I have learnt not to look too far into the future. One moment it looks sunny and bursting with promise, the next it looms like a cyclone threatening to sweep in gales and thrashing rains. At the very moment I allow myself to bask in some relief that the trauma which stalks our family is starting to heal, something happens. It is uncanny. I dare to hope. I jinx the future. That’s what it feels like.
Heavier still is the feeling that all that prevents the cyclone from wrecking the future is my will and my energy. I didn’t cause the trauma, I know that, but the trauma will play itself out unless I can continue to neutralise it bit by bit, therapeutic thought by therapeutic action. There are no battalions of therapeutic warriors waiting in the wings to sweep across the battlefield and carry us all to victory. It is me, holding a crappy umbrella.
Yesterday evening I was dealing with the slowly unravelling psychodrama which had started with a child taking a £20 note from my bag. Half way through Act One I got the news that my Great Uncle had passed away. I’d only met him a few times but we wrote to each other regularly. He was my connection to a distant and complicated past. The grief swallowed down, I continued with the delicate job of teasing out truth, holding back shame and nurturing emotional learning. These are the times when the future is the most finely balanced and easily influenced, for good or ill. If I pause to think about the responsibility for too long, the pressure can become overwhelming.
I pulled off a satisfactory conclusion to the psychodrama, I think. It will be replayed again for sure, but next time it will be subtly different. Different strategies will have to be employed, different lessons will have to be learnt.
The future is long, hard trek away from here. For now I’ll take it one day at a time. There may be the occasional breakdown along the way.