I sit here at the computer, with tears threatening to come. Tears of joy. Of hope and thanksgiving. I feel lighter than I have in such a long time. I often feel that the last 10 years have been lived in the shadows, shadows that threatened every day to overcome me. My sister’s sudden death, the adoption, B and and years of torture and pain, M and S and their own RAD issues, insomnia and health issues, my parents and nursing homes and dad’s passing. But today was a good day. How few of those there have been. Why was it a good day? It felt NORMAL. NORMAL sibling irritations, NORMAL attitude and school issues, NORMAL schedule interruptions, NORMAL errands, NORMAL dinner. What does that mean to a RAD mom? Everything. Moments of veiled anger or frustration. Moments. Not days or years but moments. A little strong sitting, a little trampoline, a few conversations and things are better. Am I in a dream? After years of pain with B I often wondered if M and S would ever truly heal. I still have days of fear for their future, exhaustion from constant therapeutic parenting. But there are days that I am JUST a mom. No therapy, no wracking my brain for new strategies, no darkness threatening to overwhelm. Just me. And my kids. And NORMAL life. With its NORMAL ups and downs and challenges and feelings.
I grieve for the lost years when it felt like all I did was survive. I have moments of joy now. Joy at just being. Gratitude for all our blessings. I’m not oblivious that this is how it will always be. But I was reading through my old journals about the darkest days and I realize that it was okay to just survive. I hadn’t read them in six years because I didn’t want to remember those excruciating times. But I need to in order to realize that healing has taken place, that our prayers 10 years ago have been answered, not in any way we imagined, but in ways that only God knew when we started this journey. My prayer is that in some small way I can offer hope to the many moms who blog and share their deepest fears and grief in parenting wounded children. I have been there. To the depths of darkness, I have been there. When there was no light in the tunnel, we survived. God was always there holding my hand. I see children now who still question and hurt and struggle and lack trust. But there is healing in this house! I have moments of actually enjoying my RADishes, of forgetting what’s gone before and living for now. God is good.