Archive for April, 2012

My Blessing and my Curse

My Blessing and my Curse

Sitting here, thinking of you

Pain and love mingling,

Until I don’t know where one starts

And the other ends.

So much left unsaid,

So much that never should have been spoken

All wrapped up in one.

This is my legacy

My blessing

And my curse.



Everything is You.


Everything is You.

Every thought, every action

Every memory, every experience –

Is influenced by you.

The thought of you,

The pain of losing you.

Each  moment is taken up by you,

Leaving no room for anything else.

I just finished reading “Raising Abel” by Carolyn Nash.  It’s a true story about a woman who fostered, and then adopted, a young boy who had been subjected to horrible abuse by his birth parents.  I loved this book.  It was hard to read, since what this boy went through was so intense.  But, it is an honest story about the hardships of raising children who have been traumatized.  All the acting out that Abel does is so very close to my own experiences with my daughter.   Definately worth reading!

Today as I was listening to NPR; they started talking about a new pill that may become available that would actually erase specific memories.  This would be targeted towards those who suffer from PTSD.  The pill would literally erase that painful memory, and therefore, the symptoms of PTSD.  I was so intrigued that I looked up the related article – and will post the link at the end of this post.

My question is this – if it were available to you, would you take it?  I had to think about it for about 2 seconds, and realized that my answer is a definate NO.  Sure, in my fantasyland, I think about how nice it would be to forget all the painful events I have gone through.  The abuse I endured, the suicide of my fiance…. it SOUNDS like it would be heaven.  But – who am I without these memories and experiences?  How would that ultimately affect me and who I have become?  Yes, I have scars from my experiences, but I also have strength, and wisdom, and I enjoy those rare moments of piece when they come because I know how much they deserve to be treasured.  Would I maintain these things?  And, how would that affect people’s decision making and choices – when they knew all they had to do if something went wrong would be to take a pill and make it all go away?

So, while the idea of not feeling this pain anymore is appealing, I will not be waiting in line to sign up for THIS clinical trial.  I’ll take my scars, my past, and my memories – both painful and cherished – and continue striving for some peace of mind the old-fashioned way.

Here is the article:



Something I have not talked a lot about is my children.  They have been through so much in their young lives, and it has definately taken a toll on them.  They were adopted from a 3rd world country, where they suffered malnutrition and neglect (not because the orphanage didn’t care, but simply didn’t have the resources to provide more than the very minimum to keep a child alive).  After being adopted, they were brought into a home, my home, where there was absolutely no stability.  We moved several times due to my ex-husband’s volatile job situation.  They were raised with a father who was abusive to both them, as well as me.  His temper and emotional and physical abuse has left scars on us all.  In addition, I was terrified and unable to stand up for them for several years.  After I finally took a stand – they went thru a couple of years of a really nasty divorce, and subsequent custody battle.  After all of that, they endured the suicide of my fiance, who had become a father figure to them.  All in all, they have had a very shitty life.

My daugther has struggled since she was first brought home from the orphanage at 18 months.  First, with physical delays.  Then, with emotional and behavoiral challenges.  She is now in 5th grade and has never been in a “mainstream” classroom.  She has bounced around from self-contained “behavoiral learning” classrooms inside a regular school, to day treatment programs.  Last year, she entered a residential facility where she lived for 5 months, along with a stint in the pyschiatric unit of the hospital.  She is diagnosed with PTSD, attachment disorder, depression, and generalized anxiety.  She has been extremely violent in both the home and the school environments, which has resulted in several adults (including myself) ending up at the hospital with broken bones, stitches, dislocated jaws, etc.   There have been several years where I could not even leave the house with her; the schools could not safely keep her in class.

Last July, she discharged from the residential facility.  She discharged 2 days after I was granted full legal custody, and the majority of physical custody.  Since then, her progress has continued to amaze me.  She is still at a day treatment program, but it has been several months since she has had any “unsafe” behavoirs at home.  I can take her on trips to the grocery store now, without fear of her trying to jump out of the moving car; or becoming violent at the store, or running away.  I can take her on vacations, and know that although she may have moments of grumpiness, she will be completely safe (as will everyone else).

She has not been able to be in any extracurricular activities in years; and each time she was involved in the past; she was removed due to behavoirs.  Tonight, she started a gymnastics class.  I decided that she had improved to the point where we could try this again.  I sat watching her in her hour long class, with tears glimmering in my eyes.  Out of pride.  Out of pure fascination and contentment.  Out of a love and joy that has weathered everything thrown at us.  She was focused.  She was on-task.  She listened to instructions and never once behaved in any way that was even slightly inappropriate.  She did fantastic and had an amazing time.  My God – how far we have come in such a short time!  This child who has experienced more trauma that most adults will EVER see; who has struggled and fought and climbed her way out of an abyss so great that some thought she would never emerge – can now GO TO GYMNASTICS.  Some may not be able to comprehend how great of an achievement this is.  They may take these things for granted.

But, tonight, I was reminded that no matter how hard life has been – there IS so much to be thankful for.  So many things have settled into normal, predictable, SAFE behavior and we ARE getting better, day by day.  No matter what, I have finally begun to provide a safe and nurturing environment for my kids, and for myself.  And, I am grateful for that.