Yup it exists…Parenting PTSD. I think those of us who live in the special needs parent world can tell you all about it. There are so many reasons it exists and it takes a toll. I am writing about it tonight not to whine but to explain my anger at times. You see the anger is what will fuel me through moments that I never imagined I would live through. When I became a parent I never thought I would willingly take on terminally ill children. Of course back in those golden days I never imagined my life as it is now in any way. I am often spoken to about how my blog comes off. Okay yup at times I name names and get ANGRY. I named and called out Budweiser in a few of my posts. Yup I sure did. I have to have an outlet for my anger at times. I take it whether everyone agrees with it or not. I don’t expect Budweiser to be responsible for everyone and their issues. But I do want them to take their own motto to heart “Drink Responsibly”. Okay well sell responsibly too. STOP SELLING TO ILLEGAL OUTLETS…that would be the responsible thing to do…Okay I am digressing again.
So Parenting PTSD… I can tell you where mine started. Have any of you held a child while they were dying? Have you had to give them permission to let go even as you want to scream to the high heavens that this isn’t right and you don’t mean it? That is where mine started. Holding a baby who never asked to be harmed the way she was. Watching her fight to stay alive and gently whispering that it was okay if she was tired. That I understood she needed to go. I was so lying. I didn’t want her to stop her fight…I didn’t understand why she needed to go. I still don’t. I say all the right things when asked about how I know her pain is finally over and it is best BUT I AM A LIAR. I cry at night wanting one more moment to hold her and tell her I wish I had done better. That I had known how to fight for her. That I would give up anything for her to be here and to be whole. But I can’t. I got through it and thought okay wow I will never do that again…OH NEVER SAY NEVER MAMA. Flash forward to holding another girl and watching her fight a losing battle. The code team saying at least let her mom say goodbye. I was frozen all I could see was that first baby who passed and I felt like I was losing my mind. I couldn’t do this. I could not be here again. This was all a dream. Watching them fight to get her back. She had coded every single day for almost 2 weeks but they had always gotten her back. Knowing that this time they weren’t. I walked over and all I could reach with all of them in there was her toes. They were ice cold and felt like wax. Again I muttered what I thought I had to. It is okay I know you fought hard but you can let go now. I will be okay. I knew it was a lie I was still not okay from losing J. How would I survive this? I stood there praying God please know I can’t. Please know I am literally holding a fraying thread right now. Those pitying looks and the people talking outside the door of how the doctor knew me and that’s why they still tried. How I was the foster mother who took the hard kids and so they tried harder…How sad it was that her birth mom had done this through alcohol and drugs. I wanted to lose it and say all the things that were swimming in my head. I heard a beep. Another beep and then the man yelling I have a heart beat. 10, 25, 40 and the count was on. I don’t remember falling or people trying to get me in a chair. I know I had a massive panic attack and had to have help calming down. God gave me more time with Ari. We enjoy every day but the PTSD hits when she goes back on machines. I have nightmares every night about losing a child again. Flash forward a year.
Hearing my daughter call for help. Running out to the barn and thinking it was yet another practical joke. Seeing him hanging there and realizing this is not a joke and then it was all far away. The entire world disappeared for me as I finally lost myself. I don’t even remember being moved from place to place but know I was as I went from my home to the hospital. I kept asking God why? Hadn’t we given enough? I lost numerous babies in utero. I thought after that maybe I got some sort of free pass…but boy it wasn’t showing up. The doctor and nurses I knew so well coming up to say that there was nothing that could be done. His brain was so severely damaged that there was just nothing to work with. That he was totally brain dead. What did we want to do. Trying to explain where my husband was and trying to ask about my other kids. Telling the kids it was okay to say goodbye. Trying to understand what happened in that 10 minutes he went outside. Learning about the choking game and that it had stolen yet another piece of my heart and soul. Three years later I cannot go to our barn. I know it is unhealthy. I know I must. I know that I cannot live in the past and have to understand that through the silliest of things my son is gone. He watched a movie and had to try it. This is so common with people who are prenatally exposed. I understand all of this in theory but my heart doesn’t.
So I say I give myself a free pass. I get to get pissed and I honestly don’t care who says differently. I don’t whine about it. I try to not even share it and remain positive all the time. I am most days. I have to be. See when I say I am fighting for my kids futures I mean it. We have to be able to do better. I know I have to try to do better. I failed in so many ways. I wasn’t there in that 10 minutes and for the rest of my life I will live with that. I wasn’t able to protect my kids in utero when they most needed me. So see if my rants or my messages stop ONE woman from making the mistakes that my kids birth moms made then they were worth it. I want to note. I don’t blame the birth moms. ALL of my kids birth moms were prenatally exposed also and they did the very best they could. I know that and so I cry for them too as they have lost as much as I have and MORE…I have to direct my anger somewhere and so I try to direct it into energy for change. I hope that no child will ever suffer. They shouldn’t have to. I was recently verbally attacked by a woman who said she would drink if she wanted to it was her body. Dang right lady. My response was that she needs to truly research and decide what damage she is okay with her child having. Then she can decide when to drink and when not. Who gives voice to the right of that child? IF you want to drink and spout it’s your body….good for you. DON’T GET PREGNANT.