I walked by a room and saw a young girl curled up on a bed, knees to her chest, head and shoulders folded down. The room was so brightly lit the open doorway looked like a white rectangle. I couldn’t help turning my head toward the light. Her pajama top was yellow, and the bedclothes were white.
I close my eyes and see her still. I wanted to wrap my arms around her. But you can’t do that when you’re someone else’s parent and you’re on a psychiatric unit. Even if it makes your chest ache.
And I knew it wouldn’t help. I can’t even do that for my own kid, who won’t let me touch them, who stiffens if I try.
I close my eyes and see her there, curled up and small. And still I want to hold her, even though I know she won’t feel comforted until she learns to hold herself.
We’re all like that. You can’t comfort the child on the bed, when no one is holding the child within.
And when the child inside is dancing barefoot in the green, green grass, dance too.