Monday, November 22, 2010

Slipping Away

I need to learn to strip myself of the person I used to be, in a sense. I frantically hang on to that person. The person I was for the first 34 years of my life, the person who was much more physically, and emotionally available.

I was a person who had time, or would make time for family and friends, even if I didn't have it.  I was told many times that I was the glue that held my whole family together. I used to be able to do more, be there more, call more, and so much more.

Since the accident my role has been reversed, and I have fought it every step of the way.  I began to really notice a difference after Aviana came home from the hospital. Once we started her new program, it was glaringly obvious, like the brightest sun reflecting back into my eyes.  I could not see, but have been trying to make my way anyway.

As much as I want to be there for my family, friends, and so much more, I can't. I can't be anything like I was before. I have to learn to surrender, and finally only do what I know I can. This has been a hard pill to swallow. It feels completely selfish, on so many levels.

Sadly, I feel spread thin at all times. I feel like I am running on empty most times. The amount left in my tank to share with others is minimal.

Since our lives have no semblance of normal.....we miss out on so much. We cannot visit my dad in Tahoe. We cannot run out to our niece's softball game. We cannot go to friends' houses for dinner. We cannot do most things we used to. Therapy rules all.

My Aunt fell and shattered her ankle this past week, requiring an extensive surgery, coupled with an extended stay in the hospital.  I have not been able to be there at all.

I have to say, being almost absent is a terrible feeling, and one that I am not used to.

Sometimes people question therapy. I too, question the amount myself.  Many often wonder if we can just skip out.  I have gotten better about it, but the problem is; it is hard to stop, or take a day off, while seeing so many good results.

You know, to be honest, I feel it is beyond therapy at this point. I have a nurse to help out for goodness sake. My mind is on constant overload because of all normal things, and then Aviana, and Kama perched like two little cherries atop the normal sundae.

For so many reasons , I am not as good of a friend, and not anywhere near as good of a family member. I have such a hard time returning e-mails sometimes, and supporting my fellow blog buddies has become almost virtually impossible.

I am just physically, and emotionally spent, and this renders me somewhat useless.

I feel that Goo Gone has had its way with me, and I have lost my adhesive, sticky, goopy edge.


  1. I can't say I know just how you feel, because I don't. None of us really do. When things calm down, be it next year or three years from now, your family and friends will still be here by your side. We know that our job is to hang out on the sidelines, supporting you the best we can. *hugs*

  2. I have to say I do feel for you and what you are going through, but is there anything positive going on. You seem to focus a lot on the negative and I can only imagine how exhausting that can be. May be it would help if you sat down and wrote out some of the positives in your life. Reading your blog, it seems like there is no good to be found. Life can't move forward if one can't find something positive in their lives:)

  3. Disagree with Anonymous above - she sounds so preachy and negative. You are an amazing and very heartfelt writer. I don't know you and I can feel your positve energy and also how this terrible accident is affecting you so powerfully. You're very brave.

  4. Were you "good" glue or "bad" glue sweets?

    Let me explain....

    My sister, our family 'glue-er', left to live in India (of all the dangest places in the entire world God took their hearts to the other side of the world. sigh)

    I knew things would change...but had NO idea how much.

    It became obvious that family should not need 'glue'.

    It should just be.

    Friends should not need ONE person who glues them together. It should be a team effort.

    I hope your friends and family see this post.

    I hope they comfort you and say, "hey girl...I'll be "Elmer" until you feel better..." and you can then release this guilt...that you should not be carrying.

    My instincts tell me you are an immense people-pleaser.

    Now...your "people" is: Aviana and your husband.

    Let the emails go, let the blog friends understand, your family totally gets it, if friends fall away then true colors came through (sad to say)

    Spread thin is a rough place to be - daily. I feel spread thin oh so often. For reasons other than yours...but then nonetheless.

    I think this "thin-ness" is God's way of teaching me to lean on others (uh-hem...I am a recovering control freak), to learn that everything doesn't have to be perfect (uh-hem I am a recovering perfectionist)....

    God I refined me into someone more approachable. I don't know that you needed to be more approachable...I seriously doubt it :) But, this "slipping away" ....

    well...slipping implies the need to stand back up.

    When you are able to stand back up, luv, you will be a person who you never knew you could be....I never expected to be a better person after my horrible accident...and not that I am "there"...but I see it on the horizon....

    It's okay to slip ..... we'll help stand you back up.

