Dear Shannon................

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2000
Dear Shannon................
Fri, 02-06-2009 - 9:07pm

I spent some time tonight going back and reading your posts. I wanted to get to know you better. You took the time to support me when you are living your own private hell and I can't thank you enough for that. I had to know more about you as I find you truly amazing.

I know how much you are suffering right now. The loss of you therapist, Rose, has brought back the anguish of losing your mom and all the associated memories and then facing the fears of a husband going through life threatening surgery adds stress that no one needs or wants. I want so badly to reach out through this computer and hold tightly as I can to give you strength and know you aren't alone.

But let me help you if I can. I have lost a therapist and it is so hard. But you will honor Rose by taking care of yourself. If the new T is not good, then find another. Rose would approve. In fact, keep looking until you find someone who reminds you of Rose. It will make the transference and trust easier. Rose wanted you to be well and doing whatever you have to to accomplish that goal is what she would have wanted.

For your hubby, I almost died after developing complications from major spine surgery 2 years ago. The first surgery collapsed and the diagnosis was missed for 2 weeks until my doc came back from vacation and by then the damage was so bad, he didn't know if I'd survive the second surgery. I almost didn't. It's taken 2 years to recover. So I know a little bit about what your hubby is going through. Again, as I told my hubby then, take care of yourself because I'm going to need you when I come home and he will need you when he comes home. Be there when you can but be aware that he is so drugged, the days blend one into another and if you need time to yourself, take it. Caregiver stress can be overwhelming and you need time to take your own internal temperature and deal with your own internal problems so that you can be of help to him.

On your past, you are not responsible for any of the things you are blaming yourself for and you know that. An adult cannot look back on childhood without looking through their adult eyes and distorting reality. You KNOW you aren't to blame. But your abuse ended with the most horrendous ending I can think of and that memory will always be there. I lost my mom in a very horrendous way at age 21. Every Dec 11th I remember. I go through every detail. Then I pack it up and put it away for another year. This year will be #37. You can't change what happened, you can only work to honor her. I take the day of my mom's death and make it a special day. I spend it quietly doing what I want to.....cry, yell, scream, or nothing at all. It is my day to mourn. Then I force myself to pack it up and put it away. At first, I had to do this once a month and still, some years I have to do it more often.....Mother's Day, her birthday, my birthday...whatever day I needed. Then I packed it up. It's gotten easier over the years but it will never go away. You can have a Mom & Rose Day. Honor them both.

I had a wonderful Pdoc(now gone) who explained it to me this way. We all live in our own gardens. We pick what flowers or plants or even weeds we want in our garden. We pick them from the gardens of the people in our lives. The goal is to take what we really love and leave the bad behind. Everyone is responsible for weeding their own gardens. You are picking and sharing what's in your garden with the autistic child you care for and that so wonderful of you. She may be planting more than you'll ever know. You have picked a lot from your mom and others to be so giving. Now you need to pick from Rose's garden and decide what to plant. And for your hubby, you need to share what is growing in your garden with him to help him grow. Bring him a single flower every day until he has a big bouquet. You'll know the significance until he is ready to know. I know you can't bring flowers to the ICU so collect them at home until then. Sometimes we need a tangible object to hold on to. It will help you see the good in the lives of the people you love and in yourself.

You are amazing. You have survived the unimaginable with a gentleness in your heart. But right now that heart is breaking and I can feel it. I'm handing you a great big rubber band to put around your breaking heart.....a band that will let it beat and not just survive but thrive yet keep it from falling apart. If you look closely at that band it will look somewhat like a rubber "hug band". Let it hug your heart and let it reach out to hug Leo's heart as well.

You and Leo will be my prayers everyday and I will be here everyday in case you need a little heart hug.

gentle, gentle heart hugs............JennyB

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-07-2008
Mon, 02-09-2009 - 12:17am


i came here tonite exhausted and low and just so beaten down.