It’s Like Spitting on a Bonfire

“It’s like spitting on a bonfire.” The exact words the play therapist said to me on our final visit. About play therapy, other behavior therapies, anything pretty much. There is no water hose, no fire rescue squad,  that’s big enough for our burning boy. That’s how I interpreted our conversation anyway.

Psychotic. Psychopath. Sadomasochistic. Not interacting with reality. The words of therapists, doctors, and psychiatrists have finally collided and formed a dizzying whirlwind in my mind and heart. I can’t make sense of anything. Of my son. Of myself. Not anything.

A nightmare. I’m walking alone through a dark, abandoned playground. Not sure how I got here. Not sure where I’m going. The fog is so thick around me that my breath echos back to me as a loud, terrified beast of its own. The merry-go-round shrieks piercingly as the wind pushes it slowly around, as if to entertain the childish spirits of the night. There is movement to the right. I turn to look. My son is playing alone in the sandbox, his back to me, chattering away at his shovel, oblivious to the world around him, to the darkness. I call out to him, but my voice is faint, it can’t pierce the fog. He doesn’t hear me.

I notice a rope being pulled tautly in a game of tug-of-war. Something heavy suspended over my son, something large. It raises and lowers as the war goes on and I know that if the wrong side wins, he will be flattened. I notice people, people pulling on this side of the rope. My side, this must be my side, I know them. There’s the psychiatrist, dressed in his work suit, pulling lazily with one hand, smiling at me welcomingly, and finishing up a cup of hot tea from a dainty china cup. There’s the therapist, behind him, putting all of herself into it, but she’s so tiny, not strong enough, she weighs nothing. Other figures, shapes from the past, half-remembered through the fog. I stagger in front of them all, my legs too heavy to run. I grab the rope and pull with all I’ve got, but it isn’t there. All I’ve got isn’t there. It’s weighted down by something inside of me. I can’t see through the fog. I can’t see what’s on the other side. What’s pulling back. But I have a feeling, it’s not trying very hard, it’s playing with us, it’s drinking it’s own cup of hot tea and enjoying the puppet show. My limbs are heavy, my mind numb. I can’t pull hard enough, I can’t form the words or muster the energy to shout at the others to put it into gear.

I woke from that nightmare drenched in sweat, and numb. And my heart has never left that playground. I’m still trying to pull, trying to speak, trying to call out. But I can’t. It’s all so surreal. I can’t understand anything.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. memyselfandkids
    Nov 12, 2012 @ 21:31:27

    The saying conveys a picture of inadequacy and even hopelessness despite some effort. Sorry for the struggles/nightmare.


  2. Amy Pruitt
    Nov 12, 2012 @ 21:53:31

    Don’t let go of the rope Krista. I really don’t think you have in you to let go, but still: he CAN be reached, he WILL be reached. There is goodness and light and joy and kindness in him and that is just as real and more powerful than the sword of Democles that you see hovering. Your fears are legitimate, your frustration is dearly bought. I believe I believe I believe in my heart you are doing everything you can for him, and doing everything right. The right door will be found soon, and when it is opened, you’ll feel the sun again. I will tell you these things as many times as you need to hear them. I believe in you, and I believe in Javan. With my gut, and with my heart.


  3. bipolaraspiemom
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 07:14:33

    Thanks, Amy.


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