Note to my mama-sisters yesterday afternoon:
So if you’re going to sob uncontrollably in your car on the way home from work, it really is a nice touch to have a torrential rainstorm beating down on your roof at the same time. Hell if you’re going to do it you might as well do it right.
One of the many awesome comments in response:
Quit being such an over achiever.
A work friend asked me how I was doing yesterday. Although his message was casual enough “How goes the battle?” I knew full well that it wasn’t casual at all. I also knew that his wife had put him up to it.
It’s been a tough week, my friends. A really, really tough week.
It’s been the kind of week where the only song running on a constant loop in my head is Shawn Colvin’s “Riding Shotgun Down the Avalanche“. And I haven’t listened to Shawn Colvin in YEARS.
It’s been the kind of week that makes me feel like a fraud. That makes me question every damn thing I – we – do. The kind of week that makes me wonder if I can really handle this – all of this. The kind of week where all of the anger confusion impotence sadness frustration eclipse the hope and the joy and the faith and the weight feels too damn big to move.
It’s been the kind of week where I write to a friend and ask, for the millionth time, “If God is all-powerful, then how – HOW can He let our kids suffer? I simply don’t get it.” And to her thoughtful response I say, “Sometimes it all just feels like bullshit.”
The kind of week where the answer to the question, “How goes the battle?” goes something like this:
“Well, I’m going to go with fine. Why? Because I have achieved the goals that I set for myself this morning:
To remain upright
To not $%*& anything up so badly that it would be irreparable tomorrow
To not curl into the fetal position under my desk
*That last one was revised from ‘To not cry behind my glasses when no one could see, which turned out to be WAY too high a bar.
So, all in all, thanks to revised expectations, I have to say I’ve pretty much kicked butt today. Thanks for asking.”
In looking back on the day later, I added ‘Kept some semblance of sense of humor’ to the list of accomplishments.
It’s been the kind of week where the gifts in this life are buried so deep that I see nothing positive for my girl in any of it. Nothing. It’s been the kind of week where as much as it usually makes me cringe, CURE feels like exactly the right word.
It’s been the kind of week that I haven’t had since the one surrounding the day that I first heard the word autism. I’ve thought a lot this week about that day. It’s over five years ago now – but it’s been with me like it was yesterday. The panic, the guilt, the fear. The bathroom floor, the cold, hard, unforgiving walls. The retching over the toilet. The silent scream. The fist shaking at the sky. The “WHY MY GIRL?” The abject terror.
It’s all with me this week.
I fell asleep in Brooke’s room last night. I was curled around her, my head on her pillow and hers on my side. I was dreaming.
All of us were together. You were there – every one of you with your beautiful kids. We were smiling and laughing. I was helping Jeneil (or was it her twin sister? I wasn’t sure in the chaos) to open a popsicle for Rhema. Hope and Katie came careening by leaving a trail of giggles behind. Miss M and Roxy were in hot pursuit. Gerry yelled from the den, ‘Hey you guys, wait up!’. The girls laughed as they dragged him into their game.
There was a sharp, pained cry from another room. Everything stopped. It was my girl. My Brooke was in trouble. I ran to find her and scooped her up in my arms.
I woke up panicked, out of breath. It took me a second to get my bearings, to figure out where I was and to realize that the pained cry was real.
My baby was yelling.
The damn demons wouldn’t even leave her to sleep.
I have no way to wrap this up. There is no box, no pretty ribbon. Just the reality of a mama who is hurting like hell for her girl and whose goals include staying upright and not #$&@ing things up irreparably for just one more day.