Wednesday, February 17, 2010
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.