So, when the choice to love someone who is intensely unlovable but needs love presented itself in real life, I failed just as badly, as hideously, as anyone I’ve ever looked down on or criticized or judged as being lesser than. We still have a young teenage boy living with us, he continues to do some seriously ugly things to other people that hurt himself and damage others, and I am completely failing to love him in any real or honest way. Instead, I fantasize about inflicting pain, paying him back for hurting good, kind people who loved him and tried to help him. But really, what pain can I inflict that he hasn’t already experienced? When I am contemplating such actions, I am a monster and indulging that monsterish side of myself is a sin, plain and simple. I want to be loving and decent. And I occasionally make some tentative motion toward being so and he, for reasons I can only imagine are designed to hurt others as much as he is hurt or perhaps to destroy himself as his self-preservation instincts are the worst I’ve ever seen, returns that effort with meanness, not usually toward me directly (I am a scary battle axe of a middle-aged woman, and he is somewhat cowed by my dead-level stare, but he knows I am susceptible to his actions harming others.) Sadly for this child, I am still his only legal guardian, but there is a small chance that he will return to his home state to live with a member of his biological family sometime in the next 6 to 12 months. (One of the great sorrows of his life is that almost no one in his family wanted him to live with them when he was a little kid, and that as he gets older, he becomes less attractive as a person and so these family members really REALLY don’t want him around now. Except maybe one does, or says she/he/it does.) We’ll see what happens with that. I’m holding no breath, indulging in no hopes. Rather, I am believing that life will suck in this area until this child turns eighteen. Jesus, have mercy.
My life took a tumble these last seven months or so. Actually, the last year became a gauntlet of sadness and pain. My dad, who had had Alzheimer’s for the last 8-10 years or so, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer last February (2015). I can’t write about all those details yet (yet — I’ll try sometime, but not now), suffice to say that he died in late July. Then in August, my oldest son and his wife and my daughter moved over 1,000 miles away and I miss them in ways that make breathing difficult sometimes. Then I started a new graduate program, an Ed. S. in school leadership, what am I thinking. Then in October, my appendix burst and my lower intestine decided to play along with some sort of perforation, and I ended up in the ER having surgery at 10:30 p.m. at night and then in the hospital for a week (!!), and my life is still very effed up because of that experience. Lord God, have mercy.
Okay, don’t let me get too dramatic here. It has been hard, I am in pain in many ways physically and emotionally and even spiritually, yes. But I’m still alive, I still have a semi-functional brain, I still have wonderful children and a kind husband.
And I am still, maybe even increasingly, wanting to talk about education. Because things are crazy in education, as many other much smarter and better writers are discussing. So I will get back to writing about education soon. Soon. Promise…