Love That's Impossible to Ignore

I just had a three-day visit from my nine-year-old and fifteen-year-old nephews and my sister. I never felt like I needed a session during the whole three days, and neither did I go numb. Since the visit, I have accomplished much more than usual and haven't once turned on the television (which is my biggest pull when I start feeling the need to disconnect and go away).

My nephews adore me. They love spending time with me, and there is little I can do that they wouldn't want to do with me. I also enjoy them. They are great guys. We have a wonderful time being together!

On the last day they were here, my sister came into my bedroom in the morning and we lay on the bed talking for a while. Then my nephews came in and joined us. The four of us lay there just having a good time connecting. Then we decided to do computer karaoke. We were standing behind the computer singing together, with no worry about how it sounded or whether anyone would judge anyone else. And we laughed a lot!

On the last evening I decided to give each of my nephews some "special time" (this is the first time I've ever done this with them). Sometime after doing his special time, the nine year old announced a little disappointedly, "Oh, we could have hugged for my special time." He would have spent his whole half-hour of special time hugging me!

Who needs a session when you're spending all day being adored, appreciated, and loved unconditionally?

Most young people show you openly how much they love you. They don't hold back on showing how excited they are to see you. Even when they show you some of the hard stuff that they're working on, they make it clear how much they love you. For example, I am a fat woman. Many young people use me as a target to work on what they've been told about fat people. But these same people who are openly calling me fat are climbing all over me and fighting for my attention. My fat distress has moved tremendously because it's impossible not to notice how much they love me and that it can't possibly be true that my being fat is in any way interfering with their love. Young people don't have the adult embarrassment that would keep them from showing this stuff. Their love is in-your-face; it's impossible to ignore. And they require so little before they're willing to give that love. Show them that you have even an ounce of attention for them, and you're theirs. Let them feel just a little more powerful than you for even the briefest moment, and you have a pal for life that's going to be hard to lose.

I have consistently gone to family workshops since being in RC. At one family workshop, two young people decided that I shouldn't have to go to allies' class. They made the other allies fight for me and eventually pull me away. Then, during the class, we heard them calling my name down the hall! My distress would have me believe that I'm not wanted or well liked, but my distress loses the battle when faced with these young people. At this same workshop, a Co-Counselor from my Community came up to me and told me how good I looked. Generally, this is the type of compliment I don't know how to receive and don't really believe. However, this time I knew it was true. I was feeling one hundred percent loved and wanted, and it showed.

All these contradictions from young people have carried over into my relationships with adults. In the past I found it difficult to build relationships with people. It always seemed to take a long time for someone to become my friend. Most of my friendships at work took months, if not years, to develop.

Now at work I become friends with people during their interview. Several people we've hired have told me they took the job because they liked me. I've become friendly with most of the guards, cafeteria workers, and maintenance people who work in the building. I go after people, I get noticed, and people remember me. I am clearly not invisible - as my distress would have had me believe.

Brenda Raymond
Newton, Massachusetts, USA

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00