We sure were anxious to see her do it...for weeks she clung to any piece of furniture she could, trying to maintain her balance. From the couch, to any chair, the coffee table. She was, I might add, very pleased with herself, too.
At about ten months, my daughter went from crawling on the floor to actually standing, using any piece of furniture she could for balance. Then, one day, she stepped away from the couch, stood there, a little surprised and wondered, I am sure, "Oh-oh, now what do I do?"
I was about three or four steps away from her and I just held out my arms. And, she took her first steps.
I do not remember thinking, "Well, it is about time." I don't recall saying, "Well, when you are you going to get over that crawling thing?"
Each developmental stage involved a surge of awareness, movement, then a process where other things she had already learned and accomplished, slipped back slightly.
The number of words she used and the clarity with which she used them diminished as we were transitioning out of diapers at eighteen months. When she learned to walk she had less interest in using utensils to eat and she wanted to be held more.
Each stage seemed to be about learning something new then, falling back, reassurance and connecting with me, making sure I was still there, that I hadn't changed, too...then, incorporating the changes into her life. She needed a safe place, always, to come back to. When those things all came together...well, just watch her run...
Imagine then, how something like this, childhood sexual abuse affects how we transition through the normal developmental stages of our lives. How, the need to defend consumes so much of our energy. How, in lieu of a safe place, we might have to settle for what is predictable or, familiar.
Imagine how that plays out now? With every change there comes a reasonable amount of confusion and loss. Confusion as we transition from where we are to where we want to be and, even though it is something we want, what lies out there, ahead of us, is unknown.
Unknown has always been bad...predictable, good, what is familiar, comfortable. Risk has meant hurt and, something, has to fill the space created as we challenge all of the misinformation we came here with.
So, knowing that, I wonder? If, on any given bad day, when things might not be going well, the nightmares invade, the anxiety is high, when it is hard to remember how far we've come let alone think of where we want to be...I wonder if saying, "I am getting closer..." might be all that is necesary. Maybe, even, the most honest response. "I have come this far and...I am getting closer."
I like the sound of that. And, maybe, if you accept that, too...just hold out your arms and wait...maybe, tomorrow, it'll be,
"Just watch me run!!"
checkin out for a few weeks...