HELP EMMA'S DREAM'S COME TRUE
I will start out this letter with thank you, because, indeed, that is where it will end as well. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to strengthen my resolve, to reinforce my purpose and boundaries. You are in part, in an odd sort of way, a catalyst to our success in healing our daughter.
Having said that, I chose to let you hurt me AGAIN today. Yep. I did. Though you will never know it, this has happened many times in the past 13, going on 14 years.
I really liked you. I wanted a deep meaningful relationship with you, one that would stand the test of time and life's trials.
I miss the pre child you. I really miss the pre-autism you. You remember her? The one that would speak directly to me? The one that was nice to me? Yea, that one. That's the one I miss.
But, but but, you say, in self righteous indignation.... you have changed too! You are right, I must confess. I used to participate in the world the way YOU thought I should... I wrote thanks you's and I kept obligations consistently. Ones I didn't really want to, but I thought I should , and you did too. I participated in many an activity for the sake of the relationship.... I believed I had to. And you were pleased. I was the person you wanted me to be, and I did what you wanted, and you were happy.
But then...... sick, sick, sick screaming in pain with no help from doctors baby happened. She took priority. I no longer cooperated, over and over again with your picture of how the world should be...... and then autism came, and more medical issues. My world not only became small, but I put limits on things to protect my girl, to protect and preserve that small, minuscule really , shred of energy I had left after caring for Emma. That small nugget that often times keeps me sane. BOY, were you unhappy. Really really unhappy. Angry. And it was ALL. MY. FAULT, or so you thought.
But I, who values kindness, who oh so badly wanted this relationship, kept reaching out. The picture in my mind is a puppy going back to be kicked again and again. Not physically, and less and less often as the years went by, but I kept going back. Because deep down that little girl inside me wanted you to like me.. to love me really. To understand how much I was doing for my girl. It didn't even matter after a bit if you agree with me, I just wanted you to respect me. That was not to be.
Today, in a small way, I reached out to you again. And again, I got kicked. It's subtle with you, passive aggressive for sure. You could deny it all and probably will. But I knew. And I let It hurt me to the core. Tears not far from the corners of my eyes, and years of hurt unfurled. I am not gonna lie, I cried. I cried for our walks, I cried for our fun times. I cried for what is not to be. I cried that to heal my daughter, I must now let you go.
But then..... I dried my tears and I set you... and me free. I don't want to see you anymore, and I still love you. I've learned over the past 13 years it really truly isn't about me. My pain today was ALLL about me. But what you do or don't do, isn't about me at all. It's about you. I believe that by not respecting, or even heaven forbid trying to understand my girl, you have missed out terribly. I did not.
I put ( and continue to put) in the time, effort and energy needed to heal my daughter. I got to feel the THRILL of her eating her very first sandwich at age 7. I got to cheer when she FINALLY at age 3 ran to meet her father at the door after work because she was finally excited to see him. I got see her stand in a crowd of kids before her cross country meet.... and know what absolutely pivotal moments these were. I get to revel, as I write now, in her giggling in her room with one of her best friends. These are extraordinary moments, and I know it.
I wish you the very, very best. Please know that. I see how unhappy you are, how you feel I and life in general have not cooperated with your plan. I hope find your way to peace and happiness. I really do wish that for you. I love you...... but now, FINALLY..... I love me more. I won't let anyone treat me the way you have in the past few years. I love you... but I don't need you to love me anymore. Ohhhhhhh, thank you! Thank you thank you, for today! For your reaction to my kindness. Because it helped me see just how much I don't need you to love me, and I will not be treated the way you treat me. I am sure our paths will cross, they are destined to in a small community. You can rest assured I will be kind to you, and I will still love you. But I will not allow you to treat me the way you have previously.
In closing, as in starting this letter, I want to express my deep gratitude. Because every time I let you hurt me... and you will never know just how many times that has been.... I decided to be stronger. I became more determined. I consciously chose my daughter and myself over the expectations of you and the world.
And I am blessed beyond measure for it.
So thank you.
Wishing you the very best, the most happiness.
Ellen is a counselor, educator and Biomedical and Son-Rise mom extraordinaire. She has many years of experience in public, private, "typical " and special needs educational settings, as well as extensive training as an Option Process® Mentor Counselor through The Option Institute in Sheffield, Massachusetts, sister organization of the Autism Treatment Center of America
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