Sunday, November 29, 2009

Be Here Now: Validation

Over the weekend I took my first steps moving beyond the virtual world of Facebook to the real world and old technology of the telephone. One of my friends from grade school that I have reconnected with on Facebook has experience with feral cats and graciously offered to coach me by phone. We discussed how Sir Hiss came to be a part of my life and what small steps I have been taking to introduce him and get him accustomed to the indoor life.

Guess what?

She validated my efforts with Sir Hiss. She said I seem have good instincts when it come to taming "wild kittens." (Sir Hiss really isn't that wild; I'm taking some creative license and embellishing a bit here.) She also filled in some of my knowledge gaps about the process and gave me a clear plan to follow to continue this process. It seems there were some inaccuracies in the information I read online and apparently what I read doesn't really apply to a kitten of Sir Hiss's age, which we think is around 6 months.

This was the validation I was hoping to receive.

After spending time talking about Hiss, we spent a little time catching up on family and life. She reads my blog on a daily basis and mentioned one of the posts I wrote about my mother. She explained to me, "After reading that post about your mother, it helped me understand her strange expression when I saw her."

Now this was an unexpected validation!

I remember WhenImage by FotoRita [Allstar maniac] via Flickr

I always thought that my classmates and friends were unable to see how un-motherly my mother was towards me and my siblings. I used to tell them about the unpleasant things my mother would do, hoping that my honest friendship with them would be enough to convince them that I was telling the truth. In my eyes, my mother was akin to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, behaving perfectly appropriate in public and perfectly horribly in private. It is a terrible thing to spend your childhood living with a parent who does not want to be a parent and let's you know this in her words and actions on a daily basis. It feels isolating and lonely thinking that other people can't see what is happening in your home.

The second validation meant so much to me. Her validation surprised me with an unexpected gift, which was better than any present she could have bought me at a Black Friday sale. Knowing that she has a photographic memory, I trust that she truly remembers things the way they were.

Thanks for the validation my friend!

P.S. Oh, and don't fret, my other friends on Facebook; I promise to give you all a turn on the phone too if you desire it. I just need to pace myself in this regard, as with everything else in my life with chronic illness. :-)

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