck there, and not having a relationship that I want with my mum is partly down to me not forgiving her.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, Sienna.

The session was a nightmare from start to finish.

I did manage to tell her she wasn’t doing a very good job. I asked her at the end why she couldn’t have just connected to me and she said she thought she had been??? How is making a client feel blamed and responsible going to achieve authentic connection.

I felt attacked and shut-down. And when I told her how I felt, she would tell me that’s just my perception and by that implicated I was understanding her wrong. When actually I understood perfectly well what she was saying and if I was misunderstanding, then why isn’t it her method of delivery that’s wrong or unsuccessful? Why is the responsibility on me? Why is it always me who’s “perceiving” it wrongly? Maybe she needs to look at her communication skills rather than my ability to understand her meaning.

The single saving grace from that whole session was at the end when I was walking out and she called me back for a hug. She didn’t say anything, she just hugged me and then held my head in her hands and looked at me and then hugged me again.

It was an action that said “ I know this session was shitty, but I care and we are OK.”

Sienna rarely hugs me on the way out of a session, although it’s been more regular recently – but still rare. And I’m glad she did this time. It was the only thing that reassured me in that whole hour.

And it’s the only reason I’m not kicking off big time. It’s given me something to hold onto. Something to help me reason that even though I felt attacked or blamed, that she still cares and probably didn’t mean to make me feel that way. She got the tone of the session SO wrong though, and I don’t understand it.

However, I feel like our relationship is eroding bit by bit. My trust in her feels minimal and I can feel myself withdrawing from her more and more. It feels awful. Awful but necessary. And the worst thing is, I don’t think she even senses it. I don’t think she’s noticed how bad things are.

Confusingly, even though I feel the above to be true, I know somewhere there’s deep trust in her, somewhere, because I’m still there, I’m still turning up.

I guess I just feel like that little kid who is really struggling and the adults around her aren’t noticing, they aren’t seeing her.

I know somewhere I feel a lot of anger about the most recent rupture. I’m not really in touch with the anger right now though. I’m not sure if I’ve cut the feelings off or if I’ve just detached so much from her and my hope and trust is so eroded that general apathy has begun to set in.

I am exhausted from it all. I feel beaten up and defeated by this therapy process. And I constantly feel like I want to leave. Every-time I think of a new week beginning, and going to therapy and all it stirs up, I feel so bone-tired. I feel fearful too. The weeks where I have to sessions (like next week) produce slightly less anxiety because I feel more supported knowing I have a second session. But the weeks where I only have one session in the week, I feel panic rising because it feels like too much space, too much time to cope on my own and I also feel the grief of Sienna taking away the option of texting.

This week something very significant occurred to a family member, and normally I would have sent a text to let Sienna know, just for support I suppose. But this time, even though I thought about letting her know, I resolved not to. Because if she doesn’t want texting, then she doesn’t want to know about significant events in my life that occur out-with session time. If she wants to withdraw herself from me and only see me during sessions, then why would I share what’s going on in my life?

And I know that’s churlish. But I can’t help it. I feel so angry and closed off from her that I just don’t want to tell her what’s going on in my life, yet I feel sad that I can’t share it with her. See? I am so ambivalent about everything!

I’ve lost touch with my therapist. I feel so far away from her and I don’t know how to find my way back. And the further away I get, the easier it becomes to detach and not feel much about that. And I’m scared I get so detached that I’ll just terminate.

I do wonder whether this is part of my attachment process. I mean, obviously it is. But I wonder whether I’ve had my intense attachment and anxiety led clinginess and enmeshment phase? Is this now the aloof, detached, couldn’t care less phase?

And I feel kind of confused and worried about the parts. There was time when they were very loud and obvious and busy. And it’s like they’ve virtually disappeared. There’s very few parts willing to come out. Sofia has popped up once or twice. But the youngest and most traumatised parts that were just starting to make themselves known have retreated so far inside that even I can’t feel them.

Yet, when I think about it, I have heard younger parts slip out in session when I listen back to the audio, so I wonder whether I’ve lost the ability to recognise when another part is out rather than there just being none around?

I feel sad that they’ve lost so much trust that they’ve gone silent again. I don’t know if this is just a normal part of the cycle, an ebb and flow type of thing?

But last night, I did get an inkling that they’re still around, because in a dream I had I dreamt of being severely dissociated and confused and usually those type dreams are parts communicating. The dream was quite distressing. And when I woke up I though “ ah, there you are.” Knowing that a part was still there, still listening in.

So that’s where I am at right now. I have a check-in scheduled for tomorrow but to be honest I don’t even see the point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current mood.

