Monday, March 26, 2007

And the walls were shaken

Jackie spent the weekend at the house. She turns 18 in less than two months and said that she might take me up on my offer to have extra breaks at my house. She is finding the other girls to be really irritating. Mandy fully supports her taking respite as often as she (Jackie) wants it.

We forget that respite can sometimes be for the kids.

Jackie suffered a rejection Saturday night. She told me about it Sunday, showing all the signs of a kid who has learned to move on from loss too easily. Though it mattered enough to tell me about it, she did not show much emotion. I was sad for her. It was not that I wanted her to feel pain, but I had not seen these sorts of walls in her before. I was sad to see that her defense mechanisms were so well developed.

Then she went for a walk and came back shaken.

Startled, I asked her what was wrong. Trying not to cry, not to tremble, she told me that the person who had rejected her had called to ask her if she was okay. He genuinely had to leave her life, but not because he did not like her. He did not want this to hurt her; he wanted to know if there was anything he could do to make it easier.

I knew that what he had done was kind. He genuinely wanted to make the loss easier for her, if he could. What he perhaps did not realize, was that he had just shaken her walls of defense. She was vulnerable. She was trying not to break down and sob.

"How could he do that? If he is going to leave he needs to just leave. He shouldn't do this!"

Dear Jackie, which is it that hurts? Is it that he, like so many others, is leaving you? Or is it that he, unlike all those others, still loves you?

Of course it is both. If he really does still care about her, then the loss is a real loss. It is not one she can pretend does not matter. And she has a lot of feelings of loss hidden behind that wall. If the wall comes down, even a little, it is going to hurt.


  1. Oh, ouch. I feel bad for her.

  2. I think it's a good sign.


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