Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Side of the Story

When John started his John and Kate plus POTS blog I was worried that I would not have much to contribute that would stay positive. I have a lot of anger and sadness and frustration and hopelessness at times. But I have to say we have come so far. I would be doing a great disservice to our family if I didn’t acknowledge the hard work we have all done.

I came into Sarah and Loreena’s lives when their parents were separated. I had know their father years before and at the time I had no idea if I’d be a permanent part of their life or just a passing through kind of friend. It was a really hard time. Sarah was struggling with seizures and finding the right medication at age 7 and Loreena was 4 and had her own struggles with speech and conveying her already abstract and complicated world view.

We all hung together through thick and thin and both girls overcame a great deal of difficulties and problems and their father and I did too. Not all of our problems, but some really big ones. But the underlying theme always seemed to be that Sarah was sick with one weird thing after the other. I would call my family back home in Iowa from the ER and they’d say “again!?!” I have been in the ER more with these guys in the last 8 years then in the rest of my life combined. It became kind of a joke that if anyone was going to get something it would be Sarah; the rare sickness, the anomalous symptoms.

Through it all her resilience amazed me. She kept plugging away at school and physical activities and friendships and even boys (karma has not forgotten my own teenage woes). When her health started to decline 2 years ago we chalked it up to growing pains, teen angst, and lingering illness which was always a problem for her. She just never seemed to get well. And then we started the cycle of symptoms that would eventually lead us to POTS syndrome.

As a step mother is it torture for me to see them in pain, either physical or emotional and not be able to help either by determining a better course of action (that’s not my decision to make) or even just by comforting them (don’t want to step on anyone’s toes). It’s a struggle for a problem solver like me to find diplomatic ways of persuading the players to look at things from a different point of view and satisfy the nurterer in me as well.

I eventually came to see that I have a place in this complex puzzle. I can’t say I have totally accepted it but I recognize my role. I was raised with parents and extended family that are highly skilled in the art of unconditional love. That is a quality that I know I can provide for these two beautiful girls and their Dad if only I can let go of the need to have a influence in the outcome. I need to accept that my influence is passive. Sarah needs support for strengths and comfort. She needs to understand that everyone is fighting for her best interests and that no one wants to fight against her. Loreena needs to know that we are all just as worried about her as we are about Sarah. POTS syndrome effects the entire family and how you interact and what you do together. It sucks the life out of the person who has it and everyone who loves them. John needs some clarity of thought and unconditional support when everything around him is falling apart.

That’s me. The Goddess of Unconditional Love. Those of you who know me can hear the sarcasm in my voice. How can I explain that while it comes naturally, it also goes against my perfectionism and critical tendencies? I am only human after all. I am really trying.

1 comment:

  1. I think both girls are lucky to have you and John in their lives. Two people who are fighting for them so they can have the best lives possible.