The first time my daughter told me someone named Ashley painted her nails at Daddy’s house I thought I was going to implode. Another woman was loving on my daughter in the family I built. I texted my ex: “Who is Ashley and how long have you known her and why is she painting my daughter’s nails?”
What should have come next was: I feel replaced. I am jealous. I am competitive. I am angry. I am heartbroken.
Instead, I told myself it was my “mama lion” coming out – the woman who wanted to protect her child from a string of girlfriends and hold her little heart safely in my hands. It was partly true, but the hysteria and anger I felt signaled that much deeper hurt was bubbling its way to the surface and using “it’s for our daughter” as an excuse to play out my pain.