Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The post I wasn't sure I would write

h in the snow fuji100 land340

Though I attempt to keep some parts of my life private here I feel like I actually share quite a bit. This past year was a roller coaster full of dramatic ups and downs for my family and myself.

So when I was brought to my knees with news this Fall I thought to myself that it would definitely be going to the blog. Because that is just something I do. Its a way for me to work through it, not unlike therapy. Only it didn't. I kept it balled up tightly only sharing with a select few. I cried. A lot. Mostly alone. I didn't let anyone help and I didn't reach out.

Tracey Clark's recent post about breaking her blog silence helped me realize that I can share this. I want to be able to share my hurts in a way that inspires others to reach out. I want to help others feel not so alone. Only right now I can't seem to muster a sparkly post about how to do that.

I am a mother. With that comes worry, pain, fear, love, heartache, stress, sleepless nights, giggles, homework, band-aids, adventure and so much more. When I learned that my daughter: My beautiful, spirited, unique child was recently diagnosed with Aspergers I was heartbroken. The words opened a long festering wound of worry and guilt. Yes I am fully aware how many other more challenging conditions there are in this world and I am grateful. But still there was a deep mourning period I had to go through. I had to let go of what I was hoping her childhood would look like. I had to let go of the picture I had created in my head for her. I have to allow her to be herself fully and truly and resolve to help her navigate this world in her own unique way. Which is a journey all mothers take.

There is nothing wrong with her nor will there be. I don't like the thought of attaching a label to her one bit so I will do my best not to. I will be an advocate for her with her schooling and find ways to help her as much as I can. Most of all I will stop beating myself up over the fact that we didn't catch on sooner. I always was hoping that maybe her sensitives were just that and we would get through it. We rode the roller coaster of anxiety for years. Tip toeing through challenges. Mostly we just stopped doing things that she could not do. Like going to movies or being outside when it was windy. Part of this new understanding comes acceptance and a willingness to not push so hard. To allow her to be where she is right now and find some outside support for all of us.

I'm realizing I am not super mom. I never really thought I was doing a stellar job but never asked for help either. I never admitted how difficult life was for us at times. How much shame and guilt I went to bed feeling every night. Those are the things that are harder to break free of.

I wasn't sure what direction the words would go once I started typing. I can't say that I feel ready to be uplifted by all of this just yet but at least with knowledge comes relief. We have a direction now, one that is missing the uncertainty we had before. That feels better.

Thank you all for seeing me and witnessing my ups and downs this past year. It has been quite a ride. One that I am ready to transform this year into with a lot more revelry and a heck of a lot less worry.


  1. Sometimes we need silence, room to find ourselves in the midst of chaos. May 2013 bring the answers and love that you need.

  2. None of us can be Super Mom all of the time but Celina, you are an amazing mother who loves her daughter --- and there isn't a child out there who wouldn't be lucky to call you mom. You are so very brave and real -- and if all that rubs off on Hailee -- she will be far ahead of most. Thank you for sharing something so difficult here - as always I am humbled by your words, your grace, and your truth. We all look up to you today.

  3. The gifts you will help her give the world are going to be huge. I send care and support your way.


  4. You are the best Mom, I wished I had your personality and did half the job you have done, and with all of your artistic talents, it is I who look up to you. You will do just fine and so will Ken and Hailee. Love Mom

  5. The comment from your mum makes me well up and just from reading that I know you obviously have a strong support right there.

    My now 17yo daughter has the same diagnosis as well and I'm here to tell you that everything is going to be ok. Picking this up sooner would have changed nothing. It is what it is even if you didn't have a name for it.
    She is very lucky to have you!!

  6. I have no doubt that Hailee is nothing but lucky to have you to guide her. Sending you oh so much love and support!

  7. I imagine having some answers is a bit of a relief, and I only hope you don't beat yourself up too much about when she was diagnosed. You're a good mama Celina, your girl is loved and knows it and the rest will work itself out because she has a strong family unit. xo

  8. 5 months ago ... that's when I originally discovered 'Altered Muse' by participating in Susannah's August Break.

    Today ... the day I reach out to 'you', to let you know you are not alone.

    Aspergers - a word that a few years ago I had never even heard. There has not been a diagnosis for my son, but there isn't a day that goes by where my parenting isn't supported by all that I have learned about aspergers (or anxious, or highly sensitive children).

    It has been a challenging journey for me, absolutely. Yet along the way, my precious son continues to be my best teacher.

    So glad you reached out with this post ...

  9. Sending you BIG love today and every day.

  10. Love you, your honesty and your bravery Celina.

  11. Every blog is different. But I think when it starts to feel in-authentic, we ought to take note.
    For me, it didn't feel right to discuss tougher issues on some of my blogs, but now I have created one where it is about the tough stuff, albeit not heavy-handed. I also figured that whereas a private journal includes rants and raves, lol, a public one ought to show a way out too, most of the time anyway.

    Anyway, just sharing my own experience. Good on you for taking the brave road.

  12. that is a lot of love for you both! in your honesty and words about embracing what is. you both are so lucky to have one another. big big hugs to sweet you and sweet hailee!! xoxo

  13. You're doing the absolute BEST thing you can do for your daughter, lady. Loving her, and supporting her. You found this out so, so early and that's a good thing, even if you think you waited to long or didn't see the signs. I know it's not the same, but I talk often, openly and honestly, about what Jen and I go through. She has Bipolar Depression, severe Anxiety and social Anxiety. I have severe OCD, Depression and separation anxiety. For that last one? No one ever understood, except her. I can't go anywhere without her, not even the store. I have blacked out over the thought, get a fuzzy throat, feel dizzy, etc. OCD? My parents thought I was just... Weird. Jen's parents didn't understand her depression either, and thought she was just being emotional.

    Parents must, must, must support their kids. I believe that with my whole heart and soul. Jen is transgender, and oh so slowly is her mom accepting that, despite knowing for years. And even than, it may be slow, but we're grateful that she is accepting her daughter.

    What you're doing is the best gift you could give your little girl. Remember that. <3

  14. lovely lady
    I read this a couple days ago but did not have time to comment properly
    this is a beautiful honourable post
    I understand the oldest has had an amazing and trying journey his 19 years of living...none of it came to the for front until grade 3...then everything went sideways
    on year at a time and in those years one month and in that month one day and sometimes one moment at a time.....
    having a child with altered wiring grew me in a ways that no one else ever could
    he made me a better person
    it was not always pretty, I have to be honest...I have had many moments of break down but also many moments of elation
    I would not change it for anything
    the best thing you can do for you is surround yourself with good people who support, love and understand...and know that it is ok to take a time out now and again...everyone does from their children : )
    She is so blessed to have a mama like you!!!

    love and light

  15. I am glad you wrote this post, and hope you are glad, too. It takes voice and honesty and courage, all of which you have in abundance. Hailee is so blessed to have you as her mama. xo


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