On Therapy and Birthday Prayers.

Getting back into a regular therapy routine has been profoundly awesome for so many reasons.

First, my therapist is badass. She's like this guru-ish, f-bomb dropping, wise goddess. I was steered toward her more than ten years ago, and have seen her off and on since then. She got me through my dad dying. And she's helping me, now, to actually heal some of the old cracks that have been oozing, to some degree, forever.

Also, I just really like having predictable, regular things in my schedule. Kids in school Mondays and Wednesdays. Therapy on Mondays. Work Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Triple espresso every morning. You get the idea. Regularly starting my week with this focused brain exploration and flushing-out is so good for someone like me, who often gets mired in the loop of my neuroses, anxiety, and bad habits.

So yesterday, I'm sitting there and she asks me how things have been going with Osi. I'd been there two weeks ago talking about him - about the uneven balance of power in our home (how his volume + his passionate nature + his physicality = eggshells for all), about the rage I've let explode a few times after being triggered and not keeping my shit in check, about what that shit is, and why it's there. Last time, I'd decided that the thing that mattered more than anything else was that I take the time to appropriately deal with Osiah's behaviors and moods, no matter what. I knew that it would take twice as long as I wanted it to, and that it might feel hard to emotionally disengage from his age-appropriate behavior. But losing my mind because he wouldn't listen/was screaming at me/had dumped all of the LEGOS out simply was not an option anymore. It was off the table. Take The Time - it was my new mantra.

Back to yesterday. I tell her things have gone really well, that I haven't become charged at all, really, by my kids behavior. They've driven me crazy, yes, and I've felt frustrated and angry, yes, but their behavior hasn't felt personal - it hasn't felt at me. I tell her that I've been able to look at my kids when they've been whining or carrying on about not wanting to put their socks on (because it's "soooo hard now!") and just see them as people having feelings. Not my kids having feelings about me or at me - just humans in the world feeling things and expressing them. I tell her I've been able to console Osiah while setting the boundaries he needs. I've been pretty easy-breezy with them, even if they haven't been with me. My constant loop of "is this okay? Am I scarring them? Are they okay?" has been really, strangely, quiet.

I tell her all of these things.

And then she says something.

She says, "Wow. This is healing. You have healed something," and my throat starts to tighten, my eyes burn, the tears come to the edge and then tumble down. Then her eyes turn red and her voice cracks and we both sit for a few seconds inside the reality that something has healed.

These seconds are full of the weight of grace.

I say words of gratitude and thanks and awe.

Then we dry our eyes and plunge into what's next.

:::

The other night I wrote this. I think it's a poem.

Maybe it's a prayer.

And since today is my birthday, maybe it's my birthday prayer.

I want to land in your softness, the light of your insides, the longing I can’t describe but know when it touches my hands.

I can’t breathe. I flood. I die. And then it all washes down river, away, when you make me laugh like that, your voice deep down and your hands steady.

I want to roll up into all of it, nestle myself in the crook of the neck of all of it, sleepily looking up at all that is inside this minute. I want to stop time, accelerate just enough, slow down so I can see every cell.

I want to cover myself in gauze, wrapped around until I’m stiff and strong. I want to unravel, unfold until the last tethered edges fall down and graze my battered ankles.

I want to stoop and crouch and fall to my knees in thanks. I want to scrape the gravel to my flesh, draw blood, watch it gather and ooze and drop. I want to watch my skin scab and heal, grow new and pink and alive.

New and pink and alive.

I want to land.

I will land.

:::

Happy day.

All of the love I have, I'm gifting it to you today.

*E

Emily Ballard3 Comments