She seems to be back in that place again. The place of isolation and aggression and self-injury. Where it’s hard to cope and she’s twitchy and jerky and agitated so much of the time. I’ve studied her from head to toe, searched for clues, for anything I might be missing. I know you know every part of her. You speak her language perfectly and love her even more than me. If she is in pain, God, please bring relief. Speak words of peace into her soul. Because I don’t know what and I don’t know why. Won’t you show me how to help her?
I pray this as I dare to sit with her in the darkness, dare to upset her even more. Gently I take her arm and do what I do, kiss every contusion, every red mark and bruise – they run from shoulder to wrist, left there from self-biting. She lifts that same arm, wraps it around my neck and pulls me close, child comforting mother.