Also, when she calls, I am always fearful that she may be down, or angry, or homesick, and I feel inadequate to help her, or to fix anything for her. When I think about what it would have been like if I, at the age of 13, had to leave and live away from my family for months with other mentally ill kids, I experience a deeper sense of sympathy. I love her deeply, but I don't often feel this love on the surface. I act toward her in love and with words of comfort, but often it feels forced. I feel love for my other girls much more often. Love is a choice, it's true. Feelings come and go.
Like my commitment to my husband til death do we part is a decision to act in love towards him always, regardless of how lovable he is. Sometimes he makes me so mad I could scream, but he is mine and I have to remember always that we are better together than alone. We are a team, even if we disagree. That's the worst. When we are in profound disagreement, I flip-out inside. Normally we are pretty harmonious, so when we can't agree on something really important, it feels like the end of the world. I have learned to be patient and to let him go through all of his machinations when he is trying to decide something big. I can't interject too much, or he just digs his heels in. Usually, he comes around to my point of view on his own. I try not to say, "I told you so." I just nod and smile. Men. They forget about our intuition sometimes (with my hubby more often than not.)
Anyway, I digress. We will see how tonight's phone call goes. I need to get over myself and focus on her needs.