Strong

28 Oct

I was watching American Horror Story on FX.  It’s  a pretty creepy show for someone like me to watch. I’m terrified of the dark and scary movies give me nightmares.  But if I watch the show during the daylight hours, by the time it’s nighttime, I’m okay to sleep.  One of the characters in the show has Down’s syndrome.  She decides she wants to be a pretty girl for Halloween.  Her mother (who is quite cruel to her at times) says the following to her:

Do you know what people think when they look at you?  There, but for the grace of God, go I. You make them feel lucky.  And they think I’m a hero.  As if I had a choice.

This is paraphrased.  I jotted it down quickly while watching the show.  It was a terrible thing for her to say to her daughter, but as I said the character can be quite cruel.  Cruel to say to someone with Down’s syndrome, but it’s how I feel these days.

I feel like I’m an example now to pregnant woman.  An anecdote.  And they consider themselves lucky, that they’re still pregnant.  And that their pregnancies are healthy and progressing smoothly.  Or that their baby is already born and healthy.  They are the lucky ones.  There, but for the grace of God, go I.  As if God has blessed them and for some reason overlooked me.

People keep telling me how strong I am.  My family, A’s family, my friends, my doctors, anyone who hears the story.  As we were leaving the hospital, my husband pointed out a plaque that was dedicated to the heroic moms of the antepartum unit. As if I was one of them.  I’m not heroic.  I don’t have a choice.  I’m not strong.  I’m just out of options.  What am I supposed to do?  There is nothing – absolutely nothing – that I can to do bring him back.  I can’t reverse time.  I can’t rescue him.

So what else can I do? Besides try to clean my house.  Go back to work.  Take care of my dog and my cat.  And pray for the pain to go away soon.  I wake up in the middle of the night with panic attacks.   I take Ativan to calm me down enough to fall asleep.  This week, I didn’t leave my house for four days.  I start things but lose energy part way through.  My house is a mess because I start organizing and give up halfway through.  I forget to eat sometimes.  That’s not strength.  That’s just life moving on because I don’t have a choice in the matter.

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3 Responses to “Strong”

  1. Creating A Rainbow October 28, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    I get it. I really do. (that’s all.) xo

  2. FCblacksheep October 28, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    You could choose not to function at all. You could crawl in bed and refuse to face the world, check yourself into a hospital and not face reality. I know this because my mother has done this countless times. We all think we have no choice but to go on; I’ve seen what happens when someone chooses not to.

    Right now it’s not called strength, it’s called survival. And you’re doing it.

  3. Alissa November 1, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

    I so could have written this. That’s how I feel right now. Everyone tells me I am strong to go back to work and go about the things I need to do around the house. But really that is what I have to do to keep functioning. If I don’t make the effort, I would fall apart. If I surrender, I may not come back again.

    I wish we were neighbors so we could hold each other up. It’s difficult to stay ‘strong’ around people who are having the time of their lives and I am just surviving.

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