Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Moving Mountains

In all honesty,  I had a hard day.  For some reason I just woke up feeling strange and it just never left.  I know every mother in the world has felt this way sometimes - like you just aren't doing enough.  Whether you have typical children, children with special needs or your children are grown -  mothers always want to take care of their children, fix all of their problems and take away all of their pain.  That is just what we do.

Most days I feel good about how I am doing - that I am doing everything I can.  However, there are days - days like today - where I feel like I am just not cutting it.  I feel like I am letting my kids and husband down because I am falling short as a mother.  In the world I live in, you hang on to every tiny change, every improvement, and that is what keeps you going.  However, when setbacks come, they hit you hard.  I think my expectations are SO SO high that even the tiniest little setback seems like the end of the world.  It is strange because I am not usually a negative person at all, but for some reason when this happens I tend to focus on the one tiny thing and not on all the HUGE things that we have accomplished.  I need to work on that. 

Now don't get me wrong, the kids are doing great.  Just saw a few old behaviors - nothing big, but they freaked me out.  Why would I get freaked out about a few little tiny things?  I think because I felt like they were totally gone, so when I saw them come back, I panicked.  My mind immediately went through all the things that I am not doing good enough at and I spent the day blaming myself for pretty much everything you can imagine.  Even though my brain knows that it has only been 8 weeks and that we still have a long way to go, my heart just doesn't want to go backwards at all - ever again.  I know we won't go backwards.  I KNOW that.  However, it is really hard work and you have to keep up on it every day.  

A good friend told me yesterday that we both have PTSD  - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  We laughed about it, but it sure seems to fit :)  I decided to look it up just for kicks and here is what I found the symptoms to be: (My personal notes will be in green)
  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event (Not really anymore)
  • Feeling emotionally numb (Sometimes)
  • Avoiding activities you once enjoyed (Frequently)
  • Hopelessness about the future (Not anymore!)
  • Memory problems (Ya think?)
  • Trouble concentrating (Here and there)
  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships (Unfortunately) * Husband not included. It has not been easy, but we have grown closer and stronger throughout all of this. 
  • Irritability or anger (Not usually anger, but maybe the irritability once in awhile..)
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame (Only on days like today....)
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much (Yes, but only Dr. Pepper!  But I have quit now!)
  • Trouble sleeping (Are you kidding me?  By the time I get in bed I am out!  However, the night wakings and minimal sleeping hours are working against me.)
  • Being easily startled or frightened (This is the funny part.  Two days ago I was at the park with this same friend and we were talking.  I was pushing Wyatt in the swing so I knew where he was.  However, I suddenly panicked because I couldn't find Hazel.  I started looking everywhere, calling her name and my heart started racing.  Then I realized I was holding her.  For real.  That fear that you feel when you can't find your child, especially a child that can't talk and is totally unpredictable, I think permanently scars you.  I see other mothers who don't have their child in view and they calmly look around and then either find them or figure that they will come back around sooner or later.  Then I see mothers like myself and my other BB moms and you see the panic and fear set in instantly.)
  • Hearing or seeing things that aren't there (To the contrary:  I see what is there and I am reaching for it!)
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms can come and go. You may have more post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms when things are stressful in general, or when you run into reminders of what you went through. You may hear a car backfire and relive combat experiences, for instance. 

These symptoms seem to partially explain why ONE TINY THING would bring back all sorts of bad memories, hard times and the hopelessness I used to feel. 

When I saw Soul Surfer again a few weeks ago I cried- again.  Especially hearing her end line:    A reporter asks her if she could go back to that day, would she choose not to go surfing.  Her response was that she would not change what happened to her because she had learned and grown so much and she was able to embrace so many more people with one arm than she ever could have with two.   Now I still have two arms :)  but I am SO grateful for the trials that I have - even though it sounds weird.  I have truly learned so much about myself, my children, and countless other things.  I have learned more compassion, unconditional love and understanding.   Now, I have the opportunity to share what I have learned and use it to help other families and children.  Helping my own children and seeing them suceed makes everything we have gone through totally worth it.  Seeing other families experience the same joy, hopefulness and pure miracles that we have will be icing on a very delicious cake.

Since I don't have a TV, and when I did I hadn't watched it in over a year, I really don't know what Ms. Cyrus is up to these days.  This video is not meant to promote her in anyway, it is just the song that I love.  I heard this on the radio last year and started sobbing in the car.   Pitiful huh?  I couldn't stop crying and every last word just hit me.  I had forgotten about it until a month ago and so I purchased it.  I really do LOVE the lyrics and the meaning and it really describes me and my life quite well.   I think about the mountains I am trying to move right now and I know that they WILL be moved.  Yet, as the song says "there's always going to be another mountain, I'm always going to want to make it move"  It makes me laugh because my personality won't let me stop with just my kids, I have to keep going - and I know that was all part of the plan. 

Before Brain Balance, these setbacks and bouts of PTSD really hit me and took me out for a few days.  Meaning I was just worried, stressed and lost hope for a bit.  I always got back on track because I KNEW one day I would get my children to reach their greatest potential.  I Just knew it.  Now that day has come and I have found the answer and the path to get them there and what a joyous feeling that is.  I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders.  I always had hope, but that is all it was - hope.  Now, I have that hope in addition to the absolute assurance that my children will be able to reach their greatest potential and be the wonderful, smart, darling and typically functioning children that they were meant to be.  We are just taking the long way to get there and that is alright with me. 

Please listen and read the words. 



  1. I love those lyrics! You are amazing Tammy! I have shared your blog with friends who have children in your similar situation and all they can say is how much they wish they could be like you and do all the things you are doing for your kids. You inspire SO many people who wish they could be like you. Set backs are so hard and frustrating! I think we all have a little PTSD...I know I do! But I mean.. who wouldn't be frustrated when you have worked so hard. Maybe the little setbacks are just reminders of what used to be. Hang in there! You are doing doing so many wonderful things and it will be WORTH IT!

  2. Some great tips for sure & thank you for sharing this.
    Brain Balance Program