More stones…

Sometimes, the worst wounds are invisible. But they still feel like stones. Hard. Unforgiving. Difficult to walk on.


Today, I am missing my grands.

I used to be the one to get a wee girl off to Junior Kindergarten which involved brushing long golden hair and braiding it so that she looked like a Princess. Her mother does a much better job, but so far, I’ve passed muster.

Her older brother is in his last year of elementary school…sigh…he is growing up so fast.

Her younger brother is nearly 3 and like his older brother sensitive and introverted. Like me. We click!

Our wee girl is spunky and very extroverted. She enjoys the social aspect of school…All those new friends! She is loving that.

Do you remember your kindergarten days?

I do…mostly.

I loved going to school. We all walked in a big group to the school. We had to cross a couple very busy streets and there were traffic lights and crossing guards to ensure our safety.

I had read all the Dick and Jane readers by the second week of school, so they just gave me the whole stack!

But you see, I grew up in a Boarding House. Not what you might think of. Nothing like the kinds of boarding houses I see clients living in nowadays.

It was like a big family. I was the only child with a mother who went to work every day (or so it seemed) and was on call 24/7. She was a police matron. One of only two in the border city where I was born. Where she was born.

It is a long story. Not what I wanted to talk about today.

But that old schoolyard rhyme said different. So, we felt conflicted and confused. Why did it hurt so much, when “names will never hurt me.” That was just bullshit bravado. We were being primed to inflict the second arrow, as the Buddhists say. We were beating ourselves up for hurting. We felt we were weak. We blamed ourselves for our inadequacies because all the other kids said words just washed off them like water off a duck’s back. We never talked to anyone else because we didn’t want to appear weak or defective or stupid or whatever. And they didn’t talk because they had all the same fears. The same hurt and the same fears and the same confusion arguing with them in their heads like angry monkeys fighting over a small scrap of food. The food was actually worth. The food was actually self-acceptance.

And we were all starving. We were all starving for a little compassion. But no one of us even knew what compassion was. Maybe we thought Jesus or Buddah or Moses or David or Ghandi deserved and were capable of giving compassion, but not ordinary people like the ones that we lived with day by day by day.

Lots of sayings we absorbed in childhood were just plain lies. And we bought them – hook line and sinker. Not because we were stupid or weak or weird. Well, I was weird, but I’ve learned that that is not necessarily a defect.

That is beside the point. I digress. I digress a lot. Still, I get there, and I enjoy the journey through all the detours.

But maybe you don’t. You want to get right down to it and you want the answer. Clear. Precise. Quick. You want the apology and you want it now.

Sorry, answers aren’t like that. Neither are apologies. They are walks down a crooked lane. Through a woods. With tree roots growing into the path and little animal holes that you can turn your ankle on.

But if you wear good hiking boots and are willing to come along…together we can wordscape our way into an inner landscape that really reflects the real you.

Under all the scrapes and sprains that words have inflicted on you over the years. You can write your way whole … like the day you arrived. Except you’ll have better hair and wardrobe. At the least you can have more of a say in what you look like. Even if no one will come and braid your hair like a Princess.


2 thoughts on “More stones…

  1. Susanna, thank you so much for this moving piece of writing about loss and yearning. You’re reminding me that I miss my kids who live in other cities. Also, that soon I might be missing my mother, who died a couple of weeks ago. At the moment, I have the relief of her release from pain that is numbing any other feelings. You’ve also inspired me to work on a short piece of writing about her that I’ve been meaning to start. Thank you so much for that inspiration.

    1. Yes, loss is a complex bit of a bugaboo. Plays gotcha far too often. One thinks one has the territory mastered, or if not mastered, then tamed somewhat, then baboom, it jumps out from the bushes and ambushes you. I think it is particularly difficult for a woman to lose her mother, no matter either’s age. We feel orphaned and confused, even lost and fearful for our safety. I am looking forward to reading your piece about your mum. She was … and likely still is … a force to be reckoned with.

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