Truth Telling: I See You.

Christa Doran Uncategorized 25 Comments

I fumble clumsily in the dark, trying get my alarm to silence, pull my sweatshirt over my head and check in… what is my truth today? Too early, I decide. Coffee first. A piping hot dark roast with just enough cream is filled to the brim of my favorite insulated mug and I snuggle up with a blanket and a new book for a quiet hour before my day begins.

Ninety minutes later the rush has set in and I am caught up in a tornado of lunches and winter weather gear, checking the boxes in my head to ensure everyone has what they need before heading out for the day. Keira’s arms are full of things she wants to take “on the ride” as if we are heading out on a weeklong road trip. I remind her it is just ten minutes to school but she insists, and I cave, with a sigh. Hold this please momma, she instructs as she goes to get her bright blue sneakers off the shelf. I take one of the objects in her hand, trying my hardest not to look too closely… not to soak it in She notices my behavior and provides another instruction, LOOK at it momma. I glance at the picture collage and my heart starts to crack, my eyes start to fill. Not today. I have things to do today, meetings to engage in and a long list of things that need my focus. I cannot sit in this today.

The sun has come and gone and here we are again. That is the beautiful and brutal thing about life. The worst thing you can imagine happens, and the next day, the sun rises, you realize it was not a nightmare, again… and the world goes about their business.

You don’t want it to. You feel as if the earth should stop spinning on its axis and split down the middle, as it to take part in your unbearable pain. But no. Life marches on and the Instagram feed continues to be filled with birthday’s, proposals, weddings, new babies, celebrations, family vacations and what feels like one million reminders of what you don’t have. Anymore.

Last night a “Facebook friend” and fellow DIPG mom posted about it being her son’s birthday. He would have been nine. I had a moment for her, imagined her pain, offered up a prayer for peace, and typed three words in the box. I see you.

Some might have wondered why I would write such a thing. To me, I see you, lets her know I am bearing witness to the painful and horrible events that are unfolding in her life, and allows her pain to be hers. Yes, I could have written, I know exactly what you are going through. Hang in! Stay strong! But I didn’t. Because I don’t. And also, because that is not helpful. Ever. At all. That post was about her, and her son, her family and her pain… not mine. I see you, allows it to be hers, but also lets her know that she is not alone. Because it sure does feel lonely, as the world continues on and you are left looking down at what feels like the broken remains of your life.

We all have pain. Sharing it makes us feel less alone. It lets us know that there are others out here under the waves, being crushed by big rocks, trying to make it to another day. Our rocks are different. They vary in weight and size, and we truly don’t know how it feels to be under that exact rock. Remember that the next time you are ready to tell someone you know how they feel, or you know exactly what they are going through. Because you don’t. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bear witness to their struggle and let them know, I am here. I got you.

Thank you for sharing your pain with me. I was overwhelmed by the honesty and courage in your stories. I read them with tears streaming down my face, whispering to the screen, I see you.

I write to you from the glider I nursed all three of my babies in. The place you will find me every other night, when it is my “turn” to sit with Keira while she falls asleep, something we have struggled with since the rose colored glasses hit the ground and shattered into unfindable pieces.

Keira went to bed one night and Lea was there, sleeping. The next day Lea was gone and never came back. I might imagine that would create a feeling of fear and uncertainly in a four year old. And so, here I glide, writing my truths.

Hi, I’m Christa. Today I feel tired in every sense of the word. My body is tired, my mind is tired, my soul is tired, my spirit is tired, every part of me is tired. Today, my grief feels as if I am being pinned under a large rock. The weight of the boulder is there all of the time, but several times a day, a smaller rock pierces me and adds to the pain. Every morning I wake and pray that today is the day the rock will be lifted. I am hopeful that day will come soon. It always does. The waves pull you down and hold you under, but eventually, you come up for air. Hopefully tomorrow, there will be some air.

Your turn.

xo

Christa

Comments 25

  1. Hi, I’m Ashleigh. I have been following your posts since you began them and your strength helps me to stay strong too. I have a 3 year and an almost 5 year old, both girls. I am married but my marriage has been struggling for quite some time and I doubt my choices every day of my life. Both of my daughters also have several food allergies which has made simple activities like birthday parties, holidays, outings… very stressful. My older daughter has to start kindergarten in the fall and I worry every day that I will send her to school and she will have an allergic reaction and I will never forgive myself if something happens to her. I am also afraid to homeschool her and do an inadequate job or cause her to have social problems. I worry every day about the future. I take medication for anxiety and depression and do every type of self care I can think of and afford. Some days, I feel pretty strong. Some days, I don’t. Today, I don’t. Today, I struggled to get dressed. I really wanted to just sleep all day. I got up because my kids need me and I take care of them. I clean my house because they deserve a clean house, I am home with them all day while my husband works and then I go to work until 11pm to provide for them. I know mothers do those things. That’s what we do. But some days, like today, it really drains me and takes everything I have just to keep showing up. But I will show up and I won’t stop. But damn, it’s hard sometimes.
    Thank you for all you share, Christa. I see you.