Current Mood.

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I am so spent. So tired of fighting myself, my brain, my memories, my nightmares, my therapist.

I am bone tired.

I have no more fight left in me right now. I feel completely defeated, beaten up and I literally can’t find any more energy for healing or hope.

I am not giving up completely and I know I’ll find some fight in me another day, but it won’t be this week, I have nothing left to give.

I am steeped in grief and I feel alone with it. My therapist isn’t understanding me and it makes me feel so isolated.

 

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words.

Yesterday, during the acute stages of another grief wave, I text Sienna and asked if we could talk?

Waiting for a reply was agonizing. Even though I knew we’d agreed that I can ask for a check-in, we still haven’t had an explicit boundaries talk, about what the new boundaries will be. So, I wasn’t sure she’d remember agreeing to that.

It crossed my mind that she might not answer me and I knew that if she did that, it was going to cause damage in our relationship- more than is already there.

Luckily, she did reply. And we scheduled a call for 2 hours later.

By the time that came I had already done a lot of crying and was in a calmer place and no longer feeling desperate. I felt a bit of a fraud.

But as soon as I started explaining what was happening, the tears just poured out of me again. Sienna was empathic and reassuring and she said she wished she could be there to just hold me and let me cry it out. And that’s what I wished for more than anything but I didn’t say that to her… cos’ cringe. She also said that she wasn’t sorry to see this grief because it’s been a long time coming and it’s needed to come, that I’ve needed to feel this.

Tearfully I told her that when I come to my session, I didn’t want to talk about boundaries or ruptures or anything and she agreed that I should just come in and just be there.

The call was only about 10 minutes long and it was enough to just get me through to Monday’s session. It solidified for me that Sienna is still there. That the texting is gone but if I need to speak to her she’ll try to find time. And for the first time in weeks, I felt somewhat reassured by that. To be honest I still don’t understand why a call is any less work than a text though.

Monday’s been tough. My whole body is feeling the stress of grieving. I am extra tired, everything wears me out. I woke up early and was going to stay up, but I found the feelings of grief too overwhelming, I cried a few times and eventually just took myself off to bed. Bed was the only place I wanted to be. I felt pretty unwell. Very tired, running warm and then later on feeling very cold whilst under my duvet. I don’t think I’m physically ill with a bug or anything even though it feels like it a bit. I think this is just all the upset and grief triggering my Fibromyalgia.

As I lay in bed, I procrastinated about whether to go to my session. I felt ill enough that I just wanted to stay home in bed. I’m crying a lot but when I’m not crying I am feeling emotional pain or after a crying episode I’d just feel that numbed calm way. It makes me not want to do anything. I don’t want to deal with therapy, I don’t want to deal with my relationship with Sienna which brings so much comfort but also so much fear and pain at times.

Anyway, after some more sleep, I woke up still feeling shit but slightly less tired. After I’d showered and dressed, I suddenly felt a need to get out of this house. Out of the sadness. So, therapy was that escape, I guess.

Sienna had asked me to try and write down words or sentences or even drawings of how I’m feeling. I’d told her I felt stuck with all these emotions and thoughts but they somehow won’t connect to my mouth into coherent sentences.

I didn’t feel like talking, I didn’t feel like writing and I didn’t feel safe to tell her all I’m feeling about the rupture 3 weeks ago. There been a real loss of trust and I find myself really backing off from her lately. And not just in the past 3 weeks, in the past few months, I’d say.

But I did print off one image to describe the longing and loss of a mother I never had. A powerful image that evokes such sadness to see because it feels so empty and feels like so much loss and the longing in it is so poignant. I feel like this image encapsulates all that my words can’t articulate adequately. I’ve used this photo before because it really resonates with me.

I wanted to give Sienna that image and hoped it would say what I needed it to. I hope she’d find understanding in it.

I didn’t have the energy for words today. A picture is all I had in me.

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Grieving. You’re not there.

 

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I am in agony. Emotional, psychological agony. Grief.

I am increasingly dissociative, a coping mechanism to stave off some of the most intense moments of grief. I find myself feeling dizzy and fuzzy and a bit confused at times. It comes and goes.

I am desperately trying to externalise the pain through drawing or writing, and hoping it will organise my thoughts. But I can’t. I can’t seem to organise anything or even use my art materials to find some relief. I feel like this enormous pain is just encased, stuck. It’s this concentrated powerful and stuck ball of grief that I can do nothing with except stay submerged in.

