Tuesday, March 15, 2011

the forest and the trees

Is this a safe place to talk about our daughters?
I’ve begun to worry, really worry about mine. She is what educational professionals diplomatically call moderately mildly MR (MR = mentally retarded – they don’t actually say the words). And while most 14 year olds don’t necessarily have the best life skills (isn’t that what you call it when a person can feed and clean themselves and take care of their living space and so forth?) hers are downright troublesome at times.
I find myself wondering… Will she be able to keep a job? Will she be able to live on her own? WILL SHE EVER WASH HER HANDS, BRUSH HER HAIR, BRUSH HER TEETH, GET DRESSED, PUT HER LAUNDRY AWAY WITHOUT ME TELLING HER TO SEVERAL TIMES??? What if she gets pregnant? What then?
I can accept the fact that I will most likely support her financially for the rest of my life. But what scares me is this: what happens after I’m gone?
I was 18 when I got pregnant, 19 when she was born. Her father and I struggled and made mistakes and spent the first 10 years of her life growing up. And if I am honest, really honest, I have spent some time resenting her. It’s not her fault she was born, it’s mine. What fucking right to I have to resent her? But I have resented my lack of freedom, my lack of money, my lack of quiet and alone. And resenting lives on a sliding scale with loving. You cannot show someone your love for them (even though the love is there) when you are too busy resenting them.
I am tired and the journey is so far from over. I need to remember to shore up. I need my yoga and my quiet time to maintain my patience with her. I need to take care of me and her. I need her to feel my love for her maybe more than she does sometimes now. I need to worry less and do more.


Ms. Moon said...

This is very, very hard. I sure don't have any answers. I am hoping that it's something you talk to your counselor about.
Are there programs to help with education which can help her to find work at some point? I'm sorry, I'm sure you have explored every avenue and have asked every question.
I just send you my reassurance that resentment is normal and worry is inevitable.

Petit fleur said...

Hey Steph,

We have programs here in town which work with kids that have varying challenges. Some are autistic, some ADHD, etc... it is part of FSU and it's FREE. If you have a University near by you may want to check out what services they may provide to the community... also online support groups can provide many ideas that you may not otherwise have thought of.

I can't imagine how hard this is to prepare for. In our case I worry that the hub or I will fall ill or die while our son is still underage. Or even of age, but just very young still. We are older parents. It's not the same, but there is a bit of a parallel I can relate to.

Hang in there. You're a good mama!

michelle said...

You are a GREAT mama. And very brave.

Life is hard enough and we worry about our kids regardless. Then when a child has something extra that makes it even harder is just heartbreaking. And resentment making. I know the feeling.

My experience is that when I started loving life more (thank you prozac) and I extricated myself from the stress of my marriage (thank you courage), compassion replaced resentment.

Sending all my best thoughts, love, prayers.
As always.


Sarcastic Bastard said...

You are a great Mom, Steph. I don't know how you do it, but I surely do admire you. And of course you need me time. Everyone does. It's what keeps us sane.

I love you.

Mwa said...

I think it's a huge step just naming and seeing the resentment. And there's always tomorrow to do better, and doing better fixes what went before if you really mean it.

I don't know if it helps, but we always had similar worries about my sister. She now lives alone (assisted, but alone), has a job (and disability benefits) and cooks for herself most nights. She has some trouble with certain things and still doesn't really like brushing her teeth but she's getting there. She's thirty now. It just takes her longer to catch up.

Steph(anie) said...

Mwa, it is good to know that about your sister. Thank you.

SB, I don't feel very sane this week.

Ms. M and PF, the programs are out there, yes, and we will give them a go when the time comes. I think most of the kids start in the later half of high school.

Thug in a Cocktail Dress said...

The resentment is normal, even when you think you have "normal" kids...
I resent not having "me time", free time or anytime.
But your struggles are beyond my comprehension I am sure.
Respite care facilities are a huge help for any age child...if you have access to that sort of thing.
I live in South GA, and we are country bumpkins down here, but I also think we have a higher population of MR kids, which may be why we have respite care and such.