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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Can I handle the seasons of my life...

Landslide. This song has been on my mind lately. I have had some massive realizations this last couple of weeks about my relationship with Ellie. It's been hard but so, so good to understand and see what I have been doing to her with my worry about her future. 

It's like I have been going down a big tangent only to be called back to myself.

I have been in high stakes for a long time about what will happen to her in the future when I am gone. That good stress has helped us change our lives to accommodate for more community and driven me to explore the possibilities. That was the good side. The down side which is rather out of whack is that I have been so worried about this and so overwhelmed that this fear is spilling out to her.  And it's a mixed message she's getting that consists of me saying, "I love you, I love you, I love you" and in my head communicating through my stress, "I'm so worried, so worried, so exhausted, so worried, so tired, so overwhelmed." And she can feel that. She can see that in my stress at Dave, in my exhausted visage. And in this way I am pathologizing her. I am inadvertently communicating that she is a burden. I have inadvertently been ensuring that we are all locked into this vice grip. I know I had missed the anemia because I have been so distracted by this future vision and fear. 

The irony is that growing up, I was told I was a burden all the time, directly and in every small way that can really injure a child. That injury, which is deep, and I have been working on has led me to overcompensate with Ellie. To not be so honest with myself about how hard this has been and is. I had this deep resistance to admitting it due to a few things including not wanting her to feel like a burden.  I felt like I'd be betraying my love for her if I admitted how tired and overwhelmed and at a loss I am half the time with all of this. How it's so painful in moments it takes my breath away. How I have to work so hard at self care and failing so often that the pain is palpable in my body. These two things - the deep, deep love for her and the pain of this life seemed so at odds. 

But now I realize I need to be more in the moment. Let go of trying to control it all. Controlling it has been a bad way of trying to manage the deep fear for her safety that is not untrue but also a projection from the past - that overcompensation again. Because I did not feel safe as a child with my parents - I want her to have not a care. It's too much of a good thing. 

In the NICU I remember Dynio, her neonatologist, saying, "Ellie will declare." meaning she'll let us know if she would live or die and what her life would be like. He taught us that Ellie is the leader here. She is the leader of her life. She is the soul that has a path here. I am following her always but recently I have forgotten that - recent meaning for about 10 years. I have forgotten the listen more, to listen to all the bits of help and clues that are always there. Listen to Ellie with my eyes and ears from a more curious lens.  In trying so hard to help her to carve out her path I have been disconnected from myself and her. 

I am awake again. I can let her be the leader and surrender to what it's all supposed to be for her. This doesn't mean I stop caring for her in any way. It does mean that I need to attend to the present moment in all it's vastness while I am in it versus being caught up in the future so much I am not really here. 

When I hear the song below it resonants in so many ways so wanted to share it here. 


Landslide
I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
'Til the landslide brought me down
Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing' ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Mmm
Well, I've been afraid of changing'
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting' older, too
Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting' older, too
I'm getting' older, too
Ah, take my love, take it down
Oh, climb a mountain and turn around
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down
Oh, the landslide will bring it down
Songwriters: Stevie Nicks
Landslide lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

What brought you to this epiphany? It sounds really profound. A lot to reflect on in this post, so beautifully expressed.
Xxxx sending best wishes

Kathryn said...

Honestly, a dear friend noticed this imbalance. They observed I wasn't really being present to my own suffering. Me awakening to this whole dynamic started on New Year's eve sitting there wondering if she would die. That woke me up big time. Then this observation just a month later about how I was holding it all and what I was not expressing revealed the rest of it.

It's so each to project our reality on someone else...and so devastating.

Since I let it go, what I have needed has come flooding in, including connecting with some other parents in the same boat who want to join me. So instead of being alone and overwhelmed I am now in community about it.

It's pretty astonishing really.

Thanks for your kind words!
xo