Thursday, May 17, 2012

Raw Pain

I know you've felt it.


The raw emotional kind of pain that makes you feel so sad it goes from your toes to your throat!
The kind that is so upsetting that you can have a nosebleed that doesn't stop for an hour or more....

There are days when things happen in our lives - for reasons unknown - that hurt so bad it seems as though the pain will never ever go away.

The one that stands out and hurts at various times in my life would be the day my son was diagnosed.  He was 23 months old - two days after Christmas 12/27/1995.  I thought the doctor would say, "not to worry mom, he just has a speech delay."  The developmental pediatrician gave a one word diagnosis that would forever change my world, "autism".  She told me that autism was 1 in every 10,000 and it was a mystery.  The rest was a blur. I heard words but couldn't make them out.   He was re-diagnosed by the same developmental pediatrician at a later date: severe autism.  My son and I were a faithful pair of patients.  We saw this same developmental pediatrician every six months.   Add five years: Profound Mental Retardation and Severe Autism.  Of late, his twin is graduating from high school.  The grief cycle has begun again for me as a mother. One in which the "normal" circle of life would have had both kids graduate together in lieu of one making plans for his future and myself keeping one safe and happy all in the same breath.

The happiness I have for the one who is graduating is overshadowed by the pain I feel from the other.  I hide from both of my boys my true emotions - how sad I truly am.  How much I want my son to be free from his mental and physical pain caused by his diagnosis.  I can't help how I feel. When I think of the graduation, a lump in my throat appears and it feels as though I can't take another breath.  Everything seems to go numb.

Within the past week,  a wonderful woman passed who was the mother of a dear friend of mine.  She passed so suddenly - so unexpectedly.  Just gone like that, in an instant.  I was on facebook and her status popped up "so shocked" with a link to her mom's funeral.  She was extremely close with her mom. This was a complete and utter shock.  The funeral was the day before mothers day.  This hit me like a ton of bricks.  I can't get out of my head that my own mom is mortal.  She is my rock.  She grounds me.  She lives 400+ miles away, but the fact that I know she will say "hello" when I dial her phone number is something that gives me peace.  I can't even begin to explain my love for her.

Also, a wonderful birthday party was planned for a family member whom I love dearly.  She is on my mind, in my thoughts and in my prayers every day and every night. She is my dear cousin who is dying.  She has been fighting breast cancer for 8+ years.  I want to see her, touch her. hug her, sit with her, look at her, tell her I love her.  I want to be with her.  No words need to be spoken - I just want to be with her.   Everyone in the "family" was invited except for myself and my siblings.  My mother went with a heavy heart.  I wanted to go so badly, my heart aches aches and aches. It doesn't stop aching.

Fast forward another day and while on the phone with my sibling, some very hurtful words were said to me. "Who else would invite your family on vacation, anyone?" "We did spend time with [him]." Nosebleed starts here... These words sting like a queen bee.  The sting continues to hurt and seems to swell as every minute goes by.  This links to the pain that taps into the day of diagnosis.

What do you do when you painful things happen in your life?
Do you make specific choices, decisions for yourself?
Do you have any rules about people that inflict pain on you?
What helps you with your pain?
What (if anything) can dry up those heart wrenching cries, the ones so deep that you hide in the bathroom or take a drive alone so no one can hear the the horrible sounds of grief?

What do you do?

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