Thursday, October 09, 2008

Stripped Bare

I had a mole check with a dermatologist this week. It was something I have been wanting to do for a long time, since I have a lot of moles and very fair skin, and also because I had several really horrible sunburns as a child. I guess I knew that she would be examining my whole body, but wow, I was not prepared for the inch-by-inch scrutiny that my body would be subject to. It was a little hard to turn off the inner critic as she examined the fat roll around my stomach, my stubbly armpit, the sole of my foot darkened by walking barefoot on my dirty floors.

And then, the next day, Craig, Luke and I took a little visit to the psychologist. I have been not sure whether I should write about this on the blog, but here it is. I'll keep it general. It is something we have considered doing over the years with our creative, passionate, loving, but very intense and lately, increasingly angry eldest son. We finally decided to do it, because there is a warning bell that sounds in my head every time he gets angry, a small voice that sounds like this: we hear too much about angry boys in this society, and we don’t know what else to do to help you get a grip on these strong feelings.

And there was another quiet voice in the back of my head--a voice without words but more of a wish--that was hoping our visit with the psychologist would be like venting to a girlfriend. Deep down inside I was hoping that it would be all he is a boy, he is gradually gaining control, what great parents you are to him! (you know, basically like all of you wonderful people who comment on my blog) but I have to say that it was not so much visit with a girlfriend as I was subconsciously wanting. It was really much more wrenching and halting and difficult than I was hoping for.

I imagined what it would be like. I held a secret wish for what it would be like. But really, it was like stripping down naked and having a person we had just met look us over, inch by inch, examining every lump, every irregularity, every discoloration on our cold, exposed bodies.


so yung wilson said...

Ser, thanks for another honest blog. I hope both doctors help and that in the end, everyone walks away healthy and happy.

Bravo for you and Craig to be willing to take action that you felt was needed. I think your willingness to be active parents is the key to your success as parents (even if it doesn't feel like it right now or ever, for that matter). You are helping him become a healthy, well-rounded, independent adult who will be a positive energy to those around him. I hope I have half as much courage as you and Craig when it's our turn.

Big breathe. And another. You're doing a wonderful job, you really are.

Anonymous said...

You are the most incredible writer. You really need to write for a magazine, where your brevity would be most useful. You keep things simple, yet profoundly deep at the same time. You have quite a gift.

Juliana said...

Oh Ser i can only imagine how you felt during the session and i am so sorry it did not go as you had invisioned. I recently was in a similar position and stripped bare is the perfect anology for it. I remember how it felt and i hated it and so i am sorry you have felt this too.
Wow how this post has hit home. I read your blog regularly i was brought to your blog by either Molly or Jenny or both :)
I have never commented before because well i barley have time to read blogs with three little ones. I felt i had to this time. My oldest has been showing signs of an angry child and it is starting to worry the hell out of me. I have found it not the easiest thing to talk about with my friends.
Wondered if we could compare notes??? If so got to my blog and leave a comment on any post and it will come to my e-mail and we can get in touch that way. I hope to hear from you but if not i understand too:) In the meantime i will keep you, Luke, Henery and Craig in my prayers.
Take care

thatpatti said...

hm, i guess maybe a positive spin would be to say that at least your mama's intuition is working well? :\

sounds like an intense week. here's hoping for a good weekend for you.

Cary Milkweed said...

I agree wholeheartedly with Anonymous. Please take heart and know that you are the most amazing, loving parents, as evidenced by the fact that you prefer to explore all avenues with regards to your children rather than avoiding the rough roads.

Here-- I'll make you a virtual fleece robe. Put it and some slippers on and drink some hot chocolate and lose yourself in a tabloid magazine for an hour or two. You've certainly earned some slack time based on the week you've had!

Beck said...

I think you're a terrific mom - my own parent's preferred the Head In The Sand approach, and my 23 year old brother is now paying the pirce. It's much harder - but much better in the long run - to bear the huge emotional price of help now.
(and I know a lot about how you feel - when The Baby was undergoing a lot of treatment, I'd sit there feeling bare and exposed and needing comfort that was not forthcoming. But it WAS worth it.)

Lhamo Osel said...

Good luck with that lovely fair skin. And good luck with that lovely fair boy (this Waldorf mom thinks he's great). I believe the key is to listen to your inner momma voice. We took our small boy to a psychologist last year when he was having huge troubles in school. He improved greatly after the visits -- I think primarily because he now really knew that someone more than just his parents was listening to his troubles and making attempts to help. Ultimately, the psychologist was a nitwit, however. My husband fortunately had a strong enough inner voice to point this out to the adults involved. All the family is doing better because of the outside-help and inside-listening attempts. May you find the same!

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