I know I haven’t responded to your many kind words over the loss of my grandma. I will reply, but right now I just want to say that your words meant a lot to me, and to thank you and to explain that it’s hurt to much to write until recently. I’ve been buried in a sea of grief the last couple of months. I’m doing better most days, but it’s still hard. I miss my Grandma. This is a loss that hits me out of the blue when I realize I can’t text her to ask about some flowers I saw and liked, or how long to cook something for. I can’t send her pictures of something when I’m proud of it. This is hard. But I’m coming to terms with that pain, little by little, as much as a person can. The harder thing still is that it is fall, October, and all sorts of trauma memories and feelings and emotional flashbacks have been popping up.
The last thing I wrote about was the things that are hard to talk about. The words it is hard for me to say. S_ _. I’m still struggling with that, sort of. Teen Alice has been running things, and she is so confused about so much. I don’t know where to start, really.
Wednesday, October 4
I’m (with the teen part running things) sitting on the couch in her office, hiding under a blanket, just covered in shame. I don’t want to do this therapy bit, I’d much rather let Ms. Perfect run things so that I don’t have to think or feel. But instead it’s just me here, and ALL the feelings. Ugh. I don’t like like Bea right now, I hate her questions. I’m angry with her, but behind all that anger, is this vulnerability. There is this fear that Bea will suddenly get it, she will finally see that she has been picturing it all wrong, and I really am bad. I have this fear that I have somehow tricked her into seeing me as good.
“You’re WRONG. You DON’T see. You picture this little girl who is good, sweet angelic. You see this innocent creature, worthy of your protection.You are so, so WRONG.” I’m yelling at Bea. She’s clearly not seeing, not getting it, and I’m going to make her see it. If I can make her see that I tricked her somehow, that will hurt less than if she figures it out of her own. “You should be picturing this needy, clingy, annoying, talks too much, always has to be right, a girl desperate for attention, who craves being seen, this little girl who bats her eyelashes and smiles to be cute, who is instigates whatever gets her attention, who is self centered and selfish and just too much. A naughty little girl who definitely does not deserve protection. That is who you should be picturing.”
Bea listens to this, and after a pause she asks, “You do know I work with kids, right?”
I shrug. “Yes.” I’m annoyed. Of course I know that.
“Do you know what I love best about kids?” She chuckles a bit as the words hit the spaces between us.
I don’t answer. She’s not hearing me.
“I love that kids are everything humanity has to offer unfiltered. Kids are some of the most real people you are going to ever find. I’ve never thought the little girl was this perfect sweet angel that deserved protection because she was perfect and sweet. I’m sure the little girl was sweet, and kind and caring, and I’m also sure that she could be selfish or mean or have feelings that came out in ways she didn’t like. It really doesn’t matter what kind of little girl she was. In my mind, she was still innocent and deserved to be protected.”
I put up a wall, and go farther away. I can’t let her words in.This won’t do. So I hide. She’s going on now, about how maybe the teen just needs someone to sit with her in that pain. She says something about being capable of holding two things at once, that she can believe it’s not my fault and she can sit the me in the feelings of blame and shame and ickiness.
I shake my head. “But you can’t, you just can’t. You are going to see one day, and then……you’ll leave.”
Her voice is adamant when she replies. “Nope. I’m not going anywhere. Yes, I go on vacations, but I always come back. I’m here, I’m not leaving.”
“You don’t….you can’t be sure.”
“Well, would the teen like to test me? Is there something she would like to tell me?”
I shake my head no. My stomach feels sick. I don’t want to test her. I don’t know what I want. It wouldn’t matter, anyway, because I would either set the test is for her to pass, or skew it so she would fail. It wouldn’t be a fair test. Right now, I want her to fail. If she fails, then she has to admit she is wrong and I am right and then I won’t have to do this therapy thing anymore. But I don’t want to lose Bea. I want her to be everything she says she is. I want her to be a person who knows it all and still thinks I am good. I want her to be a person who can see the truth and still care about me.
“I……there’s um…….I mean, I’ve been…….you know. Memories.” Why can’t I get my words out in a coherent sentence? Ugh.
“You’ve been having flashbacks again?” She makes sense of the puzzle of words I’ve thrown at her.
“Yeah– yes.” I mumble.
“Hmmmm. Do you think that maybe the teen is more present because there are trauma memories she needs to talk about? That maybe she is protecting more vulnerable parts from being hurt by those memories?”
I don’t know what to say. Maybe. Maybe talking about it is what I need. There’s so much risk with that, though, I can’t just blurt it out. “I…its…I can’t say it. I can’t tell it. I’m sorry. I just can’t.”
“It’s okay. When the teen is ready, we will listen to her. She has plenty of time to talk, she doesn’t have to speak right now. She can email me, too.”
“Maybe. I don’t want to bother you while you are gone.”
“I’m not leaving until Saturday afternoon and I’m coming back on Tuesday. So I won’t even be gone until the weekend.”
“Okay.” Why can’t she just tell me I’m not a bother? If this were a test, she would be failing.
Somehow our time is up, Bea is telling me that we need to wrap things up for today, and I am frustrated because I was finally feeling like I might be able to get some words out, or at least to ask for help with finding the words. “That’s fine. I was ready to go anyway.” I say. The words are snarky and dripping in sass.
“Was there something else you needed to bring up or talk about?” She’s not fazed by my snarkiness.
“Nope. I’ve turned into a pumpkin already.” I shove my feet in my shoes and stand up to leave.
Bea smiles at me, and her smile is just full of care and understanding, acceptance. “Okay. If something does come up, I have some sessions open, and you can always email or call me, too.”
I feign nonchalance as I walk out. I can’t afford to care.