26 Aug This Too Will Pass
For us, summer break is a 10-week marathon that involves scheduling activities and events to the brink of exhaustion. After taking the summer off from writing, my intention this month was to share what I learned from our latest adventures. However, it felt disingenuous to write something that seemed so superficial. I asked to write these entries so that I could share candidly my experiences of being a mother of a child with differing abilities. As difficult as it is, being authentic is my primary goal.
Due to recent circumstances, I am experiencing a great deal of stress. With so many challenges going on at once, I am struggling to remain hopeful, rational, and calm. I am overwhelmed. I have an exorbitant amount of anxiety and fear and helplessness. To be honest, most days I struggle to hold it together. I busy myself by taking care of tasks that help reduce some of the worry; but at this time, nothing simple can be done to quicken a resolution. I am trying to trust that nothing lasts forever, and everything will be all right in the end. Frankly, I am not doing a stellar job.
Feeling helpless accompanied with limited options is my personal nightmare. I know everyone has freewill, but it is complicated. I have a precious daughter who needs her mother to make good choices; because in the end, my decisions will significantly impact her as well. The current situations weigh heavily on me, and I am tired. I am tired of trying to predict the future, to constantly be advocating for my daughter’s needs, to never be able to turn off my thoughts, and to always be anticipating the next disaster. Right now, taking a break and shifting gears feels impossible. I am attempting to breathe calmly as I desperately try to release my white-knuckled grip on situations that I have no control over. Truthfully, I am not having much success in this area either.
As dark and isolating as it has been, I also realize that I am blessed. I am surrounded by an amazing community of support. They are making life bearable. They listen, offer advice, and provide assistance when possible. My daughter has brought these amazing people into our lives, and I am forever grateful.
Life is a collection of ebbs and flows. My goal is not only to navigate through the muck, but also do it with a sense of grace. My daughter may not be aware of the reasons, but there is no denying that she is aware of the turbulence. Rather than ignore her feelings, I am trying to help her understand them. I am teaching her to feel her emotions, not stifle or ignore them. I am recovering from years of not dealing with feelings that have taken a physical and emotional toll on my health. I do not want to pass this trait on to her.
I hope that my daughter will handle distress and disappointment as I am trying to do now, unlike my previous methods of making rash decisions, losing my temper, or crawling into a ball and shutting out the world. I don’t have the luxury to pretend all is well. She’s too smart. I am aware of how my behavior could be perceived and interpreted by a sweet, impressionable, young girl. By the end, I may have a few more gray hairs and a slightly elevated blood pressure, but I will be proud of how I conducted myself. This too will pass…as soon as its purpose is served.