    ( anonymous...please shut yer mouth. gracias.)


  5. Hey first Anonymous, have you BEEN in Jen's shoes? I don't think you have. I don't think you've had your life ruled by something that you have no control over. Like Jen so eloquently just said in her blog, she feels helpless and is seeing that she is having to ask for help now. That's really "kind" of you to kick her while she's down, you must be so proud of yourself. For the record, you cannot even come close to imagining what she is going through or what she will continue to go through for the rest of her life so please, go bitch on someone else's blog. I can't imagine how miserable you are for you to come on here and have the cajones to tell Jen that she's being too negative.

    Jen, those of us that are your real friends, cyber or physical, don't mind that you don't return emails, calls or comments, we all support you and can't imagine what you are going through and we are here for you. Unfortunately there are assholes out there who think they know best.

    Love you.

  6. Yeah...I have to say I don't agree with that comment, either. It is easy to say when you're anonymous. You have every right to cry it out when you need to. (Or scream, or kick, or tell the tbi to F off!)

  7. I'm sorry you have to deal with such hurtful comments on top of everything! Nothing like kicking a person that is already down(or about to be there).

    Keep on keepin' on. Do what you can and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. If someone offers something, take them up on it...even if it's just them swinging by with a cup of coffee or a pizza.

    You are an AWESOME mommy!!!

  8. PS...this is Cameo's friend, Holly.

    You can disable Anonymous comments. I'm not sure how but I know Cameo will know.

  9. Can Judgemental and Arrogance be more clueless and wrong! Its amazing (and tragic) that two people can read the same narrative and see things so differently. Most see a wonderful young woman struggling through a very difficult time in her life. A person that, despite the seemingly endless pain and heartache, is able to look at her suffering and pine for a time when she was more able to give to her family and friends. Most see this “reflectiveness” as one of many qualities we love. Then, there are those that see this person as dwelling on the negative. Thank goodness that the great majority of us know you for who you are. Good thing for this world that most of us default on sensitivity and compassion rather than judgement. Here is an encore of support and love!

  10. Jenn..
    I dont know you personally but I can tell from your blog that you are an AMAZING mother & a very brave woman.. true friends wont care that you dont return emails or phone calls.. you are being so hard on yourself.. you are an inspiration...
    dont let nasty comments get you down.. people are such jackasses.... (i was being nice :)

  11. I would just like to weigh in here and say that as I have read along and gotten to know my friend Jen that I've been amazed by her and Dave's ability to NOT dwell on the negative. Jen I love you girl and as you loose your sticky goopy edge please know that others will understand. And those that may expect you to be just as available as you always were may just have to be left behind. You are an amazing mama and a truly exceptional person even if your elmer like ways are a bit less sticky. It is so hard to shed a former self and become a new you. Have a wonderful thanksgiving big giant hugs from the Delap's

  12. HiYou are allowed to be human and let yourself feel all your feelings, its okay. The great thing about life is tomorrow is a new day with lots of promise and hope. Take this time for yourself to heal, the world will be right there for you when you are ready. Lots of love, mayra

  13. I know I can't imagine what you are going through. The only thing I have in common is being a wife and mother (eight) and having adopted (five...four from Guatemala). I did also have a situation in my life that was very difficult, though only to me and not health related. I rebelled and fought it no end. I could not change the situation, and that made me very angry. My situation eventually changed, though not for about five years. But I know Aviana's prognosis is uncertain. I can't imagine having such a thing happen to one of my children.

    I see you as a very strong woman, but also one in circumstances which are very difficult, must often be overwhelming situation. I agree with others that friends who can't see this as such, who might feel offended that you don't have the time for them, just aren't even trying to put themselves in your shoes. Those probably won't be the friends who are waiting for you at the place where you one day have more free time for them.

    You probably can't see it for what it is, but you are one shining example of committment, both you and each other and to Aviana. That is true love. Love is not romance or feelings or gooey stuff. It can include those things. But love is a verb, doing for someone what they need to become the best they can be. And that you are both doing for Aviana. She does deserve your best, and those of us who are even just blog readers can see that you are giving your all for her. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't take some breaks, treat yourself to adult conversations, etc. But if you believe in your hearts that this therapy is the best for your daughter, then for this time in your life....until you might feel there are other options or this taken her as far as it will, you are living your life for an extremely valuable purpose!

