Black CloudSome of our extended family are going through a crisis. There are children involved, now in foster care. Their story is not mine to tell, so I’ll leave it at that.

I am impacted by the story, however, and reading what I am going through may help someone else. Writing about it will, I hope, help me. Anyway, I’m a writer, and that’s what we do. Writing helps us process, and God knows I am processing.

If processing were learning to swim, I’d be paddling hard to keep from drowning.

Right now I am up to my neck in writing a book. I’m having a great time. In fact, I am on a writing vacation for a couple of weeks, holed up in New Mexico. I’m walking in the early mornings, then coming back to my room and writing for hours. I am cooking myself simple meals, and treating myself to floats down the river and mineral hot spring baths. I’m going to bed early and resting while I dream the next chapter.

At least, that has been the plan. Instead, I find myself right in the middle of – forgive me – an emotional shit storm. I’m having trouble breathing, and my gut is in knots. I got the latest installation of this news yesterday. I was up and down all last night, overwhelmed with grief.

These are people I love. I am angry with the adults who let this happen, and heartbroken for them. I am terrified for the children.

And of course, I am just on the periphery of this. I’m not the one really suffering. Beyond the parents and children, there are other extended family members impacted by a history of abandonment and being bounced around in foster care. As a therapist I am reminded, as always, of the power of inter-generational scripts.

Because I am both gifted and afflicted with an empathic personality, I feel a huge pulsating black storm cloud covering all of us, filled with misery and dread.

Clouds are part of life for everybody. And we have so little control of the weather.

On a practical level, I have done all I can do. I am listening, and extending my love. Because this is happening in another state, none of our immediate family will be allowed to assume care of the children. We can only continue to stay in touch with the authorities and assure them, should the unthinkable happen, one of the younger of us is willing to adopt. The rest of us stand ready to be a support system.

I am not willing to be unhappy. I don’t have time to waste on this. As much as I can, as quickly as I can, I choose to live in joy. I have to somehow process my way through my piece of this.

So I am going back to the basics. I went for a long walk this morning by the river, breathing in the beauty of the world. I’m not very good at crying, but when I do feel a few tears coming on, I am stopping to honor the process. I am praying, and meditating, and writing affirmations for the highest good of all concerned. I am trying, really trying, to release the situation into the hands of the Divine.

I do believe – on my better days – that black clouds can be transformed into healing rain.

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One thought on “Clouds

  1. A profound story that has been compellingly written. I have been there…trying not to drown when someone else needs saving. Thank you Jillian for this life affirming piece!

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