Friday, January 18, 2008

Baby steps

Last night I got a phone call from Alex's mom. She was calling me to tell me that Alex was not allowed to see Gabrielle anymore. She has taken away his computer and phone because his grades slipped so much last semester. She wanted me to tell Gabrielle so she would stop communicating with him. I knew this moment was coming. It has not been fair to Alex to go through all this. Gabrielle has been playing with his emotions. Telling someone over and over that she is going to kill herself if he doesn't do certain things, is not fair to anyone. After thinking it over, both George and I realized that perhaps this is the only way that Gab knows how to communicate her feelings to him. She doesn't have the words to tell him the depth of her feelings of anger, sadness, or grief. In trying to get his attention, she says the only words that she knows will have impact on him.

After the phone call, we called Gab downstairs. I was dreading having to tell her this. I didn't want to throw her over the edge once again. Did she cry? Yes. Was she upset? Yes. But her reaction was mature and extremely balanced. She said she understood. And she said she didn't blame them. She did ask for how long he was not to communicate with her. I basically told her that it was up to her. No more of this suicide talk. I gave her some examples of what she could say when she was really upset. None of them had the words die or kill in them. She seemed to really get it. What struck me was her maturity in handling the situation. And the hope she had in the future. "I am going to get better". I already feel like I'm changing. Can you please tell them I'm so sorry." And it was heartfelt. She was humble and not blaming anybody but herself. This is huge coming from her. We've got a long way to go but the baby steps are beginning.