Welcome to my life. It's a whirlwind of kids, chaos, pets, people, family, art, and being home (most of the time; I like to get out here and there). We unschool, so the unexpected is, well, expected...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"The price I had to pay for what many people call "good upbringing" was that for a long time I was separated from my true feelings, from myself."

That is a quote by Alice Miller in a preface from her 2002 edition of "For Your Own Good"

Today, we saw the girl who ran away. I thought it was just Chamille being invited to meet up with her, but I found out at the last minute that I was invited too, so I went.

I'm still processing that visit. I love that girl, (I'll call her Alex for this story) she's so vibrant, yet here she sat with most of that hiding away. It was a supervised visit with her mentor/counselor. She introduced herself and told us all about the place where Alex is staying and then moved several tables away to let us talk. We met a coffee place.

In my own thoughts I made note of various things Alex said. Chamille asked if her mom trusted her yet, and her response was that "yes" she did, however we found out at the end of the visit, that the mentor hadn't just given her a ride like she'd explained. Yes, she'd given her a ride, but Alex's mother came to pick her up afterwards to take her home for the holiday weekend. So, really, the only reason the mentor stayed was to babysit. I'm not sure who she was babysitting. Was it because Chamille is so dangerous that she needed to be supervised or was it because Alex really isn't trusted yet. Either way, it says a lot.

One thing really jumped out at me in the conversation. Alex said "I know this is all for my own good. I know that what my mother is doing is for my own good." My immediate thought to that, which I did say, was to be careful with the phrasing "for your own good", it's the excuse that abusers use to continue abuse, and commonly used to control and manipulate others.

I'm glad that Chamille got to see her best friend. She wasn't either happy or sad about it. She really wished she could just hang out with her but was willing to accept a supervised visit.

I know I'll have much more to say, but the visit left me feeling empty. Alex firmly believes at this point that everything was clearly her fault and that she needs to heal from all the pain. She parroted back many things in her wording, things that didn't come from her own thinking. It was painful and sad to experience.

There were a couple of moments where there was a flash and a smile of the real Alex tucked underneath it all. That was worth the whole meeting, just to see that small bit of her still left hiding away. Just like the title and quote. I hope she survives it all!

More to come.....


Sandra Dodd said...

I'm glad you got to see her, and that she knows you and Chamille really care about her.

In a few years, I hope you get to sit with her on a sunnier, breezier day, and tell her some of what you thought on that still and darker day.

Jenny Cyphers said...

Oh, I hope so! The saddest thing is the loss of childhood. The last few years left, wasted away in a camp designed to fix people, losing a relationship with her mother.

All so avoidable! I'm glad I don't experience this! Meanwhile my daughter's childhood is intact and our relationship is whole, in many ways, thanks to you!

Sandra Dodd said...

You're sweet to say that, and I know it's sad to see people so near us doing things so distantly different. Happened to me this week.