Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Keeping It Real

First I want to say I meant every word I said yesterday with all my heart.  But no matter how passionately I believe that Little Man is a glorious gift – not in spite of his FASD – but just exactly as he is, some days I fail.  I fail to see his gifts.  I fail to live in the moment with him.  I fail him. 

We had one of those last night.  Little Man has to endure a fairly unpleasant clean out process every so often because of the damage to the nerve cells in his digestive system.  This is not an optional thing.  It’s not vitamins or some therapy that I hope will be helpful to him.  It’s required to prevent some nasty, even potentially fatal, complications from his digestion issues.  (I’m trying to avoid a lot of overt poop talk here but if you want to understand more read about it here.) 

I hate doing it. He hates having it.  He insists he won’t.  I insist he must.   Last night we both insisted down to the bitter end which resulted in him having the treatment and me having the crap kicked out of me.  Sometimes things go more smoothly.  Mostly they don’t though.  It’s bad enough he has to endure the treatment.  He shouldn’t have to manage my losing my temper over it too.  But I’m human.  Getting kicked and scratched until there’s blood drawn hurts.  I raised my voice.  A lot.  I told him “You hurt me.”  “Yes, I am mad at you.”  And he cried.

It wasn’t long before he was back to his sunny self. I told him I was sorry for yelling.  He told me he was sorry for hurting me.  We kissed and snuggled for story time before bed.  We talked about it again this morning; about how important it is he have his clean out so he doesn’t get sick, about how it would go easier for him too if he didn’t fight with me during it, about how even if it goes very badly and I am angry I still love him forever and always.  He seems fine about it now but how much did I add to his fear and stress about it next time? 

I can’t know the answer to that.  And no matter how I try I can’t be perfect.  So I draw comfort from things like the advice from Mary Anne Radmacher “Speak quietly to yourself & promise there will be better days. Whisper gently to yourself and provide assurance that you really are extending your best effort. Console your bruised and tender spirit with reminders of many other successes. Offer comfort in practical and tangible ways - as if you were encouraging your dearest friend. Recognize that on certain days the greatest grace is that the day is over and you get to close your eyes. Tomorrow comes more brightly...” 

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