I'm glad you're in a better place. I'm sure Teach8 is too. Sometimes it's just hard as a BS to watch our WS blossoming into a better person while we feel like we lost that better person we already were to pain and anger and confusion over something we had no say in.
Tomorrow, next week, next month, when she's having a great day, then she may be able to come up with lots of things.
This is exactly what I wanted to say. Ironically, if she's feeling down that may be the moment that you trigger for validation. If you can, I agree that waiting until she's in a better frame of mind is probably best to have that conversation.
Personally, I've come a long way in a lot of respects in terms of personal growth, but it makes me sad sometimes that the new me has scars all over her heart. Just the other night I burst into tears in bed, all because I had the fleeting thought about how much was "taken" from DD while I was mitigating depression all these years. I had such grandiose plans of being fair, calm, and stable for her. I pictured how her first year of life would look and it was filled with light and laughter. As fate would have it I spent her life from month 7 to about 1.5 years old just trying to put on a brave face. Faking it. Phoning it in. I knew that that wasn't ALL I had shared with her, but I still felt robbed of real-life moments I had been anticipating my whole life.
Luckily for me Crazz was ready to support me - not by trying to fix it or have a conversation about the positives - he just held me and stroked my hair while I got the cry out. Thanks to counseling and being a little farther out on the healing road, I was able to use positive self-talk and remind myself that nobody goes through life unscathed. We just have to do what we can with today.
I'm sharing this to offer some perspective that may explain why reciting the positives can be hard sometimes. We know they're there. The work you are doing in undeniable. It still just doesn't seem.... real, I guess, or fair. It's going to take a few more years (according to the general scale) to get back to anything looking like normal. Can you be ok with supporting her for a while longer without having any answers from her? It's a work of love and altruism, but nothing says unconditional devotion like taking care of someone regardless of what you get out of it.
I know it's hard. It's ok to say you're struggling. I just want you to keep hoping for as long as you can. It's worth it.