Posts Tagged ‘letters’

It all happened, and it was better than I thought.

October 30, 2009

Originally posted 29 June 2008, title ‘I’ll think of you these months, while I wait.’

I’ve wanted you in my life for years, you and your sister, your brother. I will be exasperated when you ask for a dog, we will make pudding messes together, you will be allowed to fingerpaint on canvases large enough to paint our lives on.

I want to know you so well, before you are born and afterwards. I can’t wait for the moment TMD holds you in her arms, my hair lank with sweat. I will thank god for every stretch and tear in my vagina, every mark on my body from carrying your weight, my chapped nipples. Sometimes I will be exhausted, sometimes I will weep, sometimes I will wonder if I am up to the awesome job of being one of your mothers. Throughout those times there will never be a moment I wish you were not here, with me, with us, together.

I want to hold you and make up little songs in the middle of the night. I want to drop with the need to sleep, and TMD to come hold us both, even though she has to wake up in two hours for work. I want to hear you squeal as you splash water all over the bathroom floor. I want to read you the book I will write, just for you, about how you came into this world and became part of our family.

I want my heart to break when you go to your first day of school. I want my little sister to take you on wild adventures that I really don’t want to hear about. I want to buy you that camera, those ballet shoes, that baseball glove. I want to encourage you and remember what it was like to be young once, the world shining and huge and open to possibilities. I want to read you the same book again and again, to the point of skipping words or pages in the hopes you will not notice; I will be pleased, and tired, when you DO notice.

I want you to fill my belly, my heart, our life. I want to go to antenatal classes and trade endless boring stories with other pregnant moms. I want you to be there, to talk to the next one through the thin layer of skin as he/she stretches my body once more. I want to teach you how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I want to give you lots of time alone with your imagination, I want you to never doubt that I love you – even when you are fifteen and think you hate me.

I want to argue about how well you are/are not learning to drive. I want to visit you at university and take you out for really expensive meals – you and all your friends. I want to completely fuck up braiding your hair, or figuring out how to top n’ tail. I want to fear giving birth and look forward to it at the same time. I want to watch you figure out who you are, and I want to be there – in the background – when you realise that you are who you are right now…who you are does not come at 16, 18, 21, 50, 80.

I want strangers to stop and say how cute you are. I want presumptuous people to feel my belly. I want you to kick them away. I am ready for you; I’m sitting in your room right now. You get the last of the evening’s sunlight. Your window looks out onto this quiet little street, where you will ride your bike and make friends with other scabby kneed kids. This will be your first home, and every minute of looking for that home included reserving a special space just for you. Your room has rose-coloured carpet and curtains – it came with the house, but we sort of like it. There’s room for a little pop-up tent, or a chair with a blanket over it, or a rocking chair.

We’re not rich, but we’re not poor. And when you come, when you emerge into this world, I want you to know that I wanted you with every fibre of my being, that my soul has waited for you this immensely long time, that you were loved before you were even conceived.

I’ve made an appointment with your other mom, to see the doctor who is going to help us make you. It’s for the day after I turn 30, and the best birthday present I can imagine having will be seeing the day that your birth day comes.

I love you.

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Love is in the air.

August 10, 2009

Dear TMD,

You are the best partner I could ever have. You have done so much for me this pregnancy, without complaint, and usually while making me laugh. I can’t believe our little babies are going to be in our arms tomorrow, and who else would I rather share this with?

I love you.

——————–

Dear babies,

I am sort of scared about being your mom. I know Mommy will be there to help me with you, but sometimes I think she is much more grown up than I am. I still don’t believe we are going to meet you so soon. It seems like yesterday we were so proud of your eight celled selves, and now look at you. See you soon.

I love you.

PS – Please have mercy on us.

33 weeks 3 days pregnant.

July 10, 2009

Dear Babies,

Your mummy built your new pushchair yesterday while I watched. Despite claims that it was ‘the ultimate in user friendliness,’ Mummy used a lot of words that you probably won’t hear from her again – unless you get little brothers or sisters in future and she needs to build another pushchair.

In the store it looked so sexy and cute, and relatively normal-sized. Now, you babies don’t know what size our home is, because right now you are all smushed up in my (your) womb. But when your pushchair is in our lounge, it DOMINATES. Do you know what ‘dominate’ means? It means it takes up all the room and there is no room for anything else. In fact, I couldn’t even get a picture of Mummy with the pushchair because it was so big.

