(Written in January 2007)
Leaving for Kripalu today. Woke early, a little scared. Prayed for help and took a Buspar. Yesterday I had lots of times of “blind terror” when I just couldn’t think.
ME: Little Jenny, we’re going to Kripalu today. That’s good because they will take care of all the food. Is there anything you need today?
LITTLE: take some art materials and the guidance notebooks. I’m glad food will be taken care of. That will be easier for you.
ME: Thank you. That makes me feel all warm inside. Anything else you need?
LITTLE: just keep checking in with me — that makes me feel safe.
I’m feeling scared, but it’s not too bad. That feeling of hollow vibrating in my chest, tension coming up the outside of my neck. There’s a feeling of blankness, as tho I’m facing into a strong wind, or something cushiony but tight pressed against the front of my body. Breathing helps ease it.
At Kripalu. Woke up with that odd feeling. The best I can do is describe it as flat, my heart feels flat, I feel one-dimensional. I don’t feel scared, or depressed. I do feel flat and disconnected. When I think of my friends or my dog, I feel a dull ache, no softening. Well, maybe I can soften around it. Yes, now I’m getting that this is a child who’s been abandoned so long that she’s in complete withdrawal — curled up in the fetal position and waiting to die — as Susan Anderson describes how she was in the hospital when her parents mistakenly left her for 3 days. What I can do is sit with her and share her pain. Some cracks develop in my heart, or in its icy casing. I welcome pain, it’s living. The cramped feeling in my stomach has eased so I can breathe.
In the dining room with a proper cup of tea. Too noisy in the cafe.
Good morning Little Jenny, how are you today?
L.J. I like the quiet. I like Jack Kornfield. I have trouble with all those people talking so loudly and fast.
ME So do I. I think this would be a better place to have morning tea, and I’ll try to protect you from noise and from rushing around — and I won’t be making noise or rushing around.
L.J. Good. I feel safer when you’re calm.
ME O Little Jenny I do love you (and my heart softens — I see the picture of Little Jenny with the Dar Gorani look and I just want to hug and comfort her.) Can I give you a hug?
“Little Jenny with the Dar Gorani look” was named by a circle dancer who saw this photograph. Dar Gorani is a dance choreographed to Armenian music, using traditional Armenian gestures. We also call it the “prayer to the lost homeland” because it’s about being driven out of your home, and looking back to its beauty, and forward to the hope that you will be able to create a new home. In this picture I see a child who knows that somewhere out there is a better way to live, but where she is right now there is just the pain of not really being seen and supported by her alcoholic parents.