How much can you take?

If we didn’t have trauma, how hard would it be to have Older Child gone at college? Spouse is still crying on and off, mostly because Older Child came home for the weekend and has returned to college.

We were mostly dissociated while Older Child was home. We wanted Older Child to ourself, like all those Saturdays we shared the last few years almost religiously.

Now, Older Child is gone. It’s a blow to be sure.

The positive sides are that Older Child will be on an exciting journey of self-discovery with the unwavering support of family of the journey goes awry. It’s a delicate balance. We keep tabs on Older Child’s mental health, make sure for safety. And no pressure to earn grades or be or do anything except be on the journey.

And we’re getting to bond more with Younger Child, whose interests are not as closely aligned. We are flexing to be a more available parent, and it’s mostly working. We spend more time together, laugh more, cry more, cuddle more.

The barriers, as usual, involve our tolerance for the uncertainty of life.

Our mother has bad cancer now. It’s not about us, right? It’s about mother’s survival. And, obviously, we have reactions to it. Mostly muted and hidden by Protectors who keep parents at arm’s length.

And now we need to try more so that we don’t have regrets when she dies–whether it’s in 12 months like the statistics say, shorter, or longer.

We are trying to forgive. It’s hard to know what’s even her “fault,” his “fault.”

Forgiveness is to let us all feel better. Hatred never ceases hatred but by love alone is healed.

How much can we take? We’ve tried to make a new friend. We met at the hospital. Friend doesn’t love to text and we don’t love to leave home. We hate talking on the phone, and we would to make this new friendship work. We’re vulnerable right now, having made the first overtures of friendship. We feel exposed. Too much.

We want to hide. Bedroom has never really felt safe except when we’re an adult who meditates. These days we’re an insecure teen with trauma. So become adult who meditates, right? Not so easy. Nightmares these days star insecure teen.

How much can we take? We went to the jump-off bridge this weekend. Someone had spray-painted, “There is beautiful pain.” Is there? Therapists says birthing your children is such a pain.

Maybe go into hibernation for hours or days and see what happens next. Trying affirmations that appear hourly on the phone to tell us negate specific negative core beliefs. Books waiting for us at the library. How will we get there? How much can we take?

Just this hour. Just this minute. Just this second. There: now, you can take a lot.

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