Most people assume that my little people are mine instead of the grandchildren that they actually are. This is usually assumed even before they hear them call me “Mommy”. While they are “mine” in the sense that they have been born out of my heart, through this process of raising them, I did not in fact give birth to them. Once people learn the truth and watch us together for any length of time, the most common response is, “ You must be so strong. I could never do what you are doing. “ Those that know of the on going difficulties that we have with their real mommy, my step daughter, pretty much say the same thing. First of all, I disagree, because I think that many people would do “this” if they were in the same circumstances. Secondly, if everyone knew how many times I want to throw in the towel and give up this fight because I get so damn tired, they would know that I am indeed not strong. They should know that the reasons for which I do "this" is because I have fallen madly in love with these two little creatures, that look at me with their big eyes and with the expectancy that I will take care of them.
Now that it has gotten cold here, my pain level, due to my neck and skull injury has increased greatly. When it gets to this point, it is hard for me to mask it. I try hard to not let it show but even my little man can see through the smiles on my face, that I am in great pain. My battle against pain will be life long and it’s a fact that I have come to accept. Those that know how I came to have this injury and see my struggles, have a hard time understanding how I can not only forgive the person who hurt me, but accept this pain as part of my life and then accuse me of being strong because they couldn’t do it. I disagree. I choose the path of forgiveness and acceptance so that I can still have a life, in spite of the pain. They should know that I always choose the path of forgiveness, because it is I, that has needed to be forgiven of so much. If they truly knew how many times I have given up behind the safety of the four walls of my bedroom, they would know that I am indeed not strong.
Last week, I went to see the therapist at the pain management program that I attend and on that day, I happened to be in extreme pain . After determining various factors for my increased pain, the therapist went on and on about how strong I am and how I needed to keep being strong. I cried all the way home because I am tired of trying to be something I am not…tired of taking credit for something I am not.
Later that same day, I had my yoga class and I contemplated not going. I had already missed a month of classes due to being gone on vacation and my pain levels being too high. I am new to yoga but have come to love it. I decided that the pain was not going to win this time and made myself go.
The yoga instructor is this amazing woman that has this gentleness and peacefulness about her. She is a high school teacher and does this class once a week, because teaching yoga is one of her passions. I only know her through this class and have only shared minuet details of my life with her. At the end of class I felt so much better and was thankful that I had made myself go. The instructor came to me shortly afterwards and gave me a hug. She then went on tell me that I had a been on her mind and that there was something she felt that she was suppose to share with me. She said “You must get tired of everyone telling you that you are strong or telling you to be strong.” ( I could not believe I was hearing this because she knows none of my struggles, other than that I am in pain!) She went on to say that she had a word for me and it is “resilient”. She told me to go home and look up it’s meaning. She then hugged me once again and I left. I cried the short trip home…this time for different reasons.
Of course I came home and looked up the meaning of resilient. This is what I found; Resilient: 1. Springing back; rebounding 2. Returning to the original form or position after being bent, compressed or stretched. 3. Recovering readily from illness, depression, adversity; buoyant
This, is my new word for myself. I am resilient! In the face of adversity, I have been in this process of returning to my “original form”, for a long time…part of me say’s that I have been trying to get to my original form or position, my whole life. When I have faced my own human frailties, whether it was as a young drug addict, as a pregnant 17 year old girl, or looking into the eye’s of an abuser, I have recovered from these adversities. Those things did not kill me, they made me better…they paved the road for where I walk now. I have been “bent, compressed and stretched” to my limits, and yet I have not allowed these things to stop me, instead I have continued to strive for something more…strived to get to the next place in this journey.
It’s being resilient that will get me through the pain of today and tomorrow. It’s being resilient that will get me through this grand-mommy gig I got going on. I don’t have to be strong anymore. Do you know how freeing this is for me? I just need to keep on being clothed in resiliency. It will get me to the next place. And when I get to the other side of these adversities, I will look back and see that this too, prepared me for what comes next. I am resilient, hear me roar!