Monday, January 15, 2007

a letter

Dear Kellye,

We are trying so hard to be there for each other and support each other and love each other that it is hard for me to criticize you or ask you to change your behavior. I don't want to inhibit or discourage you. I know how fragile you are under the mask, and that the tiniest nay, once said, can make you want to hide for days, to retreat to that safe, dry place where you don't have to try, or care, or engage ever again. I know that when you're scared and hurting all you can think about is how to make it stop, and how to keep it secret, and how to protect anyone else you care about from being exposed to it. I'm asking you to listen to me with the thought in mind that I love you very much and I wouldn't ask if I didn't need it.

I know you're stronger than you think you are, and more useful, too. I know you have a lot of room to improve in almost every area of your life, but where that makes you queasily suicidal or autistically depressed, I think it could be exciting if you'd embrace it. Also, embrace your fears. It's time. You know they're most of them not real, and you know you can beat them. You're scared of dancing and love and sharks in the same way you were scared of the 183 flyover, which you tricked yourself into not caring about one way or the other as you drive over it three times a week. So what if you're scared of looking stupid? So what if you're scared of being vulnerable or dissapointing or laughable or getting hurt or being rejected. Being so careful that none of those things ever happen to you hurts just as much if not more. And it's so much lonlier. Watching you be this lonely and scared and sad is breaking me.

Here's the thing, darling: I want to help. Everyone that loves you wants to help. And we can. None of us could do it alone, not even me, but if you can stretch yourself out to be just a little more vulnerable, to be a little more patient, a little kinder, a little safer in your own skin. Then everyone who wants to help you would find it so much easier, and you'd be better able to be there for them. Things wouldn't be so scary if you'd at least try to believe that you're really a cherished part of a huge, loving, wonderful family of people who only stand as far off as you make them.
love, -kel