On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Good Day

Every time I think I've gotten to a place in my personal therapy where I think I will finally be "OK" something else comes up.


Onward and upward.   I will pull through and I will be stronger and more whole.  I've long since surrendered the hope that I will fully recover and have accepted that a part of me will always be missing.  But I won't let that one dead part of me consume the rest.  Here lies the difference between a substance abuser and an over-comer: the self-motivation and will to do more than survive but to thrive despite the pain and heartache.

This is where I tell you that I can empathize with Sissy.  I can accept that parts of her will also be forever unfixable.  But it's also when I tell you that choice will always be a determining factor in success.  Where is the line drawn in the sand?  Ah.  The conundrum.  The distance between self-actualization and surrendering to the pain is different for everyone.  My new job as  Sissy's parent is to help her see where the line in the sand is for HER and to give her the strength to acknowledge that she can still choose to over-come.

It also means that as I accept my own short comings, I have to accept whatever hers will be so we can cohabitate in a healthy, functional way.  For a parent, it means grieving for self AND for your child.  Children of trauma are often blissfully unaware of what has been taken from them.

So I continue on this odyssey of ups and downs, twists and turns, brick walls and sink holes.  One day I will stop being afraid but conquering that fear means I have to face the darkness head on.

In four weeks it may be possible that all three of my children will be on A/B honor roll for the first time in our family's history of education.  If it happens I've promised them a fancy dine-out experience complete with wearing our Sunday best.  Meanwhile, Sissy is on restriction.   AB is coming around, begrudgingly accepting that sixth grade requires more of him and WG is soaring high, finding new strength in different extracurricular activities than she's had before.  It's a fledgling year for the four of us.  I'm hopeful, apprehensive, nervous and daily fighting my own emotional battles.

Today I woke with a start without the aid of the alarm.  Eyes popped open, pupils dilated.  One more nightmare startling me awake.  WG curled up by my side because after visits with her Dad, she is often upside down emotionally and finds comfort just being near me.  I covered her with my "sheep", a fleece blanket that is piled like a woolly sheep, beckoned the dogs to go out for their morning business, woke up my two middle schoolers and began another day.  Coffee on, music turned to our favorite 80s mix station, my mom's bird chirping good morning and Sissy actually getting up after only three calls for her to wake.

Maybe today will be a good day?