I had no idea that the post "Layers of Loss" would be so huge. And by huge I mean colossal. My inbox has been jammed with positive affirmations. Some readers are blessing me with packages just because. The article has been picked up by ATTACh.org and has been recommended to a few other parenting trauma agencies.
In short, I'm overwhelmed.
When I wrote that post I wasn't thinking I know, I'll write something poignant that will get straight to the heart of my readers and generate a limelight that I can bask in but that is exactly what I've done. It's as though I've extended the bliss of Orlando for an extra week.
I just can't hug you all.
*attempts to hug the laptop*
Nope. Not the same.
The irony of all this attention and praise is that because parenting trauma is so challenging and in-your-face everyday, it is incredibly difficult to receive compliments. There are a few nuggets I've picked up from all the years of attending therapy sessions with Sissy. One of which is that it takes six positives to undo one negative.
Well, I've had ten years of incessant negative from Sissy. Doing some math with that therapeutic postulate, it will take sixty years to undo the damage to my psyche. And when I put it that way, it helps me absolve myself of guilt. Yes. I feel guilty that I can't absorb these accolades.
Really. I can't.
It's like people are trying to throw waded up, water-soaked napkins at me while I dance on a table... they won't stick. They just bounce off. I guess I can consider it one more layer of loss then: the inability to accept that I'm a cool person, despite what my child does or says.
Sissy figuratively shouts in a bullhorn all day you suck! you suck! you suck!
I guess I simultaneously need a cheering section on the other side shouting back through bullhorns you rock! you rock! you rock!. And then if ya'll could just go ahead and do that all day, every day like she does, I might begin to believe that I rock, not suck.
Sunday, I filled in for Sissy at her cookie booth. Her girl scout troop had snagged the last day for cookie sales at one of the busiest grocery stores in our community. Fortuitously, I stuck the I am not alone rock in my pocket. Good choice. The other moms and daughters were so cheery and plucky and ... blech. nauseating.
*enter vomit sounds here*
I just kept rubbing my rock in my pocket so I could feel the engraving on my thumb. Inconspicuously of course. I accept that I'd look a bit like Gollum from LOTR, obsessing over the ring if I'd held the rock up under my nose and rubbed and rubbed while chanting in a gravely moan, my precious even though that's exactly what it felt like I was doing. I took big cleansing breaths and smiled. Even said, "how nice" a few times. Two hours with NT moms and their NT kids. Oye.
After so many layers of loss, life and humanity looks indelibly different.
So very different.