Worst, I hope I didn't come off as touting myself as "saintly"!. That last post was written by the "me" that is standing by, quite amazed, at my ability to be so unselfish in those situations. I can assure you, I have a host of faults, and do a lot of selfish things I should have grown out of long ago.... Yesterday I turned water on for a bath, and when I could tell someone was in the shower - I left my hot water running. Now how selfish is that? I knew it at the time, and did it anyway. (Just one bit of evidence.)
But, I left out some of the "back story" that made my ignoring Anastasia's text seem somewhat reasonable. As my birthday approached, I found her in a composed moment and brought up a conversation about birthdays. In the past few months, I've gotten a lot more overt in talking with her about her issues. So I tried to explain how, since she has a hard time believing she is valuable, it creates a lot of confusion and anxiety when she is the center of attention. That anxiety comes out in feeling angry and being mean. I could tell this was resonating with her, and saw glimmers of realization flicker across her face. I went on to say, that strangely, when it was someone else's birthday and the focus was on them, THAT felt bad, too. I kept referring back to how when her mother didn't know how to take care of a baby, it created some mistaken ideas in her head. When her mom didn't take good care of her, it made baby Nastia feel she wasn't worth taking care of. It made her feel like garbage, even though she is precious. I want her to know she is precious, and I want her to believe it, like I do!
In some context during that conversation, I actually used that term "making life a living hell." She laughed at the phrase, and it I guess it stuck in her mind. I told her my birthday was coming up, and I knew that it might make her feel uncomfortable. I promised that I would try not to do anything to make it especially hard for her, and I wanted her to try to remember that when someone else gets attention, it does not mean that they are any more special or important or loved than she is....that one of the best presents I ever got from God was her! She is priceless.
So, when I got her text, to me it said: I remember our conversation about birthdays. I am feeling stressed out about yours.
I didn't respond to the text, and she didn't make life a living hell in any way. I ended up having to work all day; Craig took me out for pasty and coffee before she got up, and Sergei and Ilya took me out to a Sushi restaurant for dinner and I brought Anastasia back my left-overs. All was well.
Maxim's comment came in the context of a 3-4 month period when he has had no one on earth to rely on except me. Looooong story. The other day he was exasperating me, rather. "Mrs. Kitching I want you to wait for me." "Mrs. Kitching, can you go in with me?" "Mrs. Kitching please, you make that call." "Mrs. Kitching, you have to help me! I don't know how!" I came within an inch of exclaiming, "Stop being such a baby!!!" And, as those words came into my mind, I realized that he's bonding with me like a baby. He is relying on me. He does need me. He isn't helpless, but he needs to feel held and loved and cared for. Meanwhile, from that place of as-much-safety-as-I-can-provide-with-four-other-kids-at-home-and-two-jobs, he is making incredible strides in self-understanding. Way too much to write about, even if I wrote about him every day. It is really remarkable.
I think that I could find his statement ironic and funny, partly because in my heart I think it is just the opposite. In my heart I think, that just maybe he is beginning to believe that there is someone on this earth who finds him valuable and will stick with him, no matter what he says.
Hope so. But, I am also glad to observe in myself that my love for him doesn't rely on it.