Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Vacation (+dun dun dun+) Part 1

Hello my lovelies, I am finally home and oh so relieved to be back! Normally I dread coming home from vacation, but this week was just not for me. School is just around the corner (next week! gah!) and the last thing I really wanted to do was go away. I wanted to be with my friends from home before school starts and see my extended family, you know, the little things!

But alas, every year my family takes this trip to the beach...with another family. We've known this family for about 10 years and they're very nice people, but as kids grow up into adults, personalities that once fit can start to clash. I do volunteer work for this family, as their daughter has a rare tragic disability. They have a whole camp for children and adults who suffer from this disease and I like to do what I can for them. Now as a result of the isolation and suffering of this disability, some of the kids seem to have emotional issues. I don't know if it's really attributed to their lifestyle, or if it's a reflection on their home life, but I have had my fair share of being verbally abused by these kids, sexually harassed by these kids, and drained by the stress and frustrations it takes to just volunteer.

Over the years, the experiences I have dealt with at this camp have made me a bit bitter. Just interacting with the campers makes me so thankful I have been given so many blessings from God, but at the same time I don't know how to reconcile my anger. I know many of them don't realize the hurt they put others through, as their pain is so significant itself, but if it were any other healthy teenager, their behavior would be classified as atrocious and unacceptable. For the most part I see past their disability because I have grown up around this particular family, and so I hold them to a higher degree than maybe I should.

So as we drove to this vacation, after just having finished volunteering at the camp a week prior, I was already in a weird place. I wanted to relax and enjoy the beach, but I also realized I had an obligation to help with their daughter and I just wasn't "up" for it (which I am ashamed to admit!) This girl is a year younger than me, but you'd never be able to tell. We were always so close when we were younger because I found her fascinating, she was so creative! Her imagination was surreal and really put my artistic "prowess" to shame. As we grew up, I started to separate my imagination from reality more and more, whereas she seemed to sink deeper and deeper into hers. For her, the line separating reality from her dream world is blurred and I don't think she can tell the difference between them anymore.

I wish I could say I enjoy spending time with her, but it's really difficult. The hours spent with her are always an attempt to keep her safe-both physically and emotionally. On top of that, I had to play a babysitter role a lot to her 6 year old brother (who can be quite the manipulator! Little boys can be a handful!!)

The thing is, I wanted to spend the last few weeks with my family. I wanted to treasure our time together and not have to spread myself thin just to keep these kids entertained. By mid-week I was just so frustrated! That was when I wrote up my last post. Immediately afterwords, I prayed for patience and compassion, manned up, and just hung out with her. I let her tell me stories about school (which were all fabricated tales-interesting in their own right though) and we had dinner together. I think she enjoyed me giving her advice about school and all those teenage/girly things and I felt a real peace in my heart.

Jesus never promised me vacation time in my life, but He did promise me trials and commanded me to have a servant's heart. So by taking up my cross and serving this creation of His, I did see my vacation brightening up!

1 comment:

Lucy said...

Did the family take advantage of you?