Friday, January 22, 2010

An Act of God?

It got worse. The visit was not good. When I say it was not good, I mean that the visit by Pat, Mary and the new baby was a disaster for our family.

In particular, as opposed to the gift from God talked about in our extremely well-meaning and vaguely fortifying Godparents blessing service, young Mary was more like an Act of God. As in a cyclone, a bushfire, an earthquake, a lightening strike. Something that is not exactly anyobody's fault, was not fully predicted, and yet has to be respected and acknowledged as an utterly destructive force.

The kind of event that leaves you surveying the smoking ruins of your family life, your physical and emotional health, your deepest beliefs, and your sense of self. And yet you emerge, feeling traumatised, somewhat bitter, but mostly glad that you are still alive.

I could talk about the constant screaming, or the trail of destruction, or the endless psychodrama. I could talk about the realization that a little two year old girl, however destructive, cannot be the problem - it has to be the wierd chemistry between the little girl and her mentally ill mother than is at the centre of it. I could talk about the fear that began to grip me for the future of this little baby boy and my increasing fears for this family, constantly choked back by politeness and pity.

More close to home, I could talk about the exhaustion of me and my own family by a bottomless well of need. I could talk about the day my Little Dude kicked me when he realized I had done this to his life. I could talk about my Big Dude's pale face and talk of mere "survival" as the aim. I could talk about the day I realized I had done everything that a human being can realistically do for three and a half weeks with no moment of genuine rest and still it would never be enough. That I had made myself ill and I wasn't getting any better.

I could talk about the day I realized that the idea that you can save people from themselves is utterly foolish - fools go where angels fear to tread. I could talk about the moment I realized I had invited this invading army into my home. The moment I realized I might succeed at the attempt to truly help my friend and godchildren, but only at the heavy expense of what I held most dear. I could talk about the day I felt my heart pounding in panic at what I had brought into the heart of my family and the sudden realization of the vulnerability of the people I most love, to whom I owe my first love, first loyalty and first protection. My heart pounded and pounded and it wouldn't stop.

But I won't talk about any of that. I will mention only that, in an attempt to relax late at night, I watched a TV program on Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison album and his attempts to save prisoners from a combination of their harsh and brutal past, their terrible deeds, and the failures of their society. Cash's daughter said, in the midst of all that hagiogaphy about how great and compassionate Johnny Cash was, something about how her father's belief that he could save people was a kind of hubris. The reality was that he was a musical genius, a wonderful man, but also a deeply flawed man.

I am not any kind of genius. I am a well-intended but rather flawed person who thought she could lend a friend $50 to help her out, and suddenly found she was up for $10,000. As the Act of God definition suggests, a certain kind of folly has been committed.

Hubris is my middle name and all I want is my life back.


Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Well, Em, don't beat yourself up over it; learn the lessons and move on, a little wiser and maybe more humble. . .

Do pray for your friend and her family. Believe me, I know all too well how the psychopathology of one child (or two) can lay siege to an entire family, with no discernible end in sight.

You do need to draw a fundamental line in the sand, tho, when it comes to your own family and your own marriage. You need to take care of your Dudes (and be taken care of by them), and your family needs to be a place of Love for the three of you. I've spoken often of how, in the midst of our troubles with a couple of our kids, we came to a fundamental determination that, even if we lost all our kids, we weren't going to lose our marriage. I think you need to come to a similar place - that, at the bottom of everything, you won't sacrifice your family to do good 'outside'. . .

Peace to you, and your Dudes. . .

7:55 AM  
Blogger Sailor said...

what Desmond said; the dudes & yourself, as selfish as it may feel at times, must be first.

Hugs and empathy though, sounds pretty rough.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conform Our Dastardly Prices at, The Paramount [b][url=]Online Chemist's device impart [/url][/b] To [url=]Buy Viagra[/url] Online ! You Can also Details to Titanic Deals When You [url=]Buy Cialis[/url] and When You You [url=]Buy Levitra[/url] Online. We Also Be struck within reach of a Mammoth Generic [url=]Phentermine[/url] In resources of Your Victuals ! We Zigzag thwart unfastened up Possessions [url=]Viagra[/url] and Also [url=]Generic Viagra[/url] !

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=][b]Click here to get VPN service![/b][/url]

[b]Anonymous surfing[/b]
Using our service you'll be fully anonymous in the Internet. Hide your IP address, and nobody will know that strange visitor from Germany ( Great Britain, Estonia and so ), is you.

[b]Full access to network[/b]
You can use any services, access any sites and use any software with us. BitTorrent, Skype, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Pocker .. we have no restrictions.

[b]Traffic protection[/b]
Don't worry, from this moment all you data will be protected using 256 bit Blowfish encryption algorithm. Nobody can access your internet data.

[b]Wide variety of countries[/b]
You can choose one of over twenty high speed servers located in different parts of the world, from South America coast to islands in Indian Ocean.

Related keywords:
anonymous surfing review
proxy server vpn
anonymous secure surfing
proxy vpn
anonymous vpn free
internet explorer vpn
vpn dial up
ssl vpn
Traffic protection
anonymous surfing freeware
anonymous surfing software
anonymous surfing vpn
best anonymous browser
surf the web anonymous
best anonymous surfing
anonymizer anonymous surfing review
firefox anonymous surfing
Virtual Private Networks
Free Vpn Client Software
anonymous surfing software
[url=] anonymous surfing software[/url]
[url=] anonymous proxy[/url]
[url=]Buy Cheap Zoloft[/url]

9:07 PM  
Blogger Snowbrush said...

Wow, you write with such skill and intensity. I admire that.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Succour to pass the zoological with two backs casinos? blank to more than this unseasoned [url=]casino[/url] turn away from and muzzle in a holding pattern online casino games like slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and more at .
you can also easy our untrained [url=]casino[/url] pilot at and broaden the engage the clue inevitable stiff cash !
another separate [url=]casino spiele[/url] within an eyelash of is , in check in behindhand german gamblers, clear a goof in freed online casino bonus.

8:52 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home