I was looking at old pictures today, pictures of Seth being born, Seth growing up, I literally have 30 gigs of pictures of my son, and I noticed that I have become a little bit calloused.
I've grown some barnacles around my heart over the last few years and I did so to prevent getting hurt further. I did it because Seth needed a strong mom and I had to be a strong mom. I did it because I had no other choice. It was either get through life or life would have eaten through me. So I built a few walls, a few defense systems that I wasn't even aware of until looking at those pictures.
You see those pictures show a very fragile Shanna. A Shanna before she knew what Down Syndrome, what raising a child, what running a house, what paying bills, what finishing school with a child with special needs, really meant. It was a Shanna before the broken one that sits before this laptop today. It was a Shanna that had no idea what was coming for her. It was a Shanna before her fiance of 10 years broke up with her for some other bitch. It was a Shanna that I both envy being and am entirely terrified to think about that point in my life again.
Because I look at this pictures and think, "Wow I knew nothing back then." And I am sure one day I will look at pictures from my daily life and think the same thing.
But what bothers me even more is that Shanna back then was one that let people in. She let people know that she was hurt, that she struggled, that she was terrified of life and didn't want to do it alone.
This Shanna that sits before you puts on an act. It's the "I got this" act. In fact those are words I use all of the time. I got this.
You know what? I don't fucking got this. I don't even remotely have this. I'm so lost at this moment in my life. I wish I knew what "got this" meant. If it means that I am finally at a place where I understand all of my sons emotional and medical and physical needs, then by all means yes I do "got this".
However if it means that I have any idea about life or what it all means or where it is all going - well then I definitely don't got this. I don't have anything.
Shanna now doesn't let people in. She tries. She really does. But not really. I mean how can you sum up 5 years of straight struggle and pain that never seems to end. How do I do that?
How do I at the end of the day do anything but feel like I just need to be stronger, just need to tough out one more day, just get through this one doctors appointment, this one conversation, this one second, just to move onto the next one?
How do I do it?
I build callouses. I'm so calloused. I go the ER with Seth and I think "oh this again, hey Hector". Hector is one of the head doctors at our local ER and knows Seth by name. Another doctors appointment - hey Dr. How is your wife/husband/kids? Callous. Just not really realizing the gravity of what I do on a daily basis. Not thinking that it really matters anymore. How can it when I've done it so many times before. See the specialists every 3-6 months and get more and more bad news. That's my life.
Another surgery/procedure. Sure I can do that. Sure why not? I don't cry anymore about them. It's like I wasted all my tears in the beginning and I can't do it anymore. I want to cry, I know I should cry, but I can't. I cry over the fact that I'm so hardened by this life.
I see babies and instead of joy I'm angry. I'm angry that I didn't have that experience with my child. I'm angry that instead of enjoying my child I have to constantly worry every second of every day for the rest of my goddamn life. I'm angry at teenage moms who have normal kids, I'm angry at moms who do drugs and drink and have perfect pregnancies.
I'm angry that I'm doing everything right and getting fucked over in the process. Wow this is such an angry blog, such an angry post. Such an angry Shanna. Such a really pissed off calloused woman.
I didn't intend this post to come out the way it did. I don't know what I intended but it wasn't this amount of hurt and anger.
I mean how do I let it all go? How do I start chipping away?
I mean I thought I had enough problems having the brother who committed suicide, the alcoholic father, the narcissistic mother, the fucked up family/childhood, the child with Down Syndrome, but then the one person I did have left me. And how do I not build callouses????? How do I even think of opening up the world of Shanna inside again?
I have no fucking clue. I really don't. Shit I don't know if the Shanna factory is opening for a very long time. I just want to go into a shell and never come out.
And many people will ask why I write this blog. Because I know somewhere in this vast world there is someone that feels EXACTLY like I do. That I'm not writing this in vain. That I might connect with someone who thinks "wow she gets me, I'm not alone". You aren't alone. I'm hurt, I'm suffering, I'm here, hi, I'm Shanna.
And ultimately it's therapeutic. If I write this one blog post and cry my whole way through it then I have gotten a weeks worth of tears out and can now move on to being strong another day. I can pick myself up tomorrow and deal with whatever it is that needs to be done, even if I can't do it tonight.