Day 24,814: Still Learning How to Be Supportive

Dear Gineen:

You’re going through some stuff just now and you’ve said you don’t want any phone calls, emails, or touching base. You need to do this alone, and we’re all respecting that because you’re now a Grown-Ass Woman. If you say what you want, we’re going to respect that, but, don’t think for a moment we’re not here supporting you. We get you need to cocoon to deal with something this big and, yes, I am questioning the lack of support you claim you need to feel supported.

This being the time of COVID, it is all more crazy. Who needs people to show up and be with you when that alone can be dangerous and put everyone at risk?  And to have to do a Zoom call or take a phone call just demands time and attention you need for other more important efforts and people. I get that. We all get that.

But, here’s the deal. I can’t help remembering a time when my not grown ass daughter was petulant and slammed the door on me and went into her room demanding to be left alone.  At first, I did. Then, I thought about it and it didn’t feel right.  I felt that if I left her alone too long she might fester her feelings into truly feeling misunderstood, alone and distanced. She might think I really didn’t care.

After a short while and double thinking myself, I went into her room and sat with her.  I just sat with her. There was nothing I could say. I had probably punished her for something she did and the punishment was probably warranted. Still, her feelings were hurt and it hurt me to see her hurt.  After a bit, she put her head on my shoulder and weeped a bit. No big elephant tears, just tired of it all fed up discontented sniffling

And the two scenarios are not at all comparable but one situation brought the other up in my mind. I want you to know I am not-even-virtually sitting with you.  I know what you say you need and I trust that.  I’ve been in situations where phone calls and explanatory updates required energy I didn’t have to give. I remember refusing to answer the phone.

None of us want to deplete your energy, but we’d like to send you strength and support. We’d like to sit with you.