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    Psychotherapy

    Relationships * Mindfulness * Spiritual Counseling * Dream Work

Big Cowboys Do Cry…

A Prairie Meditation

4/2/2011

He pulls his cowboy hat down, covering his eyes.  I barely can see his chin, then it quivers.  He’s silent.

He’s crying.

He’s seventeen.  Embarrassed.  A big seventeen.

It has been a tense  counseling session and it just started.  His mother, sitting close by, wants to do mom-things, parent-things, tender things, like reach out and touch, say something, caring.  Understandable, of course.  But, I signal, awkwardly, to stop, to wait, to not disrupt him.  Let him be, let him feel, let him quietly cry…

I have known him for years, maybe since he was twelve or so.  Watched him grow.  Watched him through his mother’s eyes, mostly.  Began to hear, little by little, secret by secret of the awful pain and horror living in their home.

A daddy who wasn’t a daddy.  A man who wasn’t a man.  Who lost his manhood, his fatherhood, his husbandhood through his cursings, his threats, his assaults.  He would not stop, chose not to stop until he was slowly, painfully evicted by the woman who hated to quit, hated to give up, who wanted a family like a family should be…and it was never to be, not with him, couldn’t be with him.  She quit.  Finally.  But, not before a toll had been taken, on her, her children, on this handsome, ornery, playful…and very angry, wounded seventeen year old cowboy.

“I am becoming like my dad”, he quietly weeps…and he tells us how he is ashamed, feels his self-described worthlessness, failures and his torments of being trapped to “be like him”.  His awful dilemia.  He needs a daddy.  He can’t have one.  And he can’t, doesn’t want to be like the one who made him.

He’s brave to face this within himself.  Brave to stop, we hope (!) this “easy” slide, this easy choice to “just be like my dad”…this young cowboy has hard, hard choices to make himself different, to grieve the loss of his birth dad, to move himself through the horrible, dark swamp of pain, anger, worthlessness and into fresh water, fresh choices of a new self and life.  He seems so determined, yet the mistakes he has thus far made frighten him and he quits, gives up time and time again.  But, this day, this day that he silently weeps is different.  And our prayers, his mom’s, mine and most importantly, his own, for himself give him hope.

Will you join in this yearning for him, for all the weeping cowboys who have this unfair, yet, hopeful path to create a new self?

2 Responses to “Big Cowboys Do Cry…”

  • This article really hit home for me. In it I saw my son and husband. They had a very troubled relationship. My son is a grown man now, but still carries some of the damage from his teenage years. But overall has become a kind and loving person. My husband was the real reason behind the difficulties. He suffers from PTSD that stems back to his years in Nam as a young man of 17. My heart cries for any who have suffered and not sought help as well as their families. My husband after 40 plus years has finally admitted to needing help. I pray for all who deal with abuse, and or PTSD. I send blessings to you and pray you continue to do the work you do. I am new to your site, but will certainly check back.

  • Royce:

    Thank you for your response. I know this little story is the story of many, and I appreciate your thoughtful reply, plus how it has spoken to you about your son. I hope he is doing well. It sounds as if the loving presense you offered aided him in turning his life into a direction of care and compassion. Thank you and please stay in touch—Dr. Fitts

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