But dang, you guys are gonna look cute in it. Mummy keeps saying it ‘turns on a dime,’ and I will certainly remind her of that when you guys are big, fat, happy babies and our arm muscles are weeping from the pain of pushing that megalith up a hill on a path that twists and curves.

I got my wheelchair yesterday and Mummy hurt herself lifting it into the boot of the car. Your pushchair would totally kick the ass of my wheelchair in a fight. Except I suspect your pushchair is too expensive and high class to want to fight with a banged up piece of metal transport from the local charity.

Anyway, babies, today is the last day of me being home alone with you guys. Nan (Gran? Nanny?) is moving in on Monday and she will be staying with us every work day. This means that you will get used to her voice, which is nice because she is a generally nice lady. My mommy, Granny (Grandma?), is very happy that Nan will be here to look after us.

Baby girl, you have been having some big, big movements in the past day. The sort of big moves and squiggles your brother normally makes. Does this mean he isn’t squishing you anymore? And baby boy, you  have been getting some messed up hiccups. Yesterday you had them and I jiggled you; they stopped. Within minutes of me stopping jiggling, you got them again.

I’m not sure what position you kids are in, and I am nervous about what happens if you go head down. But still, whatever happens, I hope you are both as comfy as you can be. If you choose to turn head down, you would probably have more room to move. And your heads wouldn’t be up in my ribs anymore, though I think you have both moved away from the rib cage part you were in. So, in short, do consider changing position – if only for your own benefit.

We will ignore what it must be like for you to be crammed through my pelvis and vagina, but remain happy and secure in the knowledge that at least it would clean out your sinuses.

Kitty Marmite is curious about you. We have started paying more attention to her because she has been ignored for the past few months. She was sort of scared of your pushchair, but she REALLY liked the fabric of the seats and we had to hide them in plastic covers. You two will have a lot of fun with her once you are old enough to appreciate that there is more to view than my boobies or your mommies’ faces, but I don’t know if the kitty will as eager to play as you. We’ll see.

Okay, kidlets, over and out. Love you.

Aussie’s (love) letter.

May 19, 2009

Some time back (we’re talking years!), I wrote close friends and asked them to tell me why they loved me. During a specialist training on working with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, it was suggested that it can be healing for people (and any person, I would suggest, not just those who were abused) to hear what makes them special to other people. It was said to only request friends to do this that were likely to respond, as otherwise it could end up being more hurtful than helpful. I have two gorgeous letters from Cookie and Chirp, which are still carefully tucked into a special envelope while I decide what to do with them.

A few days ago, I got this email from Aussie:

Hey,

I was thinking tonight about how I still haven’t written to you about what our friendship means to me.  It’s been a long time coming.  But I really hope you don’t take it to mean that what I write here is going to be brilliant….it will be just simply honest.

So let’s see…..where to start……..

Starting work at the old awesome [Day Job] was a scary prospect.  Especially as it seemed to me that people had begun bonding and I was apparently an urban myth.  When I think back to that time, it’s you who sticks out the most in my mind.  Not just because you totally freaked me with the whole yeah I’m married and my wife’s name is [TMD]!!!!  Still lovin how my face gave nothing away. ha!  I was so clueless.  It’s mostly because you always made an effort to include me and you felt genuine.  I sooo appreciated that.  I always felt really comfortable around you.  You make me laugh because you can often stress about social situations and meeting new people.  But in actual fact you have a wonderful ability to make people feel at ease and more able to just be themselves.  You’re never afraid to laugh at yourself and I think that is rare and beautiful.  It instantly makes anyone with a guard up lower it and relax.  I was rather overwhelmed when you phoned me and told me that you had spoken to H about my immigration issues because she had a friend who worked in the [government].  That was so kind of you and I’m quite sure you never thought anything of it.  Yet there I was having spent months at home on my own with no money and feeling depressed when you made such a friendly selfless gesture.  It meant a lot to me.

