Tonight I saw something that ripped my heart out. I saw you, totally vulnerable and full of terror. I imagine you were like that at some point when you were a baby. It was like I was getting a small glimpse into your life as a toddler. It was horrible and my throat is still tight with anxiety.
It is hard to explain what terror looks like in a child. It is much different than fear. Before I met you I had seen it only a few times. Every once in a while we would have a child in the PICU that was alert enough to know that something we were going to do was going to hurt them. They would scream and grab hold of anyone they knew. Their eyