Thank You

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

picture taken April 17th, 2009

Opening up emotionally, to anyone, is not easy for me. It used to be easy, back in the day before I was hurt by the ones who loved me, and by those who pretended to care for me. As I grew up, I shut down. I started keeping everything inside, learning that as soon as things were out in the open, they'd only get worse.

Since starting this blog, I've come a long way. I used to blog about things that I had found or wanted to buy from the artists over at Etsy, or maybe I'd tell an old humorous story from my childhood. One day, I'm not sure when, my typing start to evolve into something else. Something with more substance.

Recently, after almost 2 years of blogging, I've been able to open up completely. I wrote about my worries and the feelings that I have towards my little Bean (which have since changed, I've grown much more accepting of our baby on the way)- and I remember as my fingers hovered over the "publish" button, how my heart pounded so hard I thought I might collapse under the pressure. That's how nervous I was, to let out my feelings.

The support that poured in, which was the complete opposite of what I had expected (I really thought that I would lose friends over sharing how I really felt), was overwhelming. I was in shock, at how supportive all of you were, and how so many of you commented on how it was nice to see a different side of me. I didn't even know that so many people followed along with my words. I'm still shocked.

When Charlie started having his seizures, I wondered if I should keep it to myself, but thought it would be best to share. See, I consider all of my blog readers "friends". I'm not just saying that to sound cheesy, I really mean it. I feel like if you come here on a regular basis, then you must connect with me and my family on some level, and for those of you that comment, I think I connect with you as well. Some of you choose to remain silent, reading from anonymous eyes, and that's just fine too. But even you lurkers, though I don't know you, I consider you friends too. So when we started our struggles with Charlie, I shared it. I opened up. I wanted to share what was going on, not only to keep everyone in the loop, but to free my feelings- my fears, my predictions, my overreactions, and one of the biggest reasons that I wanted to share our story, was for another mother that might be going through the same thing that we're going through. I wanted to help her. Half the time, I am her. I can't even tell you how many times I've gone looking for blogs, begging to find somebody with a similar story, whatever that story may be. Fructose intolerance, children with Vitamin C allergies, seizures, air force wives that just can't seem to connect with their new worlds- I've looked for it all.

We as women, though catty at times, we connect with each other. We as mothers, we bond with each other. Us military wives, we're practically of the same blood.

Yesterday when I posted about Charlie's EEG, somebody commented with a link to a forum post. A forum that I've never been to. And in that post, a reader of mine was talking about how disgusted she was with me. How could I post a picture of my son when he was hurt, and needing me? I should have put the camera aside, and focused on loving him. How dare I?

Her and other women, probably women who hadn't even read my story, women that knew nothing about me or my family, or my situation, continued to go on and on about awful I was. How if they could, they'd push me out of the way and give my baby a kiss on the cheek.

At first, I felt like I had been shot. How could these women, these mothers, be talking about me in such a negative way? Did they really think that I had hurt my child in some way, by taking a picture of him? They thought I was disgusting.

I put a note on that blog post, to kind of clarify the situation that they knew nothing about, and after awhile the thread was deleted (or so I assume, since the link to it is now broken). The heartbreaking photo of Charlie, with the tears in his eyes, was taken quickly, and with no intentions of capturing pain. As he slept in my arms, I had Christopher get the camera ready, so that as soon as they turned the lights on after his nap, I'd be able to take a picture of him. I got the 2 shots of him sleeping, and then while he was still asleep, they began to take off his head dressing. As I tried to get a picture of what the electrodes looked like under the cap, he woke up. He hadn't even opened his eyes when the first cries came, I snapped the picture, and returned to comforting my son, who was now awake and needing me again. He never left my lap (he used my left arm as a pillow, and I wouldn't have had it any other way). I never once adjusted my camera. I didn't think I would need to make this so clear, but because I realize now that there are people that look at the pictures deeper than they read the words, I should clarify. Unfortunately, I doubt those people are reading.

The woman who left the comment had the nerve to post in the comments section twice. First, mentioning how disgusted she was at the photo (shes entitled to her own opinion, and I know that it is a hard picture to look at, I should have given everybody a warning, for that I'm sorry), and then a second time to apologize that her bashing had "gotten back to me". The thing is, if she wouldn't have written it, in a public place on the internet no less, it would have never had the chance to get back to me. If she wouldn't have gone behind my back to discuss me in a high school sort of way, there would be nothing to apologize for, and the entire situation would have been avoided.

