Relating to me is the most challenging and yet the most exciting thing to explore.
The more intimate the relationship is, the more likely at some point sooner or later, something happens that triggers the shit out of me and awakes parts in me that are so nasty, so extreme, so ugly and powerful that afterwards all I can feel is a sense of deep shame, guilt and the fear of being left alone ~ because who the fuck would want to relate to that crazy woman I can be.
My 10 year old son however, has no choice other than to relate to and with me. I am his main caregiver, the one that is supposed to protect him from danger. Like every mother I am doing my very best to be there for him and yet I’ve messed up badly a few times.
The other evening, my son, my partner and I are about to go for a late night walk. We enjoy walking under the stars only with the moon light guiding us the way through the dark. It’s in these moments that my son can share what has moved him during the day. We just listen. He is not looking for feedback or tips to be fixed. He just wants to be heard and seen. If he wants advice on something specific he asks. That’s it. Pretty simple.
That specific night though, my son took a big knife from the kitchen with him. He’s been having a lot of nightmares and fears lately. But only when he is by himself. I say to him: “no need to take the knife, we are with you my love.” “Well mom, that’s exactly why I am taking the knife because YOU are going with us.” My heart starts beating faster, my mouth is getting dry, anger is about to wake up the barking bitch inside of me. My son goes on: “You are completely crazy! You remember the other day when you got so angry about this stupid recipe we had to do for school? You crabbed me violently at my shoulders and you threw me forcefully out of the house! I was so freaking scared of you at that moment. All I could do was to run away.” The barking bitch is about to leash out, to defend, to justify. Because the barking bitch does not allow anyone to point out that Katjalisa messed up. That she dropped one of the many balls she’s juggling. Katjalisa is working so hard and doing so much her best to be there for everyone, especially for her son. She needs to be respected. Fuck that little son of a bitch. Who the fuck does he think he is! Bringing a knife when he goes for a walk with Katjalisa, pff! This little guy is so goddam ungrateful and does not see all the things Katjalisa is doing for him. Luckily that barking bitch only barks these thoughts inside of her and doesn’t bark them out loudly. The next moment is crucial. The manager of the sub club steps into the play, takes the lead, tells Katjalisa to close her eyes and to take a deep breath. He needs to win time to see which sub to send on a mission now. Which one of the many many parts that live inside of her does Katjalisa need now so that she can be the mother that she herself needs in order to be the mother her son needs?
Luna Ma. That’s the one. Katjalisa needs a calm mother. One that truly listens, hears her out. A mother that shows compassion instead of playing the incident down in order to make herself feel better. A mother that takes responsibility for her actions and looks at her shit. A mother that can apologize. A mother that is warm and soft, present, loving and kind.
Thank you Luna Ma. I feel you. I feel you in every part of my cells. I am loved, I am safe.
My heart beat has calmed down, my breath is deep, my gaze is soft. I open my eyes, look at my son and tell him: “I am so sorry my love for getting so angry the other day. I see how scared you must have been with such a crazy mother! That does not feel very safe. You are so courageous for telling me.
His shoulders drop, his face relaxes. He puts the knife back into the kitchen. I want to take his hand. I want to feel his warm hand in mine. He shakes it off. “Mom, I am still angry. Every time you flip you tell me you are sorry and then you do it again. How can I trust you!
Uhh, the barking bitch is about to wake up again.
“Come on, you make it sound as if I was a complete lunatic that flips every other day and belongs into a place for crazy people.”
“Mom, let me be a little bit more angry!” He shouts at me and starts walking away. “Maybe it happened only a few times. But I still remember those moments so well and they make me scared.”
Katjalisa, breath. Breath deeply into your belly, says the manager and gives Luna Ma the sign to step in again. “Do you want to tell me about all the other moments you were scared of me and I made you feel like shit?”
“And then, if you want, I can also tell you about the moments when I was a little girl your age, feeling scared and like a piece of shit. And maybe, when we come home for Christmas we also ask Oma and Opa if they too remember moments when they felt really scared and unsafe when they were little kids.”
Hand in hand. We walk.
Heart to heart. We talk.
Under the sky full of stars with the moon guiding us the way. We walk and we talk and with every step we take and with every story we share, we all feel a little less scared, a little bit lighter and much more connected.