I’ve been wanting to write something all day but tonight, after Julia went to bed, I’ve only been dragging my feet.
I was not completely sad. I sort of went in and out of it. High waves of realization that today was an anniversary and then low tides of focus on the present. Is it because after the crush of heavy grief, the truth is that David and I never made a big deal of anniversaries? Than again, the happiness of just wishing him a happy day has receded so far in to the background.
And the day was busy.
I have a list to get done before the school year starts, but every time I think that I can get started, something comes up. A therapist cancels and we have the afternoon to ourselves. I get poison ivy and have to get a doc visit for a round of steroids. Today, it was trying to close out the sbcglobal email accounts after being hacked.
It’s all okay. I don’t want to miss time with Julia to clean the basement. School begins in another week and then she will be gone for whole days at a time. I relish the time when I can be productive but I will miss our summer time together.
And Ed, my contractor and handyman, and the painter were working today. The porch is painted after the leaks in the roof were sealed. Now, the entire first floor matches. Same wall color, ceiling color, and molding color on everything. It may sound a bit boring but I find it so soothing. It is so me right now.
At the end of the day, Julia and I rushed home from therapy to get to my conference call lesson for Lay Trainers. I am on the phone listening and responding to the class. Julia is at my feet playing with her iPad. The painter is touching up the hall ceiling -- where he painted last year and it peeled. And Ed is sanding the front door opening. Just a slice of chaos.
In attachment therapy today, Julia started by saying that she didn’t want to sit by me. I grabbed her -- gently, really -- and pulled her towards me. She complained that I was squeezing her too tight and she couldn’t breathe. I wasn’t really holding her, just an arm around her shoulders, and not tight at all. Marilyn asked if she had ever been held too tight and could not breathe. Julia said she didn’t want to talk about it. Marilyn pushed, asking again, rephrasing but asking. Julia stood her ground and insisted that she didn’t want to talk about it. She could have just said no, but instead she got angry, yelled at Marilyn, and made fists in her lap. “I do not want to talk about that now. Not ever.”
We switched gears and she wound up cuddling in my arms, very sweetly and lovingly, and then Marilyn asked her again. I don’t think Marilyn expected Julia to answer, but Julia seemed to straighten herself up and answered. “Yes, someone squeezed me.” “Yes, it was too tight. I couldn’t breathe.” “It hurt.” “It was a mama.” “At the orphanage.” “She wasn’t made but it hurt.”
Julia was clear. Much more cogent than usual. Direct, like she rarely is.
The moment came and went. Julia asked to go into the other room to draw cars and seemed to leave the words behind her.
I said, “I don’t know if that was real.” Marilyn said, “It was real.”
Another sad, awful memory. Resurfaced and faced head on. Julia is more willing to go through the tunnel of pain and sorrow, still fighting at times, but learning to surrender, feel the hurt, and then move on. I hope moving on includes healing.
During class this evening, each student did a five minute teaching. I was nervous but I was one of the last people to do it and by the time I heard the others, I was confident that I would do much better than most of them. Ok, I admit it. The thrill of competition rose and I took the bait. Oh, it was only that I had a page to teach, I prepared thinking of the exercise like a performance piece, and I am comfortable talking to people and presenting. I find myself wondering about that rise of competition, the wanting to be the best. It has been a long time since that has been any sort of an issue for me -- heck, there has been no competition in my life for years now. Am I just biding my time to get into some race?
On another hand, I think that I can do a decent job of teaching parents about topics related to their kids with special health care needs. I find that as we go through the topics, I am learning a lot. I need to learn a lot and I really wish someone had organized the material for me this way about 6 years ago. If I can insert a little clarity into someone’s life, clear a bit of the fog of challenges and systems and demands and requirements, I will be very happy.