December 1, 2012
It was a newly divorced parents worst nightmare come true...
My nine year old son told me that he doesn't love me very much most of the time! And as if the blow of this truth wasn't bad enough, he went on to articulate that he loves his dad more than me most of the time!
Tears began to well up in my eyes, and I fought back my urge to scream at him with every ounce of strength in my body. It felt like total injustice and the ultimate pain! Things have been difficult around my house lately. My very sensitive, very demanding son and I have been butting heads, to say the least. I struggle with his residual anger around his father and I divorcing, and my own needs to move on from it all, and continue to take neccessary steps forward.
For months I have encouraged (well, forced at times) him to sit and "just talk to me". He would sit there silently, fidgeting in his seat, while I demanded of him to tell me what is going on for him. I needed to know how or why my sweet, loving boy had all of the sudden turned on me with outbursts of anger and subtle undertones of disrespect and just mean words. I told him that he could say whatever he needed to say to me, and I was ready to listen. He didn't speak.
There we would sit in silence for what seemed to be hours, but was really about 5 minutes. Me, steaming inside because I could not get him to speak his truth, to let it all out, to trust that I would be able to handle it. Him, confused and unsure of what he really was feeling, and definitely concerned about hurting me with his rage. Meanwhile, I became a life coach and continued to work with my yoga clients in very intuitive, sensitive, and effective ways. Why was the one person whom I really wanted to effect, just pushing me away? I began to feel helpless. Such had become my struggles.....my cross to bear. I began to believe that even with the help of our therapist, i was destined to be the bearer of all that terrible pain that i felt every time he could not speak to me...It was worse than my parents "silent treatment" punishments as a teenager.....It was worse than feeling ineffective. Ultimately, it was making me feel invisible.....or even worse........dare i say it??!.......dead.
When he finally let it out, it came not in the middle of one of our screaming battles, or during one of our "sit downs" but instead, as we played cards in front of the fireplace on a calm thursday evening. I asked him why he had decided to cross his name off of a doodle that I had made in which I had written that I love him and his brother. He explained with a little shake in his voice, that he doesnt love me most of the time, and that he loves his father more than me most of the time, so how can i love him? Kids say the most amazing things......I just listened, as i watched tears well up in his eyes. His truth was equally as sad to him as it was to me. I knew if I said too much, he would get up and run, I also knew if i tried to comfort him, he would shoot me down. He then said, "this conversation is ended now". I said ok, and we went back to playing cards. That was it. no big love fest or screaming match....just us, sitting there together.....in the face of his truth in that moment.
My past tendancy may have been to take this as an oppportunity to feel horrible, hide under my covers, attack myself with judgements and anger....but yesterday i did something different. I decided that not only was i grateful that he finally felt trusting enough to let it out (and that perhaps the heaps of money I had spent on therapy for us was finally paying off : )) , but also that this was a gift to me. An opportunity to put into action all that I have been so diligently working on for the past few years......to decide right then and there, that the way I see the situation will shape how i respond to it.
Cheers to my first, of hopefully many, blog posts in 2013! and cheers to those moments of small..sometimes so tiny...shifts in perspective that allow us to move closer and closer to the ultimate LOVE that is deep inside all! Om SHANTi!