Wednesday, August 15, 2012
rationally, i know that it's the body's way of fighting infection. and i tell myself this, over and over when one of my children's foreheads heat up.
their little body is just healing itself, i say, taking deep breaths and reminding myself i am a pro at this, i've seen this many times before.
but i think, that is where my fear has sprung; the many, many times of doing this before that has traumatized me. i haven't always been someone who has anxiety, it has not always been a part of me. and though i now know how to talk myself out of it, how to surrender what i cannot control so that it does not control me....for a moment it grips me.
but fevers for my firstborn equated to seizures--multiple seizures--and screaming, and vomiting, and seemingly endless nights. two years of these nights, and many of them for weeks in a row. fevers meant bending an extremely tiny 3 1/2 month old body in half for a spinal tap. fevers meant hospital stays and non-stop beeping machines and specialists and worry.
i stuffed the worry down though, during those 2 years. i did not know how to voice my worry and my fear, did not know how to feel my way through it and climb over the top of it.
now it spikes up inside of me, all of those memories flashing through my brain as quickly as a light turning off and on over and over again, as i touch my daughter's unnaturally clammy forehead.
she is not him, now is not then, this is different. you are different.
not only that, but through it all--even when it was him, and it was then, and i was me--we were taken care of. we came out on the other side of it, with thankfully very little scars.
but my remaining scar is that what is routine for most moms, has the ability to hold me captive. it's frustrating and i'm hard on myself sometimes. when are you going to get over this? when have you seen your children through fevers and come through them healthy enough that it no longer takes you back to this place?
i don't have the answer for that. maybe never? i don't believe that, though. there have been other things i had anxiety over related to those two years that i no longer do. i have worked through them, surrendered them enough that eventually they have been carried away from me, my burden lightened, my fear released.
i know this will pass. i don't know when, but it has already lessened as years have gone on. and i will continue to see myself through it. remembering who is in control, who always has been.
so, i take a deep breath. feel her clammy forehead one more time. close my eyes.
here you go, it's yours now. you can carry this for me. i trust you.
then i turn, walk out of her bedroom, and close the door.