Posted by: Marie | November 3, 2012

(740) One tough conversation – Part 1 of 5

Post #740
[Private journal entry written on Friday, December 9, 2011 at 11:30pm]

Well . . . that’s that. At least it’s over. At least I know the outcome . . .

Around suppertime, I received a phone call from Jane (Bailey’s mom). She sounded very calm and collected. We exchanged brief greetings and then she said, “I’m guessing that you know why I’m calling . . . ??” I answered, “I have a very good idea . . .”

She asked if we could meet face-to-face and have a conversation . . . so we could “bring the truth out into the open” and to “gain a better understanding of what has happened.” I said I would very much like that to happen.

Selflessness Forest by Martin Chen

We decided to get together at their house at 9:00pm – after the kids were in bed. I normally am well on my way to bed by that time, but this conversation was very worth staying up late for . . .

This last week has been pretty tough for me . . . besides being in turmoil over how to handle this situation, I’ve been experiencing flashbacks to my own childhood abuse. I’ve dealt with the emotions that have been coming up for me by lying in bed and crying every night as I try to go to sleep.

I understand, and have accepted, that there is a good chance I will occasionally have to deal with this kind of situation because my chosen career involves teaching children. I recognized that possibility early in this career. I’m okay with it despite the fact it might cause me discomfort and might cause me to lose clients.

Going into tonight’s conversation, I was clear that, no matter what direction the conversation moved, I could not let it become about my “suffering”. My pain is incidental to this conversation. I knew I had to be very careful to not take on a “poor me” stance. For example, I couldn’t say anything like, “Look at how much I’m suffering because your daughter lied to me.” There was no room for that in this conversation.

In the hours between Jane’s phone call and the meeting, I did what I usually do when I’m struggling to pull together my whirling thoughts and feelings . . . I wrote in my journal.

I knew that Jane and Keith (Jane’s husband) were going to ask me why I did what I did. So, I wrote down all the reasons I could think of, then I tried to organize them into some logical order and flow. Three hours later, when it was time to close up my studio and head over to their house, I hadn’t made much progress . . . my thoughts and feelings were still swirling uncontrollably . . . my reasons were still a jumbled mess of disjointed words.

And, my emotions ran rampant . . . I spent most of those three hours in tears. Dagnabbit . . . when will I ever get a handle on my emotions? It’s one thing to cry at appropriate moments . . . but not tonight. I needed to be professional and controlled during this meeting. I didn’t see how I could have an effective conversation if I was blubbering the entire time . . .

Anyway . . . I got in my car and made the seven-minute drive to their house. I didn’t ring the doorbell because I didn’t want to wake up the kids. Instead, I knocked timidly. They didn’t hear me the first time, so I knocked again, a little louder – I could see them moving around in the back part of the house. They still didn’t answer, so I opened the door, cautiously walked in and called their names.

They greeted me warmly and invited me to take a seat in the living room – I did so. Keith was already sitting on the couch against the opposite wall. Jane was in the adjoining kitchen, fixing some hot tea. She offered me some – I accepted.

Then, she noticed my red and swollen eyes and asked if I was okay. Oh, cripes . . . the waterworks started again, full steam. I really didn’t want to cry . . . but, I couldn’t stop the tears from welling up and falling down my face. Cripes!

—————-

Me: This situation has been emotional for me. But, I don’t want this conversation to be about my emotions . . . it is about Bailey and what is best for her.

I tend to cry a lot in general, and this situation has stirred up emotions for me that obviously are going to cause me to cry during this conversation. I don’t want to cry, but it seems I’m not able to stop them. So, I’m hoping we can continue as if I’m not crying – I don’t want my emotions to influence this conversation. Is that do-able?

Jane: Well sure . . . I’m just worried about you . . .

Me: I’m okay . . . really, I am . . . I just tend to cry at the drop of a hat . . . it’s an annoyance, but I can’t let it stop me from doing what I need to do.

(Jane brought me my tea, a box of tissues and a small trashcan, then she settled into her own chair.)

Jane: So . . . first, let me thank you for coming over this evening. We appreciate that you are willing to have this conversation. You could have just cut off all contact with us and not given us a chance to understand what happened. Thank you for creating the space for this conversation.

Me: And thank YOU for being so calm about it . . . you could have been very nasty to me and not given me a chance to explain why I did what I did.

Jane: We do want to understand why you did what you did. I’m sure your motivation was not to cause us pain. I’m sure your motivation was to protect Bailey.

Me: Yes, that is true – very much so.

So, what questions do you have for me?

Jane: I guess, most of all, we would like to know your reasons for going straight to the police rather than coming to talk to us first.

As you can imagine, it was very shocking for Keith to receive a phone call at work from a police officer saying that an allegation of child abuse had been filed against him. That was very upsetting for him . . . and embarrassing . . . we don’t understand why you would put him through that unnecessarily . . . why didn’t you just come and talk to us directly? I think we are reasonable and approachable people . . .

I guess that’s what baffles us the most about all of this . . .

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


Responses

  1. I couldn’t possibly be more on the edge of my seat and still be on my seat at all.

    • Please put your seatbelt on, for Pete’s sake! LOL

      • i’m on the edge of my seat, too, and on top of a rollercoaster!!!

        • Seats belts, people, seat belts!! LOL

          Thanks for stopping by, Dazzle!

  2. You have a lot of guts Marie, to go and have this conversation, and persist despite your tears.

    • Thank you, Ellen . . . I cry so often, so easily . . . I’ve decided to just go ahead and live life and allow the tears to be part of it . . . I’m hoping that, at some point, the tears won’t be so close to the surface if I allow them to fall freely now. If not, oh, well . . .

  3. Looking forward to seeing how this goes

    • Thank you for your ongoing interest, Evan!

  4. Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate

    • Thank you, Kate!! It’s so good to hear from you again!

      • Hi Marie,

        :)

        Thanks! I have had months of upheaval, packing, moving, and health issues but I am following your blog from my blog page and continue to read when I can. I am hoping to be able to leave more responses and continue to look forward to reading your brave blog. Good and healing thoughts to you.

        Kate


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