Tuesday, September 7, 2010

cycle and recycle

Sometimes these girls take me back to being fourteen and I react not to them as me but to who they were as who I was. Terrified sometimes that they will figure out that I don't actually have any authority. To have to remind myself that I am not her and they are not them and to calm the frack down, they didn't even do anything. Yet. Not really, nothing worth actually getting angry about.

It's probably a gift to go back to that girl who learned to be frightened to draw attention to herself. To have another chance to have different relationships with those girls who were so tough and scary when I was that age. I vacillate between wanting to let them do whatever they want and buying them candy so they like me and wanting to punish them out of spite for things they haven't even done. To me. I'm sure they do them to each other.

Sometimes I kind of hate them. Sometimes I even really love them and can't believe how good they are. Mostly I try to remember to have so much sympathy and empathy for them. I have to keep reminding myself that some of them have been here 10 years or more, just dropped off by families and they don't even know why and they no longer have any contact but they know there is a family out there somewhere that just doesn't want them, doesn't care about them. And here is yet another person here in a role of authority but she doesn't even know where the damn soap is. How can you respect that? Like a friend of mine talks about, sometimes you have to respect the role, if not the person. How do I teach them that?

I am so curious about how this will all play out. I'm sure they'll test me and I'll react badly a bunch of times before this is through.

What a gift these lessons are. Not all abandoned kids are cute four year olds who want to crawl into your lap because they need physical attention. Sometimes they are old enough to be pissed about the hand they've been dealt and to deny that is a grave injustice.

Doesn't mean that it doesn't piss me off when they are shit heads.

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