This week I went to Oklahoma for a work trip and I overheard my co-worker talking about art. I wasn’t really paying attention to the conversation but she said something that struck me. “I don’t run from the darkness, its part of life.” Rebecca is one to eloquently discuss her thoughts and I value her perspective. Although I want to be sophisticated and discuss art, I really had no place to contribute to this conversation. But that statement was so good. I think that statement is what makes us brave enough to walk with people in therapy through the hardest, darkest times. Its because of the darkness that we rejoice in the light.
Little did I know that today we would be walking through darkness. Darkness is tricky like that. You never exactly know when its coming. Its not like the time on a clock, you can’t predict it like the sunset. But when it comes, man its dark and you better hope there is a flashlight handy. Or at least someone’s hand to hold through the dark space.
Its crappy and appropriate that I can’t go into all the details associated with todays darkness. But like we can count on, chaos comes when we are least expecting it and are most unprepared. And even if you can kid yourself to believe you are prepared. You can’t predict your response or reaction.
I am going to do my best to explain but it might be muddy.
I flew, begrudgingly to OKC yesterday. I left our sweet kids and my brave wife alone (well and my mom was there). I know Meg can handle anything; she too is a crisis interventionist.
But after a sudden medial emergency, followed with an uncomfortable ER situation. I am coming home early from said work trip.
You know I could have titled this Guilt part 2; but that is a tired emotion. A small word on guilt. Whenever a kid gets sick I think there is a natural response to recount what may have been evidence of this coming. However, we aren’t psychic and kids get sick. Thanks cognitive reframe. Still I am sure we could do something better. Most things aren’t anyone’s fault (but everyone’s problem). Today is that. BUT….in validating myself (what a good therapist) its normal to worry we missed something or to think (ridiculously) that if I was home things would have been different. Normal is not always correct.
Being a foster parent in a broken system feels like being part of a circle of power and control. That’s the truth today. I will bend over and take it because I am sucker and I love these kids. You (the system) can exploit, shame, and blame Megan and I because we care and want to be good at this. But we are learning how to manage this system and aren’t giving up or giving in. We will re-strategize and behave professionally (and drink a margarita).
There were some awkward and emotionally charged interactions today. I would like to remind that we actually are human. Despite that I think Megan is a saint and exemplifies Jesus, she really is a human. And in the darkness its easy to loose your cool. And even when you are the best coping person in the room, you still feel and that can lead to behavior that leads to consequences.
Gosh, this is worse than vague-booking. Ugh, I want to tell the world the whole damn story. But I am limited. A few truths: Meg was at the hospital all day, we cried a lot, Meg had her first interaction (overstatement) with bio mom, I ended my work trip early (thanks to a supportive supervisor), and the child in question is okay (with a little Gatorade and a lot of snuggling, recovery is just a hop, skip, and jump away).
We are in the dark right now. We are afraid. We are hurt and we are tired. We are not running from the dark. We are embracing this. Joy (and light) comes in the morning.