Friday, June 15, 2012

Nothing's fine. I'm torn.

We have a theme in the house lately.

Big feelings are coming out in tears.  As in tearing things ... not crying.  Rips.  Sometimes when one child expresses their pain in a unique way, another will pick up on it and join them.  So, just today I have seen torn fabric twice.  Two different kids.  Two different situations.  Both representative of what they're feeling.

Over the last several weeks we watched a gaping hole expand across a chair.  A pillow case met its demise.  That sort of thing.

We let these things go as much as humanly possible.  We simply try to find some quiet solitude with whoever is doing it, so we can connect in a way that actually gets to the heart of what's going on.

It's never about the tear.

I'm sitting here today with Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn" running through my head.  I have learned so much from my kids, and the most poignant lessons tend to come when I don't react to the behavior, but actually stare it down.  Study it.  Learn from it.

Rips and tears.

"I'm all out of faith.  This is how I feel.
I'm cold and I am shamed, lying naked on the floor.

Jagged edges of the cushion scratching at our legs every time we sit down.

"You're a little late.  I'm already torn."

It's a beautiful picture for me.  Not that I find the pain in my children beautiful, but I can see it right in front of my eyes.  It helps that I can also think about how to repair the tears.  How to sew the fabric.  Or duct tape over the holes.  Or call them beautiful and leave them be, watching their edges slowly grow as life continues around them.  Because not everything has to be fixed right away.

It's the process of healing.  It's how they feel.  How I feel sometimes.  How we all feel.

I have extra duct tape, if anyone needs it.


rumomma said...


Annie said...

Yes, indeed. Here it has been doors knocked in and broken windows. Makes tears look good, frankly.

Wendy Darling said...

I can totally relate to this. I use music as a way to help me understand and empathize with my clients. Sometimes it seems like artists understand everybody's pain and are tasked with the burden of helping the rest of us to get it as well.

Meli said...

<3 truth!

Jamey... said...

You could throw a roll this direction. Double points if you can hit me in the head with it first. ;)

micehlle said...

going through a HUGE amount of issues with my 12 year old asperger son.. anxiety disorder and general puberty :P i can realte to what you are saying. but i still have to learn that i am NOT supermom and i cant fix everything.. it is so hard sometimes thanks for writing what you did ,i dont feel so alone now

Teresa said...

and, there's always this version when you might need a bit of a giggle.

LeAnn said...

"not everything has to be fixed right away."

Thanks for reminding me again!

and you can toss some duct tape my way, with a bottle of vinegar stuck in the middle of it. :-)