Last weekend was a blast. The family came in from out of town to attend the happy couple’s baby shower. The mother-to-be was so appreciative of the work we did putting it together and the migraine gods played nice up until Sunday. It rocked.
That Sunday night, my youngest came into my bedroom to tell me about all the things they’d done with dad and our guests while I was sleeping off my migraine. I could tell something was going on so I prodded for more details. Eventually, I was told that birth father called. I asked if he was drunk and if that was why my youngest was upset.
Nope, that’s not why. It was because they finally had a “real” conversation since everything that happened over a year ago when he was too drunk and bloodied to get them to the airport after her summer visit. Followed by the breakdown my child had after he came up for the high school graduation because he called drunk and wanted to go out to lunch.
Many months had passed and lots of work had been done on my child's part to heal those wounds so, this conversation had the potential of being a real turning point for them both. An opportunity to connect, bond, and grow and put the past behind them. Rather than repeat the same repetitious surface conversations of, “What did you have for dinner?” or “Was it hot up there today?”
When my child shared that they were on track for getting their driver’s license, thinking about attending college next semester, and even paying some of their own bills, birth dad said, “Well, when you’re done bullshitting up there you can come down here and really get to work.”
After that, the conversation became jumbled in my child’s memory. (In my humble opinion, I feel it made some trauma resurface, but I’m not a counselor so what do I know?)
All it took was one sentence. One sentence that was probably said in passing and my child’s self-esteem began to erode. Just. Like. That.
My child said, “Do you think I’m BSing, mommy?” It was then that I knew he hit my child’s heart. Mommy.
“No, I don’t think you’re BSing. I’m proud of you and so is dad and so are your siblings. We understand all that you’ve been through and maybe daddy can’t quite see all that because he’s not here every day and because of his disease. It may even be something that just fell out of his mouth without him even realizing the impact it could have on you. So please, don’t let those words take root and grow. If you feel them sticking, journal it out, come to me or dad and we can talk about it, but don’t let them become a part of your daily inner thoughts.” We talked for a bit longer, we hugged, and things smoothed out from there.
It made me realize how powerful words truly are. They can lift us up when we’re down and make us feel like we’re ten feet tall. They can also crush us into dust when we feel like we’re ten feet tall.
It made me want to find this again:
Have you ever had someone say something to you that was probably just in passing but you couldn’t get it out of your head? For me, it was, “You have bedroom eyes.” I never knew what that meant. Still don’t.
Also, while I’m not a fan of Christmas stuff being on display already, I mean c’mon, I heard Elvis’ Blue Christmas on October 27! I did get this today…and that’s kinda cool: