February 2, 2009

bowls of cherries

Posted in mousie at 3:14 pm by Anonymouse

I’ve been volunteering with high school students in one capacity or another for the last almost 6 years.  In all of that time with all of those  young lives intertwining with mine, there have only been two times where I’ve felt like I might be in over my head.

The first time was a little more than 5 years ago when a 15 year old girl lost her dad in a car accident.  She spent nights at my apartment, we went shopping for funeral clothes, we cried, we ate soup and we talked.  It was emotionally exhausting and I felt so ill-equipped to offer any kind of counseling.

The second time was last night while I laid on my bed crosswise, phone to my ear, listening.  Listening to a 17 year old girl, who was laying on the floor of her closet.  Listening to her cry with sobs that I could hear wracking her body.  Listening to her say that she misses her mom.

Her mom died when she was barely a teenager.  She wasn’t there to talk to when she was pregnant.  She wasn’t there when she had to make a decision that no 17 year old is really ready to make.  She wasn’t there when the baby was born, pink and screaming and beautiful.  And she wasn’t there last night when her daughter was crying in her closet, feeling alone and desperate and unloved.

A great thing about teenage girls is how fiercely they feel.  They feel love so strongly and they feel joy so strongly; but they also feel grief, desperation and loneliness just as strongly.    They are intensely emotional and without the developmental maturity to process all of their feelings fully, every emotion is linked and tied to the next in a crazy bowl full of spaghetti of life happenings – so hard to see where one ends and another begins.

This is where we are at with T.  She has already lived through so much more than any “normal” teenage girl her age – some things because of her circumstances, some because of her choices.  Either way, we are on the roller coaster with her because for better or worse, she’s stuck with us – forever linked through this little baby that has no clue about any of it.  Sometimes things are great and easy and everything is roses and sunshine and sometimes things are hard and every sadness, hard time and emotional pain comes bubbling up to the surface – hot lava revealing scars in it’s wake.

I suppose that if life is a bowl of cherries, some parts are sweet, some are juicy and some are just the pits.

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2 Comments »

  1. Prayers for T. and for you.

  2. Jen said,

    I’m so sorry. It isn’t fair that T had to go through all of that so young.

    It sounds like you did exactly the right thing by listening. I’m glad she has you now.


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