This is more a quick post so that I put down in writing what may have triggered me a few weeks ago but I’m not going into too much detail for my own reasons.
There was a teenager I was trying to reach out to. I had an inkling that something was off in her household and I wanted to offer to be a friend for her. I ended up being right but I was also very triggered by our conversation. There are adults aware of the situation including the teen’s mother and I plan on making sure that the other adult and I have a conversation about what’s going on. I’ve been waiting to hear back from the teenager but even though we’ve been around each other a couple of times, she hasn’t told me what I was waiting to hear.
For my own conscience I will have to follow-up with the adult I feel is in a better position to help her but I also realized afterwards that I can’t put myself in the position of being responsible for her. I can only say what I think needs to be done but there were things the teen needed to do for me to help her and she hasn’t done that yet. Of course I get that she’s not quite an adult yet so that’s where the adult that’s closer to her comes in. Hopefully her parent will get on board as well and I’ve also suggested therapy, medical help and police involvement.
I think once you’ve done everything you can, you have to know your limits. It’s difficult because of all the stories I’ve heard where adults didn’t help the victim and I don’t want to be that person but I also don’t have super powers to change things or make people do what they need to do.
I felt one of the most important things I could do was to tell her I believed her and to listen to her story. I did those things and gave her my thoughts on the situation. There are things that are out of my control and I have to be careful since I was highly triggered. I don’t have the mental or emotional stamina to be someone’s anchor or rock in my real life in a situation like this where I see these people all the time. But I will do what I can to get resources in on what’s going on.
When speaking to my therapist about this I became very emotional… in my own way that is. When that happens, I don’t cry. I get quite calm and analytical, almost detached and I state that I am feeling a certain way almost as if I’m observing some strange specimen. My therapist wanted me to stay with the feelings but I couldn’t identify exactly why I had been triggered by discussing it with her. It was one of those times when my therapist honed in on the heart of the matter with scary precision.
She asked me if I’d had anyone to talk to when I was that age. I shook my head…maybe I got out a “No” before the tears came. I hadn’t realized that the emotions ran that deep. I felt selfish for crying about myself but there it is.
I’ve also noticed that as I wrote this post, I repeatedly stated that I was going to do what I could to help and I think it’s because I’m afraid that you guys will blame me or think I’m not doing enough or worse…that I’m like all the adults who didn’t help us.
So much for a short post.