Friends, I don't ask that you agree with everything that I write. I don't ask you to support me in ways that you don't think are deserving, or at all for that matter. But I do ask that you respect me, the same way that I respect you. I don't always agree with everything that every other woman does, but I'm certainly not going to name names, point fingers, or throw anybody under the bus. Ever. To any of you. And I sincerely mean that. If I have something that I think should be said, rather than kept quietly in the walls of my head, then I'll contact you personally, and I'll say it. Please, don't ever be afraid to tell me how you feel, if you think its worth saying. My email is posted at the bottom of the page, and I'd love to hear from you, whether it be good, or bad. I prefer to not get a bad email, nobody wants to open up one of those, but I'd rather get a bad email from one person, than be sent to a forum I've never been to, and read hurtful comments left by several people.

But now, the part of this post that I've really been meaning to get to: Thank you. The supportive comments that came flooding in when I wrote about Charlie's EEG, was... what I needed. I have a weird outlook on things. While going through that with Charlie was hard, I remind myself about the other mothers in the world, who are experiencing things much harder, and then I feel silly for ever thinking I have it rough. Seeing him like that, was hard. When I look back at the pictures I get choked up. My eyes sting, and my breath quickens. It, was, awful. But all of you, even if you had been through something harder (and believe me, I know that there are mothers currently dealing with things much more difficult, and I respect them more than they could ever know), supported me. Just as I started to regret being honest and releasing my feelings, you reminded me that its ok to write about something other than cupcakes and kittens, and I just can't thank you enough for that. Every comment matters to me. Every single one. Thank you ladies, mama's, fellow military wives. Friends, family, lurkers. Thank you. I know I might not always get an email back to everybody (lately I haven't been getting them back to anybody), and I know I don't always make it back to your blog (especially if you're a new reader and you're not yet on my blogroll), but I so appreciate your words and feelings. You are all amazing.

30 comments:

kandeland February 17, 2010 at 5:35 AM  

Tia, I just wanted to say that first off- you shouldn't even have to explain yourself. This is your blog, your feelings, your life...no one lives in your shoes and really shouldn't comment negatively- especially in a public forum. But hopefully by writing the post and confronting what happened, you feel better. Blogs are journals, and although public, they are representative of individual people, and what they choose to share. I just say that if you don't like it, then don't visit. But anyway, I admire your honesty and how you open up and tell the truth about how you're feeling. I know from experience (not through my blog, but through family experience) that it is tough for others to hear the truth, or not judge when you express how you really feel when they don't relate to it. I have always been an open book, and I know that it's hard for others to hear your feelings when they are not "comfortable", happy feelings. But it's better to be true to yourself. So back to the blog- I just wanted to say that I hope you remember that there will always be someone who doesn't agree with you, or understand you, but not to let it hinder your actions. If you do what's natural to you, there's no reason to explain! It is what it is! No one is you, and they probably don't know a fraction of your story. xo

Shannon February 17, 2010 at 5:59 AM  

Something I'm learning to deal with personally, is that no matter how hard you try, you can't please everyone. You are a strong and amazing woman and mother, and don't let anyone bring you down or make you think otherwise. Having those photos to look back on when your family has made it through this, will be something that can never be replaced. None of those women who were saying those terrible things were there in the room with you, watching what you and your family was going through. YOU know that you were the best mother you could be, and taking a quick shot of the procedure for your memories is nothing to be ashamed of.

You have every right to be scared, and just because someone may have it "worse" than you, doesn't mean your situation isn't scary and hard to deal with emotionally. We're all here to support you through this, Tia.

dangerkittydesigns February 17, 2010 at 7:29 AM  

A friend of mine has gone through similar situations a number of times on the internet. I'm not sure why people keep targeting her--she's one of the nicest, most welcoming people in the world! No matter, it's incredibly childish behavior. The internet can be very rough sometimes because people have a distance--an anonymous mask, if you will. But it's also good to remember that for every nasty, never-left-high-school snob out there, there are a million men and women capable of large amounts of love.

PS: I'm not a mother, gluten free, or a military wife (or any sort of wife, for that matter), but I feel a strong connection to your blog *because* of your honesty. Don't change.

Nen February 17, 2010 at 7:33 AM  

I don't always comment on your posts... but I do read them... and I can't believe all that you went through from that one reader! You have a right to post whatever you want... and personally, I don't think the pictures of Charlie were inappropriate. Some day he may thank you for capturing such an important moment in his life. Not that it was necessarily something any of you wanted to have to go through... but those pictures may help you to not take for granted each and every second you have with your beautiful children! Shame on whoever that reader was that knocked you! Don't stop what you're doing... because you do it well and it's a pleasure to read what you have to say!

Sara February 17, 2010 at 8:00 AM  

You have handled it WAY more maturely than I ever would have. :) Your strength of character is astounding!

Johanna February 17, 2010 at 8:09 AM  

I am behind you 100% of the way. It takes guts to post your true feelings and the REAL stuff that happens in life. All too often we stick to what is safe and easy for fear of what others may think. But you have stepped out of that comfort zone and have opened yourself and your family up so that maybe you can help someone else in a similar situation.
I say shame on that judgemental and immature person who wrote such things about you.
For the record as hard as those pictures were to see I think that they would help someone who is in a similar situation to understand what the whole process of the testing that Charlie went through entails.
Tia- thank you for your honesty. It is not easy and I admire your and your husband's strength during this difficult time.
xox

Fallon February 17, 2010 at 8:35 AM  

I missed the EEG post, which was sad. For you as parents and for little Charlie. My brother had bad asthma as a baby and my parents also have pictures of him in the hospital crying. There is nothing wrong with photographing important moments in peoples lives even if the moment shows tears. I could never have felt offened by anything you showed. Sadly some people thrive on complaining and pretending they are better then you. Working retail I've learned there is nope hope in a happy world cause, lets face it a lot of people arn't very nice. I like you and your family and what you share with us. Live in the moment and wash your mind clean of all of this and move on. Keep doing what you do, it keeps so many of us coming back for more :)

Hobocamp Crafts February 17, 2010 at 8:37 AM  

I am with Kandeland. This is your space. You welcome us into it everyday- but if someone doesn't like something- I feel maybe they need to think first. Sometimes pictures are difficult to convey what is exactly going on- even in funny ones I find myself giving back up info to explain. One day you will look back and so will Charlie and he'll say Mooom! How could you post that- in an embaressed kid-like way- NOT in a OMG you are terrible. You are a great,amazing woman/mama and Sasquatch is a great papa- I'm thrilled to know you guys and your pain is our pain in someway. I appreciate your honesty- hang in there through the bumps and the blabbermouths and you will come out stronger as usual. xo and I love the way your blog has evolved. it is a welcomed everyday read.

The Shop Of Beth February 17, 2010 at 8:59 AM  

Simply put: I love you Tia, you are a great mother and wife. And I know I've said it before, I wish I could be more like you!

CraftGirlAlli February 17, 2010 at 9:08 AM  

Tia, we all know you're a wonderful mother. Those same people that bashed you would probably bash me if they saw some of the pictures I took while Colby was recovering from his heart surgery. But, here's how I look at it...I want Colby to know what he went through. I want him to be able to see how strong and amazing he is. I want those pictures to show him, so that he knows just how lucky he is. And like you, when I took those pictures, he was in no pain. He was either sleeping or holding my other hand while I took them. You have nothing to prove or explain to those other people. They have no idea what you are going through, what Charlie is going through. NO ONE has the right to judge anyone else. They should all feel ashamed for acting like such foolish people for posting bad things about someone else.

heyasparky February 17, 2010 at 9:10 AM  

Go on girl! If I had a day like you just had I probably wouldn't have been able to post such a respectful & open statement... & there certainly would have been more swearing. You never stop impressing.

Now... go do something for YOU today. You deserve it.

Portraits & Shadows February 17, 2010 at 9:15 AM  

I took a picture of Hayley when she had her EEG too. Don't trip sister, do what you want, in life and on your blog, And screw everybody else. :)

PensivePixie February 17, 2010 at 9:19 AM  

From Dangerkittydesigns:
"PS: I'm not a mother, gluten free, or a military wife (or any sort of wife, for that matter), but I feel a strong connection to your blog *because* of your honesty. Don't change."

Amen!! Please write more and ignore people who are petty and mean. Thanks for making us feel a part of your family!

Art Kitten February 17, 2010 at 9:23 AM  

I am definitely in the lurker camp more than the commenter camp. I do read your blog every day, more than any other blog and the reason why is because your blog is the most human, relate-able blog I read. I am glad that you share so much because it makes us feel like we are not alone when we (your readers) are experiencing the joys and stresses of life, even if they are the same joys and stresses. Keep at it, and don't let snarky forums get you down, because what you do is awesome.

Reneesance February 17, 2010 at 9:39 AM  

Sucks to them I say. You have a right to write whatever you feel fit and I for one feel honored that you choose to share it with us. I've been through the EEG testing with my own little guy and I know just how hard it is. I think it's a wonderful thing that you share both the good and the bad stuff with your readers and let us take a peek into your amazing family.

Debs February 17, 2010 at 10:29 AM  

Tia, As a few others have noted, I am also in the lurker camp. We have never met, but I have been a loyal reader for maybe a year. This post was different than most and I felt it was time to comment (my first true comment ever...not for contest purposes). I am not a blogger myself but I do follow a few blogs. Yours is the first I view everyday and the one I enjoy the most. I also have 2 young kids and I so enjoy your stories and the way you communicate. I went through a similar type of situation with my Son when he was 10 mos old and I was 8 mos pregnant. For us, it was a CAT scan due to my son's large head (turns out he just has his Mom's large noggin). I cannot imagine how I'd feel if anyone was judging my decisions and how I handled my family business. I'm sorry you had to go through that, on top of everything else. Please just keep doing what you are doing! Don't change a thing. Thank you for your honesty and thank you for finding the time to create something that I look forward to reading on a daily basis. It's strange (and comforting) to read that you would consider us "lurkers" friends (although we've never met) but that is how I feel about you. Here is a quote for YOU!
"Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever."
- Isak Dinesen, pen name for Danish author Karen Blizen, (1885-1962).

Kyla Roma February 17, 2010 at 10:42 AM  

I'm so glad that you posted your experience with the EEG, and it's just that- your experience. Sometimes people online blow me away, who could read the emotion in that post and not get that it was about how tough this stuff is? Who could miss that the picture was about Charlie being tired and frustrated by the procedure, not that he was in pain?

When I saw the picture of Charlie's face, my immediate response was "I bet if the picture was zoomed out a little wider, Tia's face looked exactly the same. I wish I could just hug that whole family."

It worked perfectly with the post and I'm so glad that you guys are home now, cozy and away from people's ridiculous words and misunderstanding.

Brandy L February 17, 2010 at 10:43 AM  

Tia no one has the right to criticize another mother. Every person deals with emotions differently and you were expressions your feelings to your friends on your blog. If that person has a real issue with what you wrote then they shouldn't be reading your blog. It's a heartfelt, meaningfull blog and no should be criticizing for what you wrote. You are a loving mother and anyone who reads your blog knows that. You are not here to exploit your children but to give an update to your blog friends on your life and things your children do. Your real friends are there for you and will give you the comfort and support you need. For those who don't, they can (swear word goes in here) off! :-D

emily February 17, 2010 at 12:15 PM  

Tia, you are a great mama and don't need to justify yourself to anyone! If it makes you feel any better about the "bashing" just to have someone else on your side, because it *does* sting even though it *does not* matter - while my little babe is delightfully, thankfully healthy, I have been surrounded my whole life by all matters of children suffering medically... babyhood cancer, major surgeries that I cannot comprehend, deadly allergies, you name it... and their mothers all took hospital pictures. The children who are now grown are very grateful for these memories, as well as the happy ones. People take pictures of their babies crying *all the time* do document the reality of their childhood, and it usually gets a good laugh. Charlie in a sleepy rage is Charlie in a sleepy rage, no matter what is attached to his head. The only reason we bash other people (ESPECIALLY when we don't know the whole story) is to justify our own self-worth. And if these women are looking for that on the internet, then I feel sorry for them. You have enough going on - don't let them get to you :)

Ashley Stone February 17, 2010 at 12:16 PM  

You do not have to explain yourself to anyone. The women who wrote that have obviously never had the experiences that you have, otherwise they would have a little more compassion.

