For this week’s Because I Said So, Buck and I are going to do something a little different. We are challenging each other to write something deep. Maybe a post on a topic that we have thought about blogging yet haven’t or just sharing a part of ourselves that we haven’t shared. Looking inside ourselves before writing the post.
I hear myself
Gabby used to be a very sweet, loving and affectionate child. She let me feed her as a toddler probably longer than I should have, she always liked to sleep in my bed or sit in my lap to watch a movie. Giving me kisses and rubbing noses was a regular in our house. She was always smiling and just one of the happiest toddlers around. Gabby also knew how to have you wrapped around your finger in a second. With that blonde hair, blue eyes and gorgeous smile she could melt a soul. Then something changed. Now I am lucky if I get a sideways hug. She hardly ever gives me a kiss and on the rare occasion she tells me she loves me it’s usually from a distance. I’ve spent the past two years blaming her disabilities, blaming her surgeries. Truth is I’m not sure there is one specific reason she has closed off affection. Many people will say things like ‘I don’t blame her for being angry, I’d be mad at the world if I went through that much’ and that could just be it.
When Gabby’s Epilepsy became severe she started having mood swings. She lost her temper, threw horrible fits and reminded everyone of how much she hated them. She was going through a lot and with everything she was dealing with she didn’t understand any of it. Once she went into the hospital the stay lasted so long that she became bitter and angry. There were times I wasn’t even allowed to sit on her bed next to her. When she went through a phase of refusing her medicine she had to be held down by nurses and have medication forced upon her. There were even times when she got so out of control she had to be restrained. Can you imagine? Completely out of control of your own life and any will power you have at the age of 5. She felt like everyone around her was the enemy, including me. I still have nightmares and clearly see her asking me to not let them hurt her. To please not allow the doctors to take her back as her hospital bed was being wheeled away. The hurt and the fear in her eyes. She felt like I was letting her down and not doing my job as a mother to protect her.
She came home a different child. When she went in the hospital for surgery she was much different than the toddler I had known but when she came out, the difference had gotten even worse. Gabby suffers from a bad attitude. Most the time she is bitter and angry. I see times where things get better. I try to have hope. I had allowed myself to grow bitter and angry as well over the years. Gabby and I have started fighting. I have gotten so frustrated with dealing with it all and started to let that show on the outside. Just mad as hell that things didn’t go back the way they were. Hurt as hell that the memories of her smiling and affectionate are slipping away. Over the past couple of years I have allowed myself to just get used to giving her her space. I stopped trying to push her to be or act the way I wanted. Let her play alone and come to me when she wants.
Certain things make Gabby happy and she does smile and laugh at times. Today was one of those times, sort of. She came home from school as usual and went into her room. After a short period she comes out to tell me how she moved around some of Noah’s cars and rearranged some toys. Gabby is very random in her conversations all the time so really I wasn’t clear on the point of this. Then she looks at me and says ‘just come in my room and look’. My first response was ‘give me a minute, I’m busy’. She shrugs and walks off. Like no big deal. As she is walking off I heard myself echo in my head. It was a big deal. Gabby was proud of herself for that split moment and reached out to me. I immediately got up and went into her room to see what she wanted to show me. As I stood there I gave her a hug and even though it was a sideways hug that she really didn’t respond much to, it meant everything to me.
I have started making changes in life lately. I’ve been blogging about it and a new positive attitude is the main one. Today I heard myself loud and clear. How can I get upset that she isn’t the child I once knew when I don’t pay attention to the small positive changes? How can I have a self pity party about her being bitter and angry with a bad attitude if I’ve got the same outlook? I can hate the world that my child has special needs. I can hate the world that my child only has half a brain which requires a lot of work. But truly, what good does that do? So what if we’re extra busy. So what if we face challenges. Our life is an adventure and I wouldn’t change it for the world!
So today I heard myself and I didn’t like it, therefore I’m going to change it.