They say that horseback riding is beneficial on many levels. And, man, were they right! There is the obvious stuff like strength building, weight loss, and confidence building. But, what I didn’t expect was the emotional benefit for my teenage son.
I have mentioned this in a previous post before but this is a new story, promise!
I had noticed that William was more open on the way home from lessons. I don’t know why this was but I know that it was. One week, in particular, William decided it was time to unload all of his secrets. Maybe not all but if there is more, I don’t think I could take it.
My son started telling me what he was really up to during those difficult years. Without going into too much detail (as much as I wish I could!), I will just say that he confirmed many of my suspicions and in some cases, made me realize that I should have been even more suspicious.
I mean, as we drove, he talked with complete transparency about his past. I was able to ask about specific events and for the first time, he would tell me what actually happened. I suddenly felt like I knew him better than I ever had. It was both cathartic and deeply disturbing.
It’s a strange feeling to know that you weren’t as paranoid as he made you feel but to also learn that you should have been a little more paranoid. And, of course, the temptation to get mad is there but thankfully, I was able to look at the bigger picture and realize how significant these disclosures were.
William has struggled for years. And I worry that he will struggle for many more. Bullying by others, lying, stealing, mental health issues; it’s been a bumpy ride, for sure. But, I take comfort in the knowledge that he knows we are here for him always and that he (now) trusts me enough to be so honest with me. I really hope he takes comfort in all of that, too.
Unfortunately, we had to pause the lessons for a bit. Partly, because the scholarship that was supposed to cover the lessons hasn’t and partly because, geez, it’s hot out there! But, we will be back. Because it’s fun and clearly, it has a profound impact on my kid.