    I'm sure there must be times you still question why this had to happen, why you, etc. Who wouldn't. But I think life is so much more than we human tend to think it is. It's about more than our comfort or happiness, what we have or enjoy. I'm sorry you are forced to see it so much more clearly than many of us. There's no fairness to this. But I do believe strongly in Romans 8:28, that God can work all things to good, when we trust Him. I hope that doesn't sound like someone just spouting scripture at you. It's easy to say, but I have also seen it true in my life when my family lost my sister-in-law (age 52) and then my dear brother four years later (age 56). Why would God have my two nephews (grown) and my niece (two wks shy of high school graduation) become "orphans?" But I have seen some good come from all of us being reminded that life is short and that we all need God. My sister and I were never as close as we are now, so I see that as some good God brought out of a very sad situation He allowd to come into our lives. Again, I hope this makes sense and doesn't make you feel like I'm "preaching". I'm not, but sharing what I've seen come from sadness and loss.

    Take care of yourselves, too. Aviana needs two healthy parents, loving committed to her and to each other.

    Nancy in the Midwest

  14. I think you are amazing, everyday I think of you and all you do and are going through and I do not know how you do it! You are the bravest woman I "know".

  15. Awww Cuz... you're breakin' my heart again. First...try to let go of the guilt. It's just wearing you down, and in my opinion, it's unnecessary...Your family and friends will always be here for you. We love you unconditionally!

    It's totally ok to look at the old Jen and yearn deeply for what once was....but try to embrace the amazing, phenomenal, new Jen that you've become.

    I agree with (almost) everything said above...especially the person who said to take breaks. I cannot BELIEVE that the Institute has not incorporated that into the program! How are you suppose to continue to take such GREAT care of Avi if you and Dave wear yourselves soooo thin in the process? You're human. You need a break. Take one. I know it's easier said than done...but take one and don't feel guilty about it. I hate to see you guys killing yourselves. Avi is going to be all better one day and she'll have these old, shriveled-up parents. What good is that? I'm just saying!!! Ok, I'm done (sorry for venting).

    Love you, Cuz!


  16. sorry to post & run.....i don't have a minute to spare to tell u all that is on my mind.......but i too agree with almost all that's been said.

    (anonymous #1 have u never heard of IF YOU CAN'T SAY SOMETHING NICE.....geez!)

    i agree with ur cuz especially!!! u & dave need to take breaks! in my world it's known as 'RESPITE' ....if there's any chance of you taking advantage of a respite program you definitely should if there's none in your area then depend on family and friends to give you that little can't be strong for avi and each other unless you take the time to 're-group' and 're-energize'

    as for being that glue.......your friends and especially your family all know what's going on and no one expects you to be super-woman and do it all.....your MAIN FOCUS is on aviana and her therapy.....when she is healed (and we know she will be) THEN you can refocus on the rest of us!

    and anyone who can't 'wait' for however long it might take....they were never true to begin with!

    (ok i started writing this 'short' note this morning and kept being pulled away to other things.......but all day long a song has been in my head:
    The road is long
    With many a winding turn
    That leads us to who knows where
    Who knows where
    But I'm strong
    Strong enough to carry him
    He ain't heavy, he's my brother
    and on we go....

    let US be there to carry you.....obviously we can't be there to help with all of the day-to-day things but you say the word and we are here to help you any way we can spiritually emotionally ain't heavy, you my friend)

  17. Who are all these anonymous people??? Jen, I sorta-kinda know how you feel. At least I used to, and I go through times like that off and on. But you are soooo right, you need to try to find a way to be okay with what type of mom, daughter, friend, etc. you are now. Anyone who truly loves you, and is trying to understand your life right now, will also understand you are not so "sticky" anymore. In fact, maybe it's good to be more like rubber these days...let things bounce off of you...

  18. Hey Jen -

    I came back here hoping that you had found something "uh-hem" positive to say about the first anon poster...laff.

    I know...fueling the fire...I'm a heathen.

    BUT...if you feel the need to "vent" tonight...Can you please to it to "Anon #1" cuz I just wanna be here when it all goes down!

    High-Fives on the 4 day cooking thing...Our Tye (special needs China) is on a severely restricted diet. Not quite as severe or scheduled as your baby's but it is a constant constant constant struggle. And, we despise cooking. We are 'restaurant people'....not so much anymore. ugh

    He can't eat what the other four eat. It makes me mad, sad, and angry. My heart breaks when he asks for something he used to love but now we know he just can't tolerate.

    Sorry to x-comment...I should SO know better blog etiquette than this :)