The second week of school already. Now to fast forward to Christmas, then Spring, then Summer break. Not really. But kinda.
It has been the hardest transition back to work that I’ve had so far. Partly due to such an amazing summer and partly due to Smokey and I adjusting to a new rhythm of life.
It seems that my emotional work is never done. Trying to figure out how to love without suffocating him with my co-dependent and all consuming nature. I could be with him twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and never get tired of it. That type of intensity isn’t normal (or healthy) and it wears the other person down. He’s been so supportive of who I am, strengths and weaknesses, but this has be draining and consuming for him. The adjustment period has been a struggle and is nowhere close to being over. Many would simply run away or not say anything until they couldn’t take it anymore. Luckily, he is strong and caring enough to put his (and actual) reality out there and work through it with me. Not easy and very scary, but building trust the entire time. That I can trust him to mean what he says and not walk away the instant things get difficult. I know there are no guarantees, but the tighter I hold on, the more risk of losing him.
It’s difficult to know that I still have work to do, tears to shed, areas to grow. After all the therapy, after all the angst previous, after all the self-reflection and work, I want to be done and simply be where I am. However, where I am isn’t healthy, for anyone.
I was helping one of my new fourth graders last week. He is very impacted. He had picked one other boy that he relates to, and, after two days, considered him his best friend. When the other boy is the slightest bit busy doing anything else, my little one looses it. Sobbing, trying to run away, heart-felt wracking sobs of how the other boy hates him, etc. He couldn’t put into words his feelings. I gave an example of how I feel in similar situations. My heart tightening and constricting. The feeling of terror and panic and pain at the thought of the other person not loving you as intensely as you love them, the difficultly breathing, the heavy dark weight that seems to crush down upon you, . . . . He looked at me, tears streaming, his breathing starting to return to a human pace, as he just nodded, his eyes wide. I knew exactly what he was feeling. I knew how much pain he is in. How scary and wildly uncontrollable for a nine year old when its so consumingly agonizing for a thirty-three year old. In this little boy, I saw a mirror and my own reflection was crystal clear. I spoke of healthy relationships, how being equals in the relationship/friendship is vital, how they both need to be friends with other people, how doing things on there own would actually benefit both of them and their relationship. Things I know to be True, things I don’t really want to be true. He gave some nods of understanding and said, he didn’t want it to be like that. With a sad laugh, I agreed with him and told him I how much I understood and wished things like he did, and we came up with the beginnings of a plan to help him begin to try to have his first healthy friendship.
It’s a difficult, humbling thing to see the most insecure, most imbalanced, most unattractive characteristics of yourself modeled in someone so broken and hurting. It’s the last place you want to see your likeness. However, the clarity it brings can be life-altering. At least, I hope so.
Black Coffee Tables
2 years ago