The main thing about you [Existere] is to me you are a piece of home.  That’s how much you mean to me.  And I know you know what kind of value a statement like that holds.  How you are reminds me so much of my friends and my life back home.  I can have the most frank discussions with you without any fear of judgement (well if judged at least you’ll tell me!).  You’re honest and I feel I can be upfront with you. I deeply respect you and how you live your life.  Your love for life and appreciation of even the smallest things energise me.  I love that upon hearing a crazy stupid song, we’ll all get up and dance our little impromptu dances.  Your horribly rude songs make me laugh so much.  I love that I’ve now seen all 3 High School Musicals and love them not just because laughing at Troy is fun but because of having watched them with you and taking it both seriously and appreciating the stupidness of it all.  I feel like I’m still a kid and treasure that feeling.  I can fart in front of you and poop at your house!  I’m never self conscious around you.

You’re a wonderful listener and advice giver.  You’re really good a scaring me!!!!  Not sure if that’s something I like or not hmmmmm.  I love wandering the streets in my pyjamas with you.  You have a great knack of making people and well me feel very special and unique.

You are a rarity Ms [Existere].  I thank God you came into my life.  You are my family and always will be.  You’ve played an important role in my life and I’m glad I’ve shared so many amazing fun filled times with you.  I really do treasure them.  And now with this new stage of life (eeck!)  I know how brilliant a mother you will be.  You already are.

I love you heaps….[my country] and [Aussie’s country]!  (ok now the other side….both together….now the first one cause it wasn’t as hard as the other)

x

You can imagine what it felt like to receive this out of the blue when I was having such a hard week. It makes me want to put up Chirp’s and Cookie’s letters as well. Sometimes it is nice to be reminded that you are spectacular, shiny, and special. Okay, it’s ALWAYS nice, but sometimes it is a lifesaver.

Countertransference, much?

September 16, 2008

Receiving gifts from clients is an interesting thing. There are some therapists who just wouldn’t do it, some who probably unconsciously encourage it – and then there’s the rest of us. As a counsellor, I do not ever expect to receive any gift aside from that of the other person’s presence. Sitting beside someone as they confront themselves and their life is a deep honour. I know that sounds corny, but sometimes after sessions I’ve sat quietly in my chair, just feeling. I think there is a quality of awe that comes with witnessing – really seeing – other people.

This morning I received a little blue envelope covered in hand drawn hearts. On the inside was what my manager described as ‘a work of art,’ and she was right. Careful joined up writing from a child, more hearts, glued on buttons, rice, sequins. A thank you letter.

This child thanked me for my help – and I thought, But I haven’t even started yet! This is really a reminder that my idea of help is probably very different from other people’s. With this child, I’ve just been a friendly presence, a warm grown-up who isn’t threatening, judging, or telling them what to do. This makes me feel powerful in the sense that I can believe in myself.

Operation Fingerpaint, as I said yesterday, is quite a directive service. We tend to go into sessions with definite plans of how the sessions will go. This just isn’t me – and when I’m on my own with children, it’s easier to just trust them and myself and believe that whatever is supposed to happen, will. I also think that the quality of the relationship between two people, whatever their ages, is what makes the difference. I know from my own experience in therapy that it’s not the great insights Kleinette offered that I remember now, it’s the little acts of human kindness.

My heart feels full from this little letter, this little painting. And particularly when I think of the child who painstakingly made it – what a fantastic job. If more people occasionally received treats like this, job/personal satisfaction would be a lot higher, I tell you!

It’s nice to know that when I am just being me, with someone else who is just being them, that all kinds of good things can happen.

I am reminded of the person who painted me the picture of ‘us’ – it feels like ages since we worked together. I’ve thought about that client a lot this week, for one reason and another, and it’s interesting that these thoughts have been floating around as art is used more heavily in my sessions with this child. I have never conceived of myself as a good drawer, painter, sculptor – and therefore have sometimes felt wary of using art with clients. With the adult who painted me a picture, it felt natural. With this child, it feels natural.

So much of counselling is me learning to be okay with being myself, and more okay I am with me, the more okay the people/children I work with seem to be okay with being who they are.

I love this quote from e. e. cummings – ‘It takes courage to grow up and be who you really are.’ I’d take that a step further and say it takes courage to wake up every morning and be who you are, even when you don’t get it quite right. Life is bumpy and textured and sometimes we get lost.

But sometimes…sometimes we find ourselves, and that’s everything.