Broken hearted

I had to visit a school for work a couple of weeks ago. What happened there has been playing over and over and over in my mind, so I’m hoping this blog post will help me process it a bit more.

I was scheduled to visit the school the previous week but was completely paralysed by the idea and pulled out at the last minute. Thinking about it, and using more of back up therapist’s technique of breaking it down, the bits that paralysed me were the idea of talking to people I didn’t know (and my fears of looking like an idiot), and the thought of being physically trapped in an unknown environment. Neither of those things turned out to be the problem on the day, though – although I did, at one point, look like an idiot, and I did feel trapped. But, the fact that I went at all is a positive step, even if I still felt panicky – so back up therapist said, anyway.

While there I had to go into a classroom with the first graders (5-6 year olds). That alone was enough to strike terror into me. They were learning about the letter ‘g’ and all the things that start with ‘g’: glove, glass, garden, gate…

So, I’m sitting at the miniature table with the miniature chairs talking to one of the miniature children. She had to draw a goose, but she didn’t want to. She asked me to do it as she said she couldn’t draw. I said, “No, you do it. Just have a go.”

Well, she drew the best darned goose I’ve ever seen. Certainly the best goose I’ve seen come out of a 5 year old. But, and here’s the thing, she was practically in tears telling me it wasn’t any good; that she wants to be an artist but can’t draw. 😦

Well, that was enough to bring me to tears as well. She broke my heart. I wanted to scoop her up and give her a big hug. I wondered what’s happened in her short life to make her as f***ed up as I am?

I talked to back up therapist about this (after using nearly an entire box of tissues in her office). She said that probably nothing’s happened in her life, it’s just that she’s bright and has a picture in her mind of what she wants to draw, but can’t yet make the pencil do what she wants it to do.

Both my back up therapist and my regular therapist said this little girl touched a nerve. She sure did. She reminded me of myself. And gave the “mother” in me a good old whack.

In one respect I was relieved that probably nothing heinous has happened to this sweet little girl. But I was reminded of me as a child (and even as an adult). My whole life has been like that damned goose: seeing it in my mind’s eye, but feeling like I could never quite make it.

I hope someone loves this little girl. I hope someone nurtures her and supports her and encourages her. I hope that whatever she does, someone tells her it’s wonderful, be it a scribble or a masterpiece. I hope she doesn’t grow up the way I have.

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10 thoughts on “Broken hearted

  1. Oh Kerro that story made me feel really sad. I think I would have felt the same way if I had been confronted with that little girl. She totally deserves to be encouraged, supported and nurtured …

    … and so did you. And I’m sorry that you weren’t.

  2. Hi, Kerro –

    And what a great gift you gave to that little girl — undivided attention, affirmation that her picture was indeed wonderful, encouragement that her artistic ability is superior . . . she will carry that precious, uplifting moment with her for quite some time, I’m sure. You made a difference in her experience of the world.

    – Marie (Coming Out of the Trees)
    http://mmaaggnnaa.wordpress.com/

  3. Hi Kerro,

    I would have felt the same way and reacted in the same way. Perhaps there was something about the little girl that attracted your attention, after all you were sitting with her and spending time with her. She may have reminded you of yourself on an intuitive level even before she drew the goose. If I was in that room I probably would have sat down near that little girl as well.

    I’m sorry that she didn’t think it was good, even though you saw that it was for her age very good. You were there, you said and did what you did. And that was good. I’m sorry that it was so upsetting for you.

    I’m sorry for the childhood pain you went through. I can well relate to that. I just want to give the little girl you were a hug. And say you are a wonderful and beautiful precious girl. Good and healing thoughts to you both.

    Hugs,

    Kate

  4. All that stuff you just said in the last paragraph…Imagine your the little girl and listen to what you are saying! Kerro give yourself the comfort you wanted to give that little girl! Do a meditation, imagine the little girl sitting next to you, how she feels when you tell her all those nurturing things. Feel the intensity of how good it feels. Try and connect to the emotion, don’t bury it, just be with it. Allow yourself to feel good, this is a groundbreaking experience for you! I am in awe of some of the work you are doing…and I know its not easy, but push through it. You really are changing! (((Kerro)))

  5. I go to schools regularly. And, to be honest, they are usually quite difficult experiences. I often have the same reaction as you. Kids are so open and haven’t yet got the societal message to keep things inside. When I see these kids, I think how sad it was that when I was their age, I already had that message firmly implanted in me.

  6. The kiddo will be okay, as will you. Don’t worry too much about her. Your therapist was right — she just has yet to learn that her skill and the pencil haven’t met yet. What’s important is, actually, that she cried about it. It shows how bad she wants it, and the huge likelihood she’ll continue to pursue it. The crying isn’t about suffering, when you think about it. It’s about reeeeeeeally want to be somewhere that she (or “we”) isn’t/aren’t ready to get to just yet.

    These words helped me greatly the other day, I hope they help for you:

    The baby steps in the beginning of a journey always seem inadequate compared to the brilliance of the dream that inspired them. This is natural. If the dream wasn’t so far “out there” and dazzling, it wouldn’t be worth dreaming! Just don’t be led to think that the physical ground you cover with your baby steps is all that they accomplish. Because for every mortal step you take, another cog in a giant wheel behind the curtains of time and space advances, and with it, 10,000 new possibilities.

  7. Pingback: Sifting through « Kerro’s Korner

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