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  2. My name is Dan. My daughter was diagnosed with cancer when she was just 16months old, still a baby. I couldn’t understand why this could happen and decided to never ask myself why again because it just hurt too bad to know I’d never have an answer. Ive witnessed things that she went through that no parent should ever see her child go through.

    I needed a way to get my mind off of things so I did what I always do whenever I’m hurt; I decided to dedicate my time to help other going through exactly what I and my family was going through. Our family had changed so much the minute she was diagnosed. What stood out the most is that we didn’t smile nearly as much as we did, if at all. I knew that if I could somehow make other families smile that it would make me smile as well, especially where I really needed it most, on the inside.

    I set out to provide smiles to these families. We’d raise money to send them to all sorts of places so they could feel that elusive sense of “normal”. Week by week I met child after child and parent after parent, all of them just like me; full of pain, anxiety and sadness. I saw some of the most beautiful smiles. Smiles that broke right through the unimaginable pain these complete strangers were suffering through.

    At first I loved it as their smiles were making me smile. I soon realized I was only smiling on the outside. My pain didn’t go away. If anything, my pain grew because I became connected and felt what these families were going through. I wish I could do more so they wouldn’t have to go back to the pain. The smiles help but only for a moment.

    I’ve seen children I’ve met pass away, I’ve seen them relapse and I’ve seen cured. I love what I do but sometimes, well most times, it kills me on the inside. I can’t stop now and I don’t want to stop but it hurts so bad.

    I see you too.

  3. I see you and will wait for you at the rock hoping I can help you lift it, even if only briefly this time. Meanwhile, my love and prayers are with you daily.

  4. My name is Dan. My daughter was diagnosed with cancer when she was just 16months old, still a baby. I couldn’t understand why this could happen and decided to never ask myself why again because it just hurt too bad to know I’d never have an answer. Ive witnessed things that she went through that no parent should ever see her child go through.

    I needed a way to get my mind off of things so I did what I always do whenever I’m hurt; I decided to dedicate my time to help other going through exactly what I and my family was going through. Our family had changed so much the minute she was diagnosed. What stood out the most is that we didn’t smile nearly as much as we did, if at all. I knew that if I could somehow make other families smile that it would make me smile as well, especially where I really needed it most, on the inside.

    I set out to provide smiles to these families. We’d raise money to send them to all sorts of places so they could feel that elusive sense of “normal”. Week by week I met child after child and parent after parent, all of them just like me; full of pain, anxiety and sadness. I saw some of the most beautiful smiles. Smiles that broke right through the unimaginable pain these complete strangers were suffering through.

    At first I loved it as their smiles were making me smile. I soon realized I was only smiling on the outside. My pain didn’t go away. If anything, my pain grew because I became connected and felt what these families were going through. I wish I could do more so they wouldn’t have to go back to the pain. The smiles help but only for a moment.

    I’ve seen children I’ve met pass away, I’ve seen them relapse and I’ve seen cured. I love what I do but sometimes, well most times, it kills me on the inside. I can’t stop now and I don’t want to stop but it hurts so bad.

    I see you

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  5. I see you, I hear you, and I appreciate you.
    My father took his life 27 years ago when I was 26. But you know what? I missed him before he left this Earth. I remember being as young as 8 knowing my father was there physically but never could be emotionally. I waited since as young as I could understand suicide for my dad to leave me permanently and never be on this Earth again. I have done much healing, but still, that little girl comes out at times. Thank you for letting that little girl cone out tonight through this 53 year old woman who still longs for her dad to have been there for her. thanks for being that safe place to express this feeling of deep grief 💔

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  6. Christa- I have been following your journey,and memories,like scenes from an old movie reel, play through my mind. I was the big sister-many years ago,that lived through an unthinkable loss. I know the fathoms of grief and pain… and the seed with roots that has been planted in your broken heart…
    I see you.
    I have been seeing you.
    Praying for you and your your loves.

  7. I see you. Each time I read your words through tears, I try to find words, any words that may comfort you and help you through the darkness…..I can’t seem to find anything so profound so all I can say, all I can think is your precious Lea is smiling and resting in the arms of our Blessed Mother who will care for her as only She can. That’s all I’ve got..but hugs and prayers always.

  8. Your Lessons are so heartfelt, heartbreaking and amazing! You are so truthful and are helping so many people deal with, understand and realize all emotions are ok from their grief. From you I have learned more about how to comfort someone who is grieving. We pray for you and your family daily. Hugs!

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