Yesterday, I CriedFriday, September 16, 2016
Yesterday, I cried.
I walked out of the house and sat on the swing. I pulled my legs up until my chin was on my knees (not the easiest task for a mother of 3) and I let silent tears fall from my eyes.
It was a moment when the tears demanded to fall—they weren’t going to be blinked away or wiped away or swallowed down. These tears were going to be quick and stealthy, as if life depended on the idea that they roll down my cheeks and drip into the grass. Maybe Mother Earth needed them. I don’t know…
But I cried because being a mother is so damn hard.
I said it.
I used the “d” word.
Give me a break. You know it’s true. At least you know it’s true if you’re a mother.
Lucy has been doing such a wonderful job at working hard to control her meltdowns. But yesterday, she unraveled. She lied to my face. She knew I knew she was lying, but she couldn’t back down. She refused to back down. Her little neighbor friend across the road knew she was lying, but still, she wouldn’t let it go.
I don’t think you understand the shame I felt in that moment. Even now while I am writing this, I am struggling with shame. I know Lucy isn’t well and she is undergoing so many changes and adjusting to powerful medications. She is struggling so hard but doing extraordinary work trying to cope and process and behave like a good girl.
Yesterday was bad, though.
“I hate you!” she ended up screaming at me an hour later when her friend was gone. “You’re the worst mother in the entire world!”
I need to pause here and fast forward to the evening when Lucy sobbed in my bed, wrapped in my arms, so angry and upset and heartbroken by those words she had screamed at me, the actions she had taken.
Lucy is full of light and love and kindness. This moment, to her, was the absolute worst thing she could ever do. She was so angry at herself…and afraid of herself. “I didn’t even mean those words, mommy,” she cried. “I love you so much. I love you so much!” And she just kept repeating those words as if they would make what she’d said in her spiral go away.
And I am so very angry.
Not at Lucy.
I am angry that little children have to be swallowed up by things they can’t control—illnesses that make no sense and steal their joy and childhood away. I am angry that it isn’t something people can see or understand or comprehend unless it’s their daughter. I am angry that people ask me if I don’t spank. I am angry that others don’t understand that this has nothing to do with homeschool or my refusal to send them to public school. I am angry that I feel isolated and alone and scared…
And my own joy is slipping away.
I just keep remembering the words she said over a year ago. In the middle of her tears, she looked at me with scared eyes and said, “There is something broken with my brain, mommy. It moves so fast and it chooses and I never even get the chance to choose.”
I get angry.
I want to throw religion in a trash can—the religion that I grew up with that would pray this out of her and tell me that I’ve let something into my home. I want to fight religion that says that God would let this little girl be plagued because of some sin buried somewhere, leaking out from an ancestor from her line…an inherited condition that smacks of hidden wickedness.
God spoke promises over this little girl. She is good. She is beautiful. She is kind and gentle and full of light.
Whatever else is happening is medical and I WILL help her get better. I won’t let her brain that fires too quickly, that gets stuck in cycles, that causes her to jerk and move continuously through her sleep become her identity.
So I held her last night. I held her tight. And we cried. I kissed her temple and told her that she is a good girl. “I’m scared I will be a bad person, mommy,” she whispered. “You are not bad and never will be,” I promised back.
I have no shame in my children. I feel so much shame that a neurologist spoke so poorly in front of her that Lucy now believes she is simply a poorly behaved child. I feel shame that she is scared there’s nothing medically wrong with her, and it’s just her…
But you will have to knock me out and kill me before you steal this girl’s light.
I am always going to stand with Lucy.