My son shyly approached me the other day. It was a moment that I knew held emotion and weight by the way he awkwardly didn't even know how to be in his own skin. He was uncomfortable and then, unable to keep it in anymore, he said,
"Mom I am scared of spring. The weather is nicer now and spring means storms. Storms mean lightening and thunder and tornados. I feel dumb because I'm scared of storms and they still bother me. I'm too old to be scared of storms. I don't want to be scared but I don't know how not to be."
It is the stirring of the unrelenting chaotic current that lies underneath our demeanor.
I know it.
I know many people who know this feeling well.
It is the anxiety of what could be, what has been, what might happen. It is the unknown, sometimes based in reality, other times rooted in fear.
I forget sometimes how deeply effected my son was by that day 5 years ago. How that struggle stays with him as he tries to learn how to do life with this wound.
I think about how already he is worried. I watch as his eyes follow the clouds. How he sneaks peaks on my phone to check the weather. I notice how he plans time with his friends around the weather to not expose his fear or weakness to the people around him.
His fear and earth shattering experience through the tornado has altered him.
It makes me wonder about all the others out there who are struggling with a fear, a demon, a ghost, a moment, a person. It makes me wonder how they change their lives to work around this scar in their own existence.
We all have them, yet we feel pressure or shame or anxiety about the timeline in which we should be healed. We have these moments that redefine who we are because these moments never leave us. We simply hold them differently.
Yet from the outside, it is easy to forget that someone else would have an internal scar that I can't see. I only live with your coping techniques, and the sad reality is most often we forget or don't understand so we cast judgements on one another.
The wind was picking up and tossing and throwing items around the yard and my oldest son wanted to come inside and stop playing catch with his brother. He was embarrassed and so didn't explain why he wanted to come in, he simply left, to which it caused a rift between the brothers. There was angst and some name calling and lots of frustration.
I saw it and knew. I knew it was based in fear and panic, lack of communication and embarrassment (shame). It was all about deflecting and hiding and projecting.
I think it's easy to forget the pain and scars others carry. I wonder how our friendships and relationships could be stronger if we held each other more gently and had patience for the healing process.
I am no one to judge you and the process of how you carry your struggle, your wound, your scar. We are all mostly simply trying to navigate our lives and emotional healing is a beast that takes much longer than expected to tame.
I'm his mother and I forgot his scar.
I want to take this moment with him and remember to hold him well, but also to reflect and remember that most around me carry scars as well. I am not responsible for all the pain and healing in the people around me. However, if we are in community and relationship as we say we are, then I deeply want to be a vessel for healing and peace. And in order to work towards that beautiful gift, we must be patient with one another and grant understanding.