September 8, 2015

One of my Dead to honor

When I was thirteen, I spent the entire school year crying. That's not an exaggeration: I cried every single day. I know now that this was the onset of bipolar disorder and ADD, but at the time everyone told me I was just being "too sensitive", that it was my fault the kids at school made fun of me, I should just ignore them.

Finally, after a whole year of this, they sent me to a psychologist, a woman named Cindy. Someone my mom knew socially. It took a while to persuade me to go, but go I did.

She helped me a lot. I don't remember much of it now, but the next year was better. I'm sure some of that was my mood swinging back up, but she did help.

Later, when my parents were having trouble and wanted to go to couples counseling, they asked Cindy. Cindy insisted that I come in and talk to her about it, that she needed my permission -- my 14 year old self's permission -- to see them. Because she'd been my therapist first. I was fine with it, of course, anything that might get my parents to stop yelling and fighting so much, but it meant a lot that she asked. Adults don't ask you for permission a lot at that age.

Dad eventually stopped seeing her -- she said something that hurt his feelings, something he and mom remember very differently -- but Mom kept seeing her, right up until this year.

Once or twice, I went in for a joint session with my mom, or the three of us had lunch together, or Cindy emailed me to ask for a recipe for something.

In February, my mother called me, crying. Cindy had died very suddenly of a stroke. I cried with her.

She hasn't been in my life much for many years, but she was important at a pivotal time. Now I honor her.

We pray to the Healing Dead
You who spent your time and energy
Healing others’ bodies and minds
Caring for your people
We pray to the Healing Dead