From to Pain to Peace
In 2006, someone asked me what my biggest fear was. The answer came quickly because it was a fear that I had had the majority of my life – “Having a child that will have a life long dependency.”
Jet received his diagnosis of SATB2-associated syndrome in January 2017, he had just turned 9 years old. Before this date I had had hope. Hope that he would eventually talk. Hope that he would magically “blossom”. Hope that we had some sort of control in changing his future: if we take gluten out of his diet or if we do all the right therapies or if I just push him a little more here or there – then he will be typical like his brother.
But in January 2017 – I met my worst fear face-to-face and it scared the hell out of me. Hope and I broke up on that day, and it was not an easy break up.
Grieving your hopes is just like any other grief, it is painful. Like hella painful…
Letting go of dreams and desires for your child is devastating.
In order for me to personally accept my child for the unique individual he is and for me to accept my new future with this child and somehow be okay with it… I had to become someone new.
I had to dig deep and shed thoughts and belief systems and attitudes and entitlements; I even had to let go of friendships.
I had to plant new seeds and start new relationships (so thankful for my SASters), and read different books and think new thoughts.
I basically set fire to my life as it once was. Which in turn yielded a healthier version of myself. A version of me that was no longer focused on perfection. I no longer found my identity in my beliefs. I let go of the illusion of control that I thought I had on my life and my child. I discovered that I’m much stronger than I thought I was and the monsters under my bed weren’t so scary after all.
I can’t say that I did all of this intentionally because I didn’t. I think only an insane person would purposely torch their life.
But I can say, that I purposely walked hand-in-hand in with my pain. I sat with it. I acknowledged it. I argued with it. I reasoned with it. I begged it to go away, it wouldn’t. Pain and I became very comfortable with each other.
And I will say this, I’m fortunate to still be married. Pain isn’t easy on a marriage.
Pain is a teacher if you allow her to be. And pain has the ability to transform into peace if you let it. But, the transformation can not be rushed. It takes time.
So now here we are… 2021. And that 9-year-old is now a teenager.
Now… I still have my days. I still get sad. I still grieve. Peace transforms back into pain and we have a nice cuddle on a rainy day.
But then in a day or two, once pain and I have had some time together – she’ll transform back into peace.
For the first time in a very long time, I’m happy. (I’m also on anti-depressants and anxiety meds – just keeping it real). And I’m so very thankful that my 13-year-old monkey is mine to love for the rest of my life.
And my advice for all the new mamas that are just now beginning this journey, become comfortable with the pain. Get to know her. She will teach you new wonderful things. Let her transform you into something even more beautiful than you already are. And watch the pain, slowly – very slowly, morph into peace.