When kids are little, and all hell breaks loose, it’s developmentally normal to think whatever just happened is their fault. There’s all kinds of twists that journey can take….”Daddy wouldn’t xxxx if you weren’t a bad girl”….”Mommy wouldn’t xxx if you did/didn’t xxxxx“… A powerful burden some kids carry in silence, trying to keep things together so the world doesn’t fall apart. Sometimes acting out, other times acting like angels….
I was 30 years old when I heard the speaker say: “It wasn’t your fault-and, you didn’t deserve it.” They spoke to the kids/adults who kept asking themselves why; what they could have done different; what they did to deserve “it”. I never realized before how I’d stuffed/packaged it, but I guess I always figured if I tried harder, worked smarter, believed better, didn’t need anything , wasn’t a bother….it would have been different. My logical/rational/non-emotion admitting side, resonated with it. But the hidden, reserved, removed, guarded part of me, fell on my face before God and tearfully said “Thank you.” The questions remained as to why some things in life had been the way they were, but I could start letting go of thinking it was because I was defective or insufficient or had failed to measure up to the task.
Today, in the CCU, an angel in a nurse’s uniform gave me an explanation I didn’t think I would ever receive in this lifetime. She explained about the “elephant in our living room,” that had lived there undiagnosed and nameless for so long. It’s an illness- a biological/physiological malfunction. There is no medication or treatment that would have controlled it for long. The changing cycles were too rapid. It wasn’t our fault, but it wasn’t hers either. It’s just the way it was. Nothing has changed, but everything is different, understanding that she really couldn’t help it.
Today, I give thanks, and explain to my kids how grateful I am they have learned to live with grace and tolerance and love a somewhat challenging person who has loved them the best she could.