I have been absent. Not only from my blog, but I feel like I’ve been checked out of parts of my life for more than a year now. Maybe it was self preservation? Life finally caught up to me. I wasn’t being honest about the burdens I was bearing. I wasn’t asking for help – on the contrary, the more I panicked, the more I reached out to others to make sure that they were okay. As Harry’s Mama, I felt that there was this job description I was required to fill out, and asking for help was not part of it. Sure, I eeked out little complaints, here and to close friends, but I wasn’t being honest. An honest call from me would have been: “I am DROWNING.” because I was. I was absolutely drowning, and I told no one. I wept tears of pure joy when our friends from Jersey Mikes gave us the gift of our service dog. I smiled when we went on our vacation to Costa Rica. I gave and received gifts at Christmas, but there was so much more I was hiding behind there, and it almost killed me. So here I am to tell anyone who will listen. Albeit a bit cowardly to pen this behind a computer screen, it needs to be said somehow. This is the most honest I’ve ever been, and while I’ll leave some things out to protect people, be forewarned that this is from the depths of me, and I need to say it.
Having a special needs child has, at times, crushed me. People call me supermom, and inside I cringe because I am truly terrible at this. Don’t get me wrong – I fight like a tiger for my son, and I am very good at it. The problem is that I slowly let pieces of me fall apart, and I tell no one. This past winter, I had a nervous breakdown. I couldn’t do it anymore – I couldn’t do anything anymore. To make matters worse, I began to deal with some serious health issues that prevented me from not only doing any sort of exercise, but eventually it gave me excruciating daily pain that I could not escape. My marriage had changed, and without going in to detail that the world has no right knowing, I will say that we decided to be friends instead of spouses. It was so SO hard at first, but now that my relationship with him is one of the best parts of my life. Josh and I are best friends, just like we always were, and we are better parents than we ever were. We will always love each other very much, and I treasure that. We were also lucky enough to find significant others that are incredible not only to us, but to our main man Harry, and isn’t that what it’s all about? So that’s what I’ll say about that. Moving on.
In March, Josh’s job changed, and his insurance immediately capped Harry’s PT visits at 30 a year. We panicked, we fought, and we got no where. Our only choice was to spread the visits throughout the year, as we couldn’t afford to pay for them out of pocket. Slowly, due to lack of work, Harry lost the ability to move easily. This was complicated by a minor fall that hurt his knee, where we also discovered an arrythmia in his heart and some severe, chronic dehydration that could effect his kidneys. He eventually lost the ability to walk forward. What was already crumbling began to crash down.
I don’t know how to even begin to speak about most of 2017, what ensued after this in March. These were my darkest times. I felt helpless to everything that was falling apart around us. We are good people, I am a good person, why was all of this happening? I lost friends, I lost family, I lost touch with myself. It felt like loss was just a part of life for me, for Harry, and I had no control over it (and boy am I a control freak). I watched my son take his last unassisted forward steps, and I feel like there’s not many people in this world who can join me on that.
I’m not speaking from a place of betterment or clarity here. Sure, a lot of things have cleared up. I am, for the first time in a while, living with no pain and no medical issues, which I couldn’t feel more blessed about. I recently moved out of a very dangerous situation, and I feel safe and loved and taken care of. We all have love in our life, as well as support, kindness, and generosity. But why am I blogging again? The point of all this is for me to be honest, and the first step to that is writing again. Writing has always helped me, even if it was a little poem I put in a note in my phone, or blogging. But it has to be honest, both in the written word and in the spoken. When I was trying to pretend everything was okay, it wasn’t. I fell in to the deepest darkest hole that I not only thought I would never get out of, but most of the time, I didn’t want to. I have never in my life felt that way, and I didn’t know how to express it or ask for help. There is no magic switch to flip where I am okay here, but from experience comes perspective and we can grow and learn from and adapt to that. I am better than I was one year ago, that’s for sure, but I have a way to go. On my way, I have to be honest. I always thought I was an honest person, but I’ve learned that when it comes to asking for help, I am not.
So now, we are here. Harry broke his leg. In all honestly, this is a really tough pill to swallow. I have always lived in fear of any breaks in his lower extremities because that time off his feet would most likely rob him of his weight bearing abilities after the break heals. So here I am, carrying my limp, crying son, imagining that not only will he never walk again, but he may never stand again. And I’m going to write this and post this and not worry that I sound negative because this is how I feel right now and it’s swallowing me a bit currently. We all go through shit as parents. We need help now and then. Our kids present challenges and worry us and get us down. My situation is no better or worse than anyone else. The difference is, I said “I can be supermom!” and took on all this heavy shit and I let a black cloud swallow me. I never reached a hand out for help. I will not do that again. I don’t know what I need, but being honest is step number one.