Written on the ink pad app on my phone, while waiting for the doctor. All that's been changed are spelling errors. It's time to say what I need to say.
It's not a fight I wanted to get into. I didn't want to gear up for more trouble, problems, and issues. Yet somehow I am.
We can say we want healthy children, normalcy, and a happy life. Smart, productive children, good in school and we'll raise them to be self-sufficient, and confident.
Looking back on the carefully formulated plan, I offer a snort of derision. It's complete and total bullshit. Because sometimes life just doesn’t cooperate.
After 2 1/2 years of infertility, and a miserable pregnancy, I gave birth to twins. It should have been joyous, it should have been my reward for the struggle of trying to get pregnant. It was bittersweet. It was a nightmare. ‘Now what', I asked myself when baby A was born with a terminal illness. With one healthy baby and one not, I entered into motherhood under the worst conditions you could imagine.
There’s no worrying about raising confident girls, there’s only the daily struggle of keeping a child alive, of rotating nurses, doctor’s orders, do not resuscitate orders and hospice care.
When a child dies, you have 2 choices, step on the new path with your new life and the knowledge of what it is to bury an 11 month old baby, or you can lay down and die. I still had a baby to care for.
As I raised my twin less twin, I did it wracked with guilt. Did I do enough can I be enough?
I still couldn’t follow the plan because that second child had her own battle. Another fight, more advocating for my child. Debilitating anxiety, ADHD. Having to hold the hand of a child old enough to do for herself, fearful that adulthood, which one day will come, will render her incapable. A constant battle to raise her to support herself, handle a job interview, live on her own.
It’s not the usual and its exhausting, stressful and makes me numb. Joy is lost because the little things are big things and there are always issues.
My youngest daughter was my easy, happy-go-lucky kid. The one who found joy in everything. The cool kid who listened to 80s music on a record player, loved comic con, and simply allowed normalcy. Until it wasn’t normal anymore.
She came out as lesbian at 13. I told her I love her, it will be fine. If only that was the end.
There was pain behind those eyes, masked by a laugh. When you fly out of work one day because the nurse calls to tell you your daughter wants to commit suicide. The pain was there and she hides it well. The cutting up and down both arms is hidden by long sleeve sweatshirts in the middle of November. Depression drugs and outpatient programs are arranged and decided.
The storm at some point had to end.
It’s not over. It hasn’t really started. This newest battle I’m just embarking on. The one that my daughter feels, she was a boy all along.
I will never understand. All my weary brain sees is another problem. Another battle, this one, I dread. I know what’s coming and it isn’t easy.
Transgender. My kid. My world, as it implodes in on itself, I struggle to stand, to understand, to keep walking forward to the end of another tunnel.
It’s not about me, it’s never been about me and yet it is always me. What I wouldn’t give to simply raise my kids to be strong individuals, confident and happy.
Funny how somewhere in the midst of all of it, they finally are.