Blogging is helping me to open up as well, and I can't imagine being criticized for laying my heart out there.

I can tell from your blog that you love your family and are a completely devoted mother.

Casey February 17, 2010 at 2:49 PM  

Bashing other moms especially when you can't possibly know their whole story is really anti-woman and I hate to see it happen.
We all make different choices and our journey through motherhood is never the same as another woman's.
We all do the best that we can and IF there is a mom who needs a little help & support, we should reach out to her and not judge her.
You are an honest, caring person who very obviously wants and does the best for her family.
Anybody could see that if they only stopped to look.
Much love, Tia!

soul_searching_mama February 17, 2010 at 2:54 PM  

Tia, you're wonderful. :) I think the simple fact that you felt you had to explain yourself is the very proof that you are a good mother and you have a big heart. You shouldn't have to defend yourself to others - obviously they are insecure themselves about their own parenting if they think that they should bash you for something like a picture. You are a very compassionate person and you write very real and honest blog posts. I'm glad you feel more comfortable opening up to others about your feelings. And the person who decided to talk behind your back like that should be ashamed of themselves for doing that to someone who opens their lives up for others to read and learn from. But I just wanted to tell you that you're wonderful. :)

The Momma February 17, 2010 at 3:13 PM  

Love ya girl! You are an amazing momma no matter what some snarky so-and-so thinks!

HotHeaded February 17, 2010 at 3:18 PM  

Oh Tia, I've been lurking most of the two years you have been blogging. Even though I never comment I read each and every post you write. And let me tell you that I had a flare of anger when I read this post. It makes me angry that people would be so catty and careless with their words. It makes me angry that you now feel the need to explain yourself. Those women obviously don't read your blog and don't "know" you. They are just looking for someone to bash. I always imagine those type of women as sitting at home hunting the internet all day long with nothing better to do then worry about what others are doing. With no life of their own. Its sad really.
I love reading your blog. The posts about charlie broke my heart. I could only imagine what you are going through. My eyes welled up as I read your words describing the helplessness you felt.
I just wanted you to know that majority of us aren't here to judge. We are here to support whether or not we are leaving comments.
Oh and PS I have pictures of all my kids crying when they were babies because I wanted to remember it all. The tears, the smiles, and everything in between.

Hello there! My name is June February 17, 2010 at 7:29 PM  

Tia... Be strong & hang in there! Don't let a few bad apples out there get you down. Just focus on your little guy & your family & know in your heart so many of us out here support you!

AlyGatr February 17, 2010 at 8:11 PM  

I just keep bracing myself for the day the crap flies my way! Somehow, out on the Net, it seems inevitable. My theory is this...like TV, if I don't like something I see on a blog...I turn it off. Spewing negativity especially to someone who is going through what you are is like kicking someone when they are down. Yeah, if someone really had a problem with it, at least have the decency to contact you privately. SHEESH...sometimes I really don't get people.

Giggly February 17, 2010 at 9:26 PM  

I am currently reading a book that talks about issues like this,when other mothers can't mind their own on the internet and bash other mothers and such... it's called the Bad Good Mother, by Ayelet Waldman.

Desiree Fawn February 18, 2010 at 11:29 PM  

You're amazing. I just have to say it.

Forget the rest of the less than kind people out there -- you're a beautiful mother & nothing but loving.

Thank YOU <3

They call me mommy... February 19, 2010 at 8:14 PM  

That was very childish of her, I'm sorry you had to deal with that ON TOP of dealing with a sick child, what a horrible thing to say.I know you are a good mother just by how you talk about your children, some people just don't have anything better to do than to SLANDER other peoples names & try to pass jugement.

Marie February 21, 2010 at 3:27 AM  

pictures and stories are how we preserve and share our experiences in this fleeting life. there is nothing wrong with sharing with those who want to listen. it reassures us that we are not alone and i fail to see how that is offensive.

also, not every wound can be healed with a kiss. that's why we have doctors. let's not interfere with their important work when our babies need help getting healthy.

i understand tia. i wrote you a note. ttyl sweetie!

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