Tuesday, May 21, 2013


The therapist holds up her index fingers.
They are about an inch apart.
She pushes them closer until they are touching.
This is the normal parent/child relationship, she says.

The therapist holds up her fingers again.
This time, when she pushes them together,
there is a space between them,
like elevator doors
that do not quite meet.

This is life with Reactive Attachment disorder.
No matter how hard you try, she says,
there will always be a gap.
It has nothing to do
with anything
you have done
or not done
as a parent.

I like this therapist.
Like her a lot.
She is one of five, or six, or seven
that I have met over the last ten years.
My favorite so far.

Salt of the earth.
Rock solid.
Steely resolve.
But always a glint of humor.
A smile that dances at the corner of her eyes.
She likes kids.
You can tell.

She has worked hard to reach
my seemingly unreachable son.
And I love talking to her.
Often go even when he doesn't.

But tonight
those not quite touching
elevator doors
break my heart.


elsie said...

I love your description of this therapist. I can just imagine the smile dancing at the corners of her eyes. The analogy will stay with me, so every time I enter and exit an elevator I will think of all those children who have been damaged. Bless you Carol for being there for your boy (whether he wants you or not(.

Michelle said...

Such a tough situation, but I'm so glad that you have found many to talk with, especially this one.

I'm so sorry about those open doors. Continue to do what is right. Continue to pray. Continue to learn and share with others.

Julie Johnson said...

What a beautiful post. Your last stanza is so powerful (and it breaks my heart). A disconnect with our children is painful. Thank you for sharing your story through this poem.

Laura said...

You describe a truly gifted person. I'm sorry your heart was broken tonight. Glad for you that you have that lovely person to fall back on.
Best wishes for a better day.

Nanc said...

I like this therapist too. Been there, sometimes the gap seems to close and then, yep it pops open again. I love the analogy. I hate it when that happens. As he grow and desires a family of his own, he will always look to you as being faithful. That is kind of where we are with K. xo

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

You have taken on so much, Carol, and I can sense that there is something powerful within you than resists the very idea of accepting such a thing. There is always that sliver of light between those not quite touching doors....heartbreak and hope....they go hand in hand in love, especially in loving our children.

L Romaine said...

I did not know the term "reactive attachment disorder" so I found that fascinating...but the simple way you walked into your topic with the image of two fingers was beautiful.

Your pain is not, however the art you created in this poem has great poise, balance and beauty.

My best to you.

writekimwrite said...

Your honest writing touches my heart. You capture these thoughts with such clarity. I am so glad you can write. May God continue to bless, guide and comfort. Closing with prayer for you and the sons.

Laura Lynn Benson said...

My fingers have been hovering on this blinking key for so many minutes now...Finding the words I want to offer you, I cannot match the beauty of yours and I know that my words will fall short of offering you the comfort and Light you so deserve..."Gorgeous pain" is such as bizarre idea but you have such incredible gifts in gorgeously capturing life - even the painful parts. To love so deeply, so completely when it seems like little can be returned to you...The open elevator doors are breaking my heart, too, sweet friend. Is it too over stepping if I share a vision for the open doors?...That they could mean their is still open hope? I just know that everyone you touch comes away with a bigger heart, expanded hope, and lifted Faith...Maybe it is the timeline that is longer...But where would any of us be, especially your cherished sons, with you in our lives? xoxoxo You are loved, Carol. You are loved so very much xoxoxo

Mary Lee said...

The space between the elevator doors is filled with your love, and so, too, with hope.

Hugs for your fractured heart.