I occasionally joke on FB that my wineskin runneth dry & I need Elijah to come fill it as he did the widow’s flour sack. This day is one of “those days” in which I wish I didn’t have more than a glass of wine left in the bottle or that I was living on a shoe-string budget and my credit card is currently on figurative ice. I’m running out of empathic things to say to kids. I’m so very tired of parents saying “you got it easier than me”, therefore the kid shouldn’t complain about: AD/HD, depression, anxiety, psychotic features, food refusal, physical/sexual assault, family trauma, etc. I want to turn to these kids and say:
“Look, your mom/dad/foster mom is a P.O.S. I can’t make that better for you. I understand how much it sucks because I’ve been through the family trauma, the family secrets, the physical and emotional abuse; the depression, anxiety and contemplated suicide more times than I care to count. Let’s figure out ways for you to cope so you don’t go crazy like I almost did.”
No one has it easier than anyone else. We all worry about food, money, paying for items.
We just worry about it for different reasons, and we cover up our messes in different ways. Robin Williams covered it with jokes, look where that got him. Lohan covers it with drugs and alcohol. You cover it with cutting scars on your arms, and I cover it with a second glass with dessert & letting the hamster roll across the floor to the sound of my sarcastic antics. However, I can’t say what I want, instead I have to “mirror” and “reflect”. Some of the suckiest things I have to say include, “we can’t solve this in an afternoon”. Yet, it’s a hell of a lot better than something a former therapist told me which is “I can’t help you with that.” I hope I never get to the day where I say I cannot help someone. I may not know the answer. I may not help them arrive at a solution that day or that month, but it can and will be overcome.
The great problem with therapy is not being able to give the wisdom you’ve gained. You’re there to help them connect the dots, and if they don’t figure this out, you’re left with the pain of knowing that they might not make the gain themselves.