I try to find reprieve from tv, always looking for something I can immerse myself in and not think for a while. I’ve read a whole book in two days.

I have been trying to do my yoga practice, but it’s really hard and painful to move and stretch outwards when the pain/grief which sits in my solar plexus and stomach just wants to be still and protective and frozen and curled up.

I’ve used hot water bottles this week to cuddle into, desperately trying to find comfort for this very physical emptiness that sits inside of me, trying to find warmth to ward off the icy coldness of the abandonment feelings.

But this grieving, it’s never far away and it floods me. I am perpetually sad and close to tears.

My whole body is activated. I crave to be held. I feel like a toddler with little graspy hands, reaching up to be held. My body tingles all over, like pins and needles except the need is for physical containment. I need to cuddle in and feel safety.

I never knew that feelings and trauma could feel so physical. Not until I started this work. But it is. I wonder if it’s something most therapists know?… That developmental trauma, any trauma, is literal pain in the body. It’s not just hurt feelings, it’s not thoughts or memories that are hurtful, but it is a physical experience.

I feel so hurt and let down by Sienna and her taking away texting. It’s really tapped into something huge. And it’s not even about the texting, not really.

The last time we spoke about it, she said we could still have check-ins if I need them. I can still ask for a call, and that’s better than texting. Much better. And I can still text her when I get CSA nightmares. It’s a really good deal, if I think about it.

Yet, something about her taking away the texting…. Every-time I think about it, my body reacts with massive pain. It’s not so much the texting that I’m desperately holding onto but there’s something symbolic in the act of her taking herself away from me, of wanting to leave me on my own. Of being left. Of choosing to not be there for me. I can’t bear it.

I feel the space that’s left, so acutely. I just keep thinking and saying “ Too much space! There’s too much space!!”

I feel engulfed with empty space.

I know this relates to my past somehow. I know I am in a flashback loop or something. But I don’t know specifically what it is about this situation that reminds me of the past, I don’t have specific memories I don’t think of anything that is similar to what’s going on between Sienna and I.

I am avoiding talking about the boundaries with Sienna. I still can’t have that conversation. It is still too overwhelming, too painful, too flooding, too dangerous.

Yet while all talks are suspended, nothing can be resolved and nothing can be processed. But I am not capable of discussing it without losing myself in another breakdown.

The pain is about wanting something I can’t have (Sienna, as and when needed.) And the anger and frustration and rejection it brings me. Though it’s not really about wanting her as and when needed. I understand why that isn’t possible and I am able to wait a few hours.

It’s just…. Sigh. I don’t know, what IS it?

I keep thinking that maybe the crux of this is not about WHY she can’t be there all the time but that she doesn’t WANT to be. It’s about choice. She is choosing not to be there and she is choosing not to give me what I want or need because the drive isn’t in her to do so. She doesn’t feel compelled to give me it.

I am not good enough. I don’t deserve to have her. She is so negatively impacted by me that she needs to get away from me.

And it’s not that I literally want her to be my mother, but I her to WANT to be. I want someone to want to be my mother. I want someone to wish I was their daughter. For someone to long for and need me, like I long for and need them. Maternal attachment.

And I know my thinking is skewed on this. I know I am thinking and feeling dissociatively. I can tell I am feeling through the lens of my traumatised child parts. But knowing that doesn’t stop the emotions overtaking me.

The pain this recent rupture has brought up, the feelings of grief and loss of hope and abandonment and lack of worth and fear, lack of trust, terror…. It makes me want to leave therapy. It is too harrowing. I want to run from it. But I know I can’t. I need therapy and I have a good therapist who cares a lot and whom I work well with. I have to stay, but staying means experiencing all of this. It means facing the deep pain I hold. It means feeling this for God knows how much longer.

I feel so angry with Sienna. Angry and hurt. And that makes me want to shut down. Shut her out, shut the pain out. And constantly turning up to sessions mean more pain, it keeps me in pain… yet I also am crying out for containment, for gentleness and to be physically contained. My body needs her hugs like it needs oxygen. And that need is overriding any of powerful need to run or close down.

And I feel ashamed for needing to be cuddled into her. I don’t like needing that. Part of me glad that it’s so dissociative and that I can’t see myself through adult eyes, because if I could, I think I’d be so weirded out and humiliated.

But because of the lack of trust, and the anger and the loss of support outside of sessions, I don’t feel able to do any work right now. I don’t feel able to be open or take risks or push myself in session, knowing that I am going to leaving and feel all this space open up before me where I’ll be alone with my hurt.

I don’t feel able to do anything but crawl in there and rest in her arms and cry.

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