Though Blue and Zora were adopted at the same time, only Blue needs to nurse, tries to use my arm, burying her head into the crook of it, kneading with her paws, sucking the skin. Blue and I had a talk, a result of a very lame prayer when I was beset with anger at a human friend at 3am. Realizing I had to stop fighting my awakeness, I had turned over to pray before getting up, and as usual, the sisters sensed that shift. They love to snuggle under my belly, in the cozy cave between it and the bed covers. There, I say my Step 3rd, 7th, Lord's prayer, Prayer to the Great Spirit, pray to be kept sober, clean and (for now) away from sugar. Blue is triggered by the warmth and inevitably tries to suck, which I won't let her do anymore. That refusal happened after Maya and Sara both said, "ouch" which allowed me to say, "Too much!" I, had been enduring the pain as a sacrificial "good mother."
The following chat was exactly what I needed to break free of my resentment, a freeing answer to that lame prayer.
Blue: I need to suck your arm.
Me: I know, but it hurts.
Blue: You used to let me do it.
Me: You were smaller and weaker but now you hurt me.
Blue: You led me to believe it was okay.
Me: It was but then I had to admit it hurt. I was trying to be brave and strong.
Blue: But I was weaned too early.
Me: I know. I'm so sorry. I can see it's something you have no control over.
Blue: But you don't understand. Please understand.
Me: I can only understand as far as I can.
Blue: I have this need that is so deep.
Me: I can see that, but I can't let you do it. It really does hurt too much.
Blue: I feel so abandoned.
Me: I'm so sorry. I still love you but can't stand the sucking. Let's take it one moment at a time and I bet you'll be okay.
Blue: I'll never be okay. I was weaned early. I was traumatized.
Me: Zora, me, and Sammy will all be there in our ways.
Blue: You have to understand.
Me: Maybe that's not possible. I've never been a cat that was weaned too early.
Blue: You lack compassion.
Me: That may be true but I still adopted you and feed and love you.
Blue: Yeah, but you had it good. You've never been hurt like me. You don't know what it feels like to be a trauma survivor.
Me: We each have our own traumas to heal from.
Blue: But mine are worse than yours.
Me: I'm sure that's true and that others are worse than yours, too.
Blue: Don't minimize my pain. I don't feel you are hearing me. I need to feel heard.
Me: I do hear you. I'm not running away from this conversation.
Blue: You seem so hard.
Me: I hear you.
Blue: How can I know for sure??
Me: You just have to trust.
Blue: You don't like me do you?
Me: I love you but I can't let you hurt me.
Blue: But I was so traumatized. You have to understand.
Me: Pray, trust, clean house, find another with the same trauma who can truly understand.
Blue: Don't patronize me with that spiritual bullshit.
Me: My arm didn't give you real milk, just a feeling of relief for as long as you did it, but no nutrition.
Blue: More spiritual hocus pocus. I need it. This is life and death for me.
Me: But it can't feed you, only gives temporary relief but doesn't satisfy.
Blue: This triggers all my fears. You have to understand.
Me: You're escalating.
Blue: There you go patronizing me again and taking this personally. I'm must trying to let you know what I go through. It's not about you. I'm just trying to explain.
Me: My mistake. But I promise you I won't let you suck any more. That's that.
Blue: So what will I do! I'm lost.
Me: Maybe you're being found.
Blue: This is when I destroy relationships. My need is so deep.
Me: I've learned to turn to a Higher Power. I too feel empty and have sucked on what's empty but have found a true source and it finds me, too. I trust God, clean house, and serve others.
Blue: Yeah, I know all about the steps. I'm dysfunctional, not as organized as you are.
Me: Desperation and Grace give me the willingness one day at a time.
Blue: You're different than me; you're stronger. You're not as damaged as I am.
Me: That's why it's important for you to find people who you believe have suffered as much or more deeply than you have.
Blue: Are you pushing me away?
Me: No, just praying to tell the truth.
Blue: But where will I find them?
Me: When you become willing to believe they exist, they'll show up.
Blue: But I feel safe with you here.
Me: There is a deeper, better safety you are seeking, a deeper connection you need - this one will never satisfy or free you.
Blue: I'm scared and alone.
Me: Pray for courage and it will come. I'm sure it will. I've got to go. You are loved.