Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Finally, a bandaid.

Just over a year ago, my heart was broken. Not the kind of broken that heals quickly or can be forgotten about with a little distraction. It was broken in a way that I have never felt before. For 3 months I had put aside everything, including my husband and child, to help my 15 year old cousin. I risked my job and my family's well-being to do something that I was sure I could do; to make a difference in his life and help him find his way. But I failed. He ran away & I gave up b/c the safety of my own child was far more important to me than this insatiable need to "fix" a 15 year old who clearly wasn't ready for my help.

In time I realized that my failure to help him was not for lack of trying. I didn't give up until well after he did and that gave me some comfort. I can honestly say I did my best and there wasn't anything else I could have done for him. But that isn't always enough to make the hurt go away. The first three days after he left, I cried constantly. I cried at work and I cried in the car. I cried when our song would play on the radio or when a commercial we both liked would come on tv. I cried until I literally felt as if my body was incapable of producing another tear. Then I packed up every last belonging that was his and dropped it on his biological mom's front door w/ a note that said I wanted nothing more to do with her or her son. And then I got angry. The anger stuck around for weeks. It ate away at me as much as it motivated me to move on with my life. But at least it kept me from crying.

Once the anger was gone, my emotions were all over the place. Sometimes I was sad, sometimes angry, sometimes frustrated. It was really anyone's guess what my head was like at any given moment. Little things would remind me of him and it would bring it all flooding back in again. But I am a functioning manic depressive, so holding things together while I'm falling apart inside is what I do best. You always hear the old saying "time heals all wounds" and I have to disagree with that one. Sure, maybe sometimes a little time is all a person needs to move on, but in this instance, the passage of time was just one more thing that came and went while my broken little heart struggled to keep beating. I guess the best way to describe it is that it was kind of like having a scraped knee. Just as it would start to scab over, I'd stumble again and open it right back up. So much so that I forgot what my knee looked like w/out a scrape. I learned to live with it and kept being reminded of how painful it was when I would rip that scab open again.

Now, a year later, I feel like someone gave me my first bandaid. I finally believe it just may heal after all. And the tears welling up inside me are ones of relief. He is back at home with his Mom, where he belongs. Not with his biological mom; with his REAL mom. And after a short chat with her on Facebook, I feel better. Now I have hope that the red, painful scrape will eventually heal and only leave a faint scar behind.

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