Week 3 and 4 so far have been spent “surviving the earthquake” as my therapist put it. And I’ve been worried about writing about it because of shame, embarrassment and fear that no one would understand. But here I am anyway, sharing with you my innermost thoughts because at this point, I don’t feel like I have a choice. If I don’t let this out, I’m bound to implode.
It would’ve been easier to lose her. This entire situation would’ve been easier if I’d lost Dylan completely. And by no means should that statement be taken to mean that I wish that had happened. What that simply means is that no one on this earth is built to deal with the emotions that come with supporting a loved one that has suffered brain damage. No one is built to know how to react to seeing the person you love a shell of what they were. Even if the child was born that way, you still can’t get past the thoughts and feelings of promise you’re filled with when you look in their eyes. No one is built to stop yourself from constantly asking “why”, and “why me” and “why her/him”. You learn to stop asking yourself those questions because to do so would be to drive yourself insane. After all, there is no answer. It happened. Just like when the beautiful things in life happen, there is just sometimes no particular reason for it. It just is. How do you deal with life just being…..life???
How do you get used to this new life? Do I give up my faith? Do I give up my visions of her return to us?? Do I start living in the present as if this is all there is??? Well, I’ve decided not to. I’ve decided not to give up hope on Dylan and the strength that I know she has. But in doing so, I know that I am giving up a part of me and that’s scary. You, see, Dylan and I shared a deep bond. One formed prior to her birth and strengthened when I went through the split with her father. Dylan counts on me for her support. So now during this the most traumatic time of her life, I must be there for her. I must be strong for her and I must not give up on her. With all the energy I have spent on doing those things, I sometimes – actually a lot of the time – feel as if I don’t have much left. These past two weeks I’ve struggled with the feeling that I have to give in, for lack of better words. That I have to completely shut everything else down in my life in order to support her journey back to us. It’s an impossible place for me to reside in: one where by doing the best for my daughter I 100% sacrifice myself.
I haven’t dealt with that realization well. I’ve been depressed to the point of immobility lately. I’ve internalized my anger toward all that’s happened while still trying to make sense of it. I’ve fallen back into the bad habit of pushing those closest to me away, shutting down and hiding my suffering. I’ve scared myself with thoughts that things will never get better. The guilt that I feel anytime that I try to just be – to just live – is overwhelming. How can I hang out with friends, go to a movie, laugh with my family, or anything else when my daughter, my heart, my soul, lays in bed in a hospital while strangers touch her, prod her, poke her? How can I not be there with her sharing all the strength that I have and letting her know that she’s not alone?? How can I even think about doing anything else except for that? How don’t I hate myself for wanting so badly to do those things??
There are no easy answers to any of this. Actually, I don’t think there’s an answer at all. All I know is that this is now my life. This is now my journey and like always, I’ll see it through. I’ll continue to try to be me while providing Dylan with the best that life has to offer. Right now, that’s BlythedaleChildren’s Hospital. But I’m looking into other things. Looking into alternatives that will bring her back to me. I’m looking to raise the odds of her return. I know there will be many people that don’t agree with the decisions that I will make for her. They may say that I’m playing with God’s will and that I should just put my trust in Him and know that He will take care of her. I am a woman of very strong faith. God always has and continues to answer my prayers. I also know that He has blessed us to live in a world where many things are possible so I also feel that it is His will for me to seek out all those possibilities as well. We’ll see where it takes us.
For now, I’ll try to ease my mind and believe that I’m doing the right thing – most of the time. I smile as I type that because I guess that’s what all of us hope for. Right now, for me, it’s just a crazy situation where I feel the pressure to do right 100% of the time. It’s a lot to deal with and I’m still figuring it out. At this point, I rely on faith to guide me more than I ever have in my life. And even having said that, I’m filled with doubt. I guess that’s what makes me human. So be it.