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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Limbs, Lambs and Sad Libs

Yesterday’s therapy session was a hodge podge mix of one set of revelations followed rapidly after another.  It was a barrage of information and realizations and a lot to take in.  Sometimes, like a new food I want to really experience and become familiar with, I will take the information she’s given me and roll it around on my brain palate, sorting through every texture and flavor of the concept until I can not only digest what we’ve discussed but really and truly know what it is we’re discussing in my heart and head and sou.  She allows me these moments of contemplation, clearly aware that I need a moment to process everything.

We jumped from topic to topic (as is my usual style when I am in control of a conversation) and I realize after typing that, well, this is the first time she really let me have control over the conversation.  She kept things within therapy parameters, but she certainly gave me considerable free reign.  No wonder I felt so nervous and like this session was so different than the others. Hm.  Anyhow, I discussed with her my anxiety over going to the movies today with acquaintances I’ve made over the ‘net through a mommy group.  We had discussed in prior sessions my lack of ability or willingness to really step out on a limb and say, “Hey, I need _______” and essentially, that’s what I finally did when I sort of confronted this mommy group about not being able to participate in Wednesday activities (which is what they usually plan for.)  I guess the key thing was me saying, “Hey, I wanna play with you guys, can we do this another day?”  And because two of the moms were willing to step up and meet me halfway, planning a Thursday event, instead, well, I definitely felt that following through was a worthwhile idea.  Talk about a tough thing to do, though.  Meeting strangers.  Face to face.  Worrying whether they will like me or not.  Wondering if they will even show up.  Worse, when I’m not panic stricken over meeting with them, I’m completely blocking out the whole thing, refusing to actually look forward to it because I don’t want to set myself up for a failure.

This lead to a great discussion on taking situations and people individually, judging them each based on individual experiences and histories, rather than lumping everything into one big ole pile.  While it is true that I have felt that the people who are close to me in my life have let me down and been unreliable (namely TDO and my parents) there ARE people who I can rely on, without a doubt, to do what they say they will do.  And still?  I don’t trust.  Even the Depeche concert I so wildly raved about, eh… I wrote how excited I was when the opportunity presented itself, but after that I put it away.  I worried that things wouldn’t work, that Andrea wouldn’t be able to go, that I wouldn’t be able to, that the concert would somehow, for some unknown reason, get cancelled.  And why?  Honestly, I can’t name a single time ever where Andrea has said she would do something where she has flaked on me.  Oh sure, the lil booger has her faults, but that, with absolute certainty, is not one of them.  Talking to the therapist, I realized that’s one of the reasons I can open myself up and trust her so completely, because at least on an innate level, I do know that she is not going to let me down and that I can count on her.

We talked a bit about TDO and his inability to commit to that kind of level and about how he (whether through his own fault or circumstances) has often let me down or become unavailable.  While I’m not “okay” with that, I can at least take a deep breath and realize that I it doesn’t mean I can’t want him to be a part of my life, my activities, etc. it just means that I shouldn’t put all of my eggs in that basket.  For example, if there is any chance at all he won’t be able to be around for, say, my birthday, a holiday, etc.  then I shouldn’t set myself up for failure by centering all my hopes (and fears) around something that has such a high probability of happening.  Instead, invest where you know you will receive dividends.  Hawt Therapist Lady suggested I instead surround myself at those times with people I know I can rely on to be there and who will not, through work or other life responsibilities, or their own lack of commitment to the situation or event, let me down and disappoint me.

That was a very empowering discussion.  To realize I can say, “I really hope you can make it, I’d enjoy your company,” but to sort of already put the “maybes” into the maybe slot and the “for sures” in the “for sure” slot, and to really make a point of seeking out the “for sures” and letting the maybes take care of themselves… well, yeah.  Rambling and confusing examples aside, I get it.  Give trust where it has been earned.  Avoid (not necessarily penalize) people and situations where trust has not been earned.  Treat each instance and each person individually.  I can do this.  I think.

So, I had already psyched myself up for today’s afternoon movie date with the notion that I was merely taking Jenica to the movies so we could enjoy some girl time - but hey, if these people show up and we get along, great!  It worked for me.  But with another five degree shift in perspective, the therapist suggested that I contemplate the fact that while I may not click with these people at this particular time in this particular way, just taking a risk and coming out of my little hidden solitary pasture long enough to graze with the other sheep was merely proof that I can go out and socialize and perhaps click with someone else with whom interests are more common or personalities more of a match.

Honestly, after the 50 minutes was up, I felt more like three hours had passed.  In between all that we also discussed a lot of issues regarding TDO and his past, my in-laws, my sister, even my aunt and uncle came up.  It was sort of surreal how much we covered in such a short period of time.  As soon as I got home I called my aunt and uncle to touch base with them and to thank them for all they’d done for me.  Okay, so they were out at the time, but hey, at least it’s on my ‘to do’ list.  I made several other calls, as well, taking courage in reaching out, which was brought about this tiny little miracle.  Because.  You see.  When we started the session, she’d asked how I was doing.  I was honest and told her that I had been feeling very disconnected.  There’s something to be said for the effort of reconnecting.  It is perhaps in the effort where the connection is found and not in anything more tangible or solid.

Now, one of the phone calls I made was to the Cub Scout leader.  Sebastian has, at least for now, quit Cub Scouts.  Cub Scout Leader’s oldest son is the same age as Devon, but they are in separate classes this year, so since the scout thing was dropped I haven’t had any real excuse to touch base with her.  I really LIKE her, I really WANT to connect with her because I see potential for connection.  Am I seeking to invest where no dividends will be paid?  Perhaps.  Which is why I wanted to call her to sort of get a better feel for the dynamics and decide whether or not I was judging the situation fairly or not.  As it turns out, we had a long discussion on school, homework, bullies, bad teachers, bad parents and you know, as much as I enjoyed talking to her, the conversation brought me really down.  There are so many people in this world who are blessed with the means, the desire, and the commitment to have children, but they are not blessed with the ability.  On the flip side, there are tweakers and junkies who go about their life tearing a path of destruction as far and wide as the heart can see, and in the eye of that storm resides children who didn’t ask to be born, didn’t ask to have those parents, who very clearly will never have the advantages of time, money, teaching or even love that they would need to overcome their situations.

It’s not about bulging pregnant bellies or kicks and squirms in uterus or tiny little baby toes or the way a baby’s breath smells after she’s been nursing.  Those are all beautiful blessings, but that’s not the whole picture.  It’s about the life long commitment to love, to endure, to brave the challenges and bare our souls for the privilege of having our kids cry when we make them do their homework, or slam doors when we tell them they can’t borrow the car, to put together miracles with little more than a little imagination and a lot of desperation; to let go when we want to cling and to cling when we can barely hold on.  There are so many worthy parents for this task, and yet they are denied.  My heart breaks for them tonight, as well as for the children who would be their perfect matches who are under fed, under loved, under educated, and under appreciated.  May your paths cross and your destinies entwine in some way down the road.

Be good to each other, folks. The ripples extend further than you realize.

Posted by Liberty on 02/23 at 01:19 AM
Posted under: See-Through

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