Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Stand Back", Said The Elephant, "I'm Going To Sneeze"

Having two people traveling this nightmare journey at the same time, in the same house, can be like some sort of demented tv show. Kind of like Facts Of Life meets One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Or perhaps Family Ties meets The Shinning. Whatever it is, it has to have Jack Nicholson in it, crazy as hell, and perhaps wielding an ax. (That part would be played by me.)

It means that we can find ourselves in the most mundane surroundings, having the most heart wrenching conversations.

The hardest lesson to learn for me is that we all take this journey at different speeds. Also, a lot is dependant upon our age and experience.

At first, it was so hard to talk about it. The shock of the situation was overwhelming. When you find yourself in a house that is crumbling, you really don't want to stand inside and discuss the viability of supporting beams. You just want to run like hell. (Can't imagine WHY I thought if phrasing it like that...)

I'm in a position of wanting my daughter to talk. I'm in a position of not wanting to hear the facts. I'm in a position of wanting to do what's best for my daughter. I'm in a position where what's best for my daughter gives me nightmares. I'm in a position where I have to be strong enough to stomach the nightmares because I love my kids more than anything.

She has a counselor and will start with a therapist next week. I will always be there to listen to whatever, whenever, but I also want her to talk to professionals. I want her to open up to people that can guide her, ask the right questions, give her the right coping tools, and support her with their eleventy million years of experience.

But that's not how a teenager works. Nothing is straight forward. Nothing is easy and this? This is beyond belief. Teenagers rarely go into their therapists office, kick back and talk talk talk. It's not how they are wired.

But my daughter does art. It has been her therapy for years. It is her safe place. Her way of soothing herself.

So when her art teacher presses her for her artistic statement, they have a tendency to come off rather flat and snarky. When her art teacher presses her to discuss the inspiration behind her art in class, her answers are glib and evasive.

Until yesterday. Apparantly the teacher gave her a less than satisfactory grade on something and was less than impressed by her answers in class.

That's when the elephant sneezed.

My daughter proceeded to write her a three page letter explaining what is going on in her life. She finally let her know what her artistic motivation was.

She told me that she wasn't being rude or snarky, just informative. Hopefully the teacher takes it that way too.

I told her that I was so proud of her. It takes an amazing amount of courage to do what she did.

It's a start.

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