It’s Wednesday. The Wednesday before Bea leaves for a trip, to be precise. I won’t see her for seven wake ups. I won’t email, or text, or have the option for a phone call. I have to practice having her unavailable when she is out of town because this summer, when she goes on her big trip, she will be unavailable for twenty wake ups. That is a long, long time. And I hate it.
But right now, it is Wednesday, and I am in Bea’s office. She is reading my notebook, and I am hiding.
A few weeks ago, Bea and I had been discussing a timeline, where Kenny was when I was a teen. Things seemed unclear, because I had memories of him leaving when I was around teen age, of him going off to college and feeling very abandoned by him. That didn’t add up, though, if he was 10 years older. The grown up simply went on facebook, looked up his brithday including the year, and made a chart. He was 7 when I was born in October, and he turned 8 in June. That makes him 12 the first time I remember him touching me, and 15 or 16 the first time I remember him raping me and I was 11 or 12 when he left for college. The fact that I had been wrong about his age didn’t really bother the adult, or Bea, but it upset the teen a lot.
I’m afraid. I am afraid you are mad at me. Because I said he was 10 years older, but he isn’t. I was wrong. He is only 8 years older. So now you are probably not happy with me because I have basically lied about this for the last 4 years and so now you must be angry and upset and maybe now you think I lied about everything, that I have been wrong about what happened all along but you can’t say that because you would have to deal with the mess that that would create and and all my upset and no one wants to deal with that. So you tell me you aren’t mad, but really, you are.
When she reaponds to this fear, it’s with gentlness and empathy, but her tone is also firm. She wants me to really hear her. “I’m not mad at you. Not in th slightest. I think it even makes sense that you had his age wrong. Let me tell you how I am seeing this. From my perspective, we have always heard about Kenny from the little girl. She is the one who has shared her story, and her feelings, with me. Now, what did she know about age? What do kids think about age? They know when people are old, like mom or dad old, or grandpa old, or even when someone is an older kid. Kids will routinely pick round numbers, like 20 or 50 to describe how much older a person is. To the little girl, Kenny was old. He might have been the cool older kid, but he was given responsibility from the parents to watch the younger kids. That would have made him old in her mind, but he’s definitely not 20 years old. So, he must be 10 years older. That’s one of my thoughts on this. The other is that it doesn’t matter. Not really. His age helps us make the timeline clearer, but it doesn’t change anything. It doesnt change what he did.”
“But….I…maybe….ugh. Okay.” I stumble over my words, struggling to get them out.
“What is it?” Bea isn’t going to let me get away with pretending it’s all okay.
“Things get twisted in my head. Its dark and twisty in here. I just….I don’t know. I tried to write about it.” I sigh. I just want her to read what I have written. That is easier than speaking.
“Okay. I’ll read what you have written.”
Things get all twisted in my head. Everything gets twisted. It’s like this. On Monday, you said that we should deal with stuff then, so we didn’t dig up stuff right before your vacation. The grown up hears that and is secure enough in this relationship to remind you that it doesn’t work like that, that we can not plan when stuff comes up, and we end up laughing a little bit about it. The littl girl hears that and just shrugs. She doesn’t feel like that statement even pertains to her, because she is believes you will be there if she needs you, and that you are coming back.
“This….this is huge. For the grown up and the little girl to feel safe in our relationship. This is a big thing. And I think this is why we can deal with the teen’s stuff now.” Bea’s voice has a smile in. She sounds proud of me.
But the teen….things get twisted. There’s so many conflicting thoughts and beliefs.
(1) you care and don’t want to leave the teen upset and alone for a whole week with a mess.
“That’s true. I don’t want to leave you alone with hard stuff.”
(2) you don’t want to deal with messy stuff right now and this is a nice way to tell her that.
(3) the teen shouldn’t be thinking that (#2)
(4) she should be fine with this. What is wrong with her that she is upset over this?
(5) this stings a little. It’s like rejection.
(6) fine. I just won’t talk at all. That will make sure nothing is dug up.
(7) bea just doesn’t want to deal with me
(8) this is silly. Just stop being a drama queen
(9) push all this nonsense to the side. Forget about it. This is not even a big deal.
“All of this tells us a lot. But the underlying feeling I get from this, is that the teen doesn’t believe she deserves to be cared about. The first thought, that is the correct one, it’s exactly why I said what I did about diggers stuff up. The rest of the thoughts seem to be talking the teen out of believing someone can say something nice to her, or care about her and mean it.”
“I guess so.” I mumble.
“Writing out the thoughts is helpful for us, because we can…I know this isn’t a good word for the teen…study thoughts and work with them. I wonder though, if after writing out the thoughts, if the teen could write about why the nice one, the caring one, can’t be true. Could she do that?”
“I can try.”
“Okay. Let’s try that then. Let’s see if that can help us work though the dark and twisties.”
I’m not sure it will help, and I’m not sure I will even know what to write. Twisting things is automatic for the teen. It’s not something she even thinks about, it happens in the blink of an eye. But she will try.
6 thoughts on “Dark and twisty”
That’s great that the teen is willing to try working with Bea on the twisty stuff.
Thank you. I’m feeling impressed with the teen right now. Xx💜
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How the teen thinks is how my teen alters think, particularly nineteen. She’s sassy and fiesty, but tends to opt for flippancy and distrustfulness when she feels threatened. I hope you’re doing better. Xx
It’s really hard when teen parts thinking is so different from our adult selves. I’m feeling better, thank you. I think it is just going to be slow going, and the teen is beginning to trust that Bea will wait. Xx
It’s so brave of you all to talk to Bea about what’s happening with you, but also it’s incredibly brave to share it all here. 💗
Thanks. I’m not as active in blogging as I used to be, so I don’t post or read or comment as much as I would like to. I’m looking forward to summer and having time to catch up!