Rainy Days and Sundays

My last post was about the perfection of life.  I touched a bit on how there is perfection even in those things we typically label as “sad”, “difficult”, “unfair”, “tragic”, “overwhelming”, etc.  Evidently, to let me know it’s there and listening, the Universe and Its Creator provided me with a week to help me practice what I preach.

It is a rainy Sunday afternoon and I feel like I have run a marathon.  I wrote last week about the exciting adventures of Kenneth and his educational trials.  In addition to Kenneth, we have Patsy and her evil twin Opposite Girl, who apparently both detest school.  Patsy inherited her grandmother’s pace which is somewhere between snail and maple syrup and frequently insists she needs help on simple tasks – both of which get expressed to the extreme when she is anxious or stressed.  When Patsy gets too overwhelmed, Opposite Girl comes to her rescue.   Opposite Girl was on an absolute rampage this week – refusing to do daily chores, wishing the other family members dead, throwing things, slamming doors, and running away from home.  Seriously, packing her bags and leaving.  I wasn’t aware of this plan until she was on her way out the door.  She is 10 years old.  We live in the city and there is a suspected drug house and at least 5 sexual offenders who live within a mile of our home.  I love the city and feel safe, and honestly, no matter where I live, a 10 year old out on the streets alone is not safe these days.

My husband, Tom, and I were deciding whether we should take the car out and look for her or call the police – when the phone rang.  Patsy had already walked (or probably ran) a half mile down to her sister’s friend’s house.  She asked them if she could use the phone – her plan being to call her friend’s parents and ask them to pick her up – they live about 2 miles away and Patsy is not one to exert any more energy than is absolutely required!  Luckily, Megan’s friend called us and her mom offered to walk with Patsy and in the process helped her realize she needed to come home.

As anyone who is a parent knows, we were furious and relieved.

Here is where things are different that with most kids.  By the time Patsy was 4 years old she had been being sexually abused nearly her entire life, had to leave her home and the man who is her biological father that she was made to believe was showing his love for her, then lost her mom who was in a fatal car accident.  Patsy learned at an extraordinarily early age that adults are not trust worthy, they won’t necessarily take care of you when you need them to, and they abandon you without warning.  Patsy has developed 2 coping strategies to deal with her fear that the past will repeat itself – one is to run “fire drills”.  She insists she needs help with tasks she knows she can do if she needs to, just to test the adults in her life to see if they are really there for her if she would need it.  Whenever that doesn’t work, or if she gets too stressed, then she calls on Opposite Girl.  The purpose of Opposite Girl is to reject the adult before the adult abandons her and to assert that she is in control and can take care of herself.

Even with 2 therapy sessions, we still had fire-drills multiple times a day and many, many visits from Opposite Girl.  It was exhausting for Patsy and for us.

About the hardest thing for me is to keep remembering that this is not about me.  To calm my own Ego down and remind her that we are not facing a serious threat and there is nothing to fear.  When I am successful in doing that, I can remember this is about a very frightened little girl who is just trying to keep herself safe and her own ego reassured.  An incredibly simple concept and an extremely high level of awarness that is required to implement it.  Everyday I pray for the patience, insight and faith to be better at it.

So, just what is so perfect about all of this, you may ask.  I must be honest and say that at this point I don’t know.  And I know that it is and I will see the perfection when I am ready and the time is right.  Even though I feel exhausted and lethargic and am not entirely sure where I will find the energy to get through the coming week, I know that this too is part of the beauty of life and trust I have everything I need when I need it.

copyrighted 8/16/09

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