Thursday, January 8, 2015

old friend

Hello old friend PTSD.  I was hoping you were gone for good, but alas, it was not to be.   I often forget that these horrible reactions were such a normal thing when the girls first came home, and it always SHOCKS me when they pop up out of no where.  

 One of my girls had a PTSD reaction to me trying to give her a new medicine today. I had put my hand on her mouth to try and get her to open and her eyes flashed fear and she started silent SOBBING and rocking, shaking. In that moment, all i could think was Curse words.  Curse words for every single person who hurt her and made her freak out b/c i touched her mouth and had a spoon in my hand. 

Sadly, when we first brought her home, these reactions were a normal thing.  It hasn't happened in months though, and i just forgot.  I forgot i shouldn't touch her mouth when i have utensils in one of my hands.  B/c she is afraid i will hurt her, or shove food in her mouth.  She just reacted.  She didn't see mama, that person who always holds her gently and never ever EVER forces her to eat or is rough with a spoon.  She saw a spoon coming towards her and felt a hand on her chin (gently) trying to get her to open and i'm guessing she was remembering a time when that happened and didn't end so nicely.  

She cried, i cried.  I know why she was crying, b/c she went through horrible things in her young life.  I cried, b/c she is my baby.  And i wasn't there to protect her.  I didn't do what parents are supposed to do, keep her safe.  It kills me that she went through everything she did.  It makes me feel physically ill to think about it.  And then i FORGOT, and i scared her.  I could not have felt worse.  We cried together and i promised her once again, as we often do, that no one would hurt her anymore.  No one would make her eat if she didn't want to.  No one would be rough with her.  No one would abandon her in a crib for years at a time.  I whispered in her ear that mama and daddy loved her, and we would protect her forever.  

I can't undo the damage that was done.  In that moment, i felt like i couldn't even help her move forward, all i could do was hold her while she cried.  A friend mentioned to me that sometimes we just need to love them in it when there is no through it, and it really hit home.  I don't now if she will ever move "through" that trauma, but i can sit and love her while she is in it. I can show her with words and actions that no one will ever be allowed to treat her like that again.  Maybe it is enough.  Sometimes i feel so inadequate to parent these children that have been so hurt by what life has thrown at them.  I worry that i'm not doing enough, or that i'm doing it wrong, or that someone else could do it so much better.  

When people accuse me of being a "child collector" or ask why i'm not "done" yet well this is why. B/c you know what? My life would be EASIER if i didn't have three disabled kids. Of course it would. We wouldn't have a zillion doc appointments or hauling non-mobile kids around or all day therapy and a million other things i do with them every day. But life wouldn't be easier for THEM and they are who matters. 

I can't undo the damage done. I don't even know if i can make it better. I can only weep with them. I can only promise that no one will ever hurt them again. I can only be there when they need me. I pray most days to just be enough for them.  All i can do is pray to be enough for them.  All of them.  These little lives i have been entrusted with.  The ones i promised to protect and love and help.  I hope it's enough.  I hope they grow up and know we did all we could, all we thought was right.

I hope when the boys get home, that i have learned through parenting my other hurt children, and that i can help them try and heal or just get down on the floor and wallow with them.  Either way really. As long as they know i'm there for them.  

Random fundraiser for the boys :)  We are selling these T-shirts!  World Down Syndrome Day is coming up in May, and both of these shirts would be great for it!  Or awesome for any random day of the week too!  Take a peek and help us bring the boys home!  (unisex shirts, women's shirts, t-shirts, and sweatshirts available at the links!)


  1. Jamie, This really touched me - thank you. You are an inspiration to me to keep going when I think I have bad days (which are nothing compared to what you see and experience). I've been hoping to make a contribution to your fund over the last few weeks but my source of money didn't materalize. I'm sorry. I haven't forgotten you and will be making a contribution soon(er or later!)!

    Sue - Wisconsin

    1. Sue, thank you so much for reading and commenting! Please don't worry about contributing, i LOVE your heart and the thought that you had us on your mind warms me! Thank you!

  2. I could not be prouder of you for the special woman you've become--your compassion and willingness to actually "walk the walk" despite any obstacle. That's never easy.