We met over 20 years ago. I was a senior in college and you were a new Mom of a beautiful two month old little girl. Wes was in residency. I was scared to death to be around both of you. “Adults” scared me at the time, the shame I felt being around people I considered adults was intense. But you needed a babysitter and I needed a job. There was something about your house- it was warm, welcoming, and lived in. I felt that I could let down and be real- if I would ever get past my fear of you.
You had spoken at a group I was a part of, so I had a bit of an advantage knowing I would like you. You spoke openly, honestly, and were not afraid to talk about real struggle. That was not lost on me because during this year, my life began to unravel. I had a series of stalkers who shook me to my core and made me face some deep and dark monsters in my closet. I had no idea what was about to unfold and I am probably thankful for that… sometimes it is better not to know the terrain ahead… sometimes it causes more angst than necessary. You have to pass over the mountain and scale the peak either way- so sometimes it’s just best not to know how difficult it might be.
I was reading a book on childhood sexual abuse, called The Wounded Heart. One day as I was babysitting, I noticed you had the same book. Wow, I thought, someone else has read this book. I was intrigued but too scared to say anything. Some days the book would be in my car and I halfway wanted you to see it. My ambivalence at work--- my push and pull in relationships at work too….
We finally had that conversation- in a very muddled way. As I sat on your porch and questioned you about your counselor… with the excess anxiety, I began to wrap my purple bandana around my pinky so many times that I had a blister ring on the top of my pinky. Somewhere in that conversation, I told you I was reading The Wounded Heart. You graciously acknowledged what I had said. You didn't dive in overbearing and want to know all the details, and yet you didn't go running either. I was thankful-- but not sure how to respond-- if you had been overbearing or if you had ran, I would have known what to do. But because you just sat in the vulnerable statement I had said and honored it and accepted me- I wasn't sure what my next move should be.
Anyway, we have had a lot of history together since then. And I am excited about this next journey with you.