Sunday, June 22, 2008
Where do I start? Ok, my friend Kimberly came to stay with me a little while back. We were talking about our class reunion coming up, and she had expressed some anxiety about it. She has done very well for herself. She got her degree and is a teacher, she is doing a great job of raising her son by herself, and she still manages to look great doing it all. The anxiety comes from having to explain her past. You see, her husband and father of her adorable Braxton, died almost two years ago from a drug overdose. (Sorry Kimberly, hope this isn't a secret.) How do you explain that to people who are surely going to ask? I think there are three questions you will get asked by everyone at the reunion. What is your job? Where do you live? What is up with your family? While she was here, we did a little role playing. I was the unaware questioner, and she was herself. I now realize I had overlooked something in our sessions. I care about Kimberly and what is going on in her life. I have years of friendship to help me put the situation in perspective. Not everyone at the reunion has that. I say this because the other day, I ran into a girl I used to have a playgroup with years ago. I run into her at Costco every six months or so. When I saw her, I did the usual- comment on how big her kids have gotten, get updated ages, then relay what I remember about the last time I saw her. I told her that I remember her being pregnant the last time I saw her, and asked if the way too big boy in her cart was that baby. She said probably not, she had a baby after that. I asked where he was. Assuming he was home with dad because who would want to drag four kids around the store. I was shocked when she told me that he had died in a car accident. I felt terrible for leading the conversation in that direction, and completely uncomfortable after that. I was stumbling over my words and trying to ease some of the tension, but it was terrible. As with Kimberly, I am sure this mother had come to terms with the situation, but I didn't know how to treat her. I saw her a couple more times as we finished up our shopping and avoided her. I would hate for this to happen to Kimberly at the class reunion. I guess my new advice is only tell people who you think care about your feelings more than their own.
I had taken a number of videos of our sessions but Tom ruined them all with his inappropriate comments. It is sad for Kimberly because I had some very insightful, good, true to life, role play video. Thanks Tom.