I am ashamed to admit how much of my life I glided through without really making contact. I didn’t touch anyone, they didn’t really touch me. Oh, they pissed me off a great deal. But they did not really touch me, because I was untouchable. Now that seems like a pretty grandiose statement. But I was. Life had inured me to this whole concept of contact. People touching people. I found it wanting and painful and life wrecking, so I just created a life where there was very, very little contact.
I do not have that life today. And I am amazed, grateful, happy and content to allow all the contact that I have in my life to destroy me in all the ways on a daily basis. Being touched and touching, even when it is gut wrenchingly painful is better than being safer and untouched. Also a pretty bold statement. But I guess that is where I am today. Bold statement Thursday, who knew?
I have cried twice this morning all ready and it is just 7 am. Both crying jags came as a result of reading my emails. One email was from a mom who is on the cusp of sending her son to Alaska for treatment. The other email was from my sponsor and her reflections on this harrowing, life altering path of motherhood and recovery. Both emails brought tears to my eyes and down my cheeks. Not really because of the sadness of either email, but because of the poignancy of life. Of motherhood.
God I love my kids. With ferocity and co-dependence that rivals logic. I have been an amazing mom. And I have been terrible. And in looking at these kids that I brought into this world, I am amazed at how well they are both doing in spite of all my gross missteps and larger handicaps.
But circling back to the topic of the day, contact, I am in it with these kids. And a whole mess of other beings too. People (my children being foremost) touch me today because I allow them to make contact. Their lives, their needs, their happiness and despair, lands in me because I let it. I am slowed to a pace of intimate connection because I spent the time untangling all the jangled, tangled bits of me that interfered and prevented me from being able to be present, to love, to relate, to intimate, to connect.
I know for a fact that up until two years ago I practiced connection by disconnection. Perhaps some of you cannot relate. It was not that I thought it was a good strategy (it wasn’t and I knew that) it was just all I had. I had to disconnect to be safe. Intimacy and realness threatened me on levels that were so scary, so terrifying that the only way that I could remain, was to leave.
I won’t go into all the details of the last two years and the evolution that has taken place in my life, but I will tell you that slowly, day by day, I began to stop this practice of disconnection. And sometimes I had to do that by completely leaving the relationship. I had to let some people go in order to find a better relationship with myself and then others who really saw me and wanted to be in relationship with me.
Now I work really fucking hard to practice connection by connecting. By contact. By owning my insecurities, my feelings which are often loosely based on fact, and showing up as me, warts and all, and doing this crazy weird deal that is my life.
Today I cried because the words of the mother seeking treatment for her son landed in me. I cried because my sponsor’s journey with her children is heartrendingly beautiful. And I felt it all, deeply. And because it made contact, tears, were the result. I cannot tell you what I gift it is to be able to cry. I never knew that lack of crying was a trauma response. Never fucking knew. I am so incredibly grateful on this day that I can not only feel my own pain, but willing feel the pain of others.
I can take it into my soul and it burgeons there. It becomes something better than just sadness or pain. It becomes heartfelt connection. It becomes contact. And like any good junkie, I want more of all that feels good.
I am so amazed today that my life is full of contact points. People I connect with and their lives touch mine and mine theirs. I am so lucky. I missed so much for so long. And today I get to live a life of being willing to share all that has happened, all that I feel, all that I grieve in order to perhaps, just maybe help someone else along the way. And that my friends is the best contact I have ever known.