Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Love Lessons

I wish I had a tape recorder.  Victoria often says the most profound things that should not be coming out of a seven year old mouth.  But she has experienced emotional trauma beyond her years.  I asked her if she ever wondered how Max knew how to help her?  "Yep, he took love lessons", she says. Oh really? Where would he learn those?  "From his mom." She says like I should have already known. " That's where everyone learns love lessons." 

What she doesn't know is that she has taught me more about love than most will ever feel or understand.  This, from the same girl, that hasn't had the ability to accept or show love for her entire life.  This, from the same girl, that has broken my heart into pieces.  Relentlessly.  

I think I am avoiding it.  I don't think I am letting her, until one day I see all the pieces lying around me.  As I pick up each piece, it hurts all over again.  I pick up the piece that feels like there is no progress;  I pick up the piece that reminds me how lonely it can be; The piece that reminds me she doesn't care;  I pick up the piece that reminds me I am not doing enough; the piece that says I'm not doing it right; the piece that says we are not done yet; the piece that says I'm tired; the piece that says I'm making this take longer than it should; the piece that says she still isn't feeling all my efforts; the piece that says someone else could do so much better. 

Then, after I've picked them up, alone.  I find myself somehow whole again.  My whole heart reminds me  that there has been progress.  Inches when I want feet.  That I do have help if I am willing to trust it;  That I have a sweet and special witness that she can feel and reciprocate my love.  It says that I am doing what I can, when I can; That my best is more than enough.  It reminds me that I am in it for the long haul;  That says I know where to get more strength; That says I cannot compare myself; that says I keep giving for all the glimpses; that assures me I have the only heart to heal hers.  

I struggle to stay consistent with myself, in the middle of all her and life's inconsistencies.  But at the end of the days, where we have been in complete harmony, I learn love lessons.  

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Can't Wait To See You Again

Breaking through the wall is intense, time consuming and slow.  We are looking for that weakening in the fortress to have new, healing and helpful moments with her.  They are rare and fleeting.  Each day that passes I really do gain a better understanding of her and of me.  I also understand that nothing will ever get any worse.  I have felt as bad as it gets.  Of that I am completely sure.  What I don't know is the feeling that it's as good as it gets.  I had a small, beautiful, healing, hopeful, personal and LOVING moment with her.

We had just finished two hours of intense therapy.  We are focusing a lot of attention on feeling mad.  This is her most manifested emotion.  Anger.  We are talking about many things that could be the source of this anger.  Towards the end of the session, the wall was weakening. We get into the car to go home and I always have to sit for few minutes to regain composure.  The sessions can be draining.  She continues to talk about her anger.  I can see she is still "in the zone" and real feelings are being manifested.  I bring her into the front seat, hold her in my arms and talk for 45 minutes.  For the first time, heart to heart.  I will not be specific here. I will be in my book.

I cannot remember all the words that I spoke.  I cannot remember all of her responses but of this I am completely sure; it was divine, as real and pure as it gets.  Just trying to think of the specific words feels like it would somehow diminish the experience.  The revelation to her of the hurt and anger she has for her birth mom was freeing.  She has lived her lifetime with this anger not knowing where it came from. Neither did I.  She has taken it out on me for four years because she didn't know how to get rid of it.  And neither did I.  

 Allowing herself to feel the hurt she has endured is more than a small heart should ever have to bear.  For the first time since bringing her home, I felt fortunate to be her mother.  I am seeing what it is in me that made me the only one that could do this for her.  That could survive her.  I don't want to let her out of my sight.  I want to hang onto her.  I want this to stay.  It was the sincerity I have been waiting four years for.  It wasn't a sword.  It was the Balm of Gilead.  

It doesn't last.  Weeks have past. Hours of therapy have gone by.  I am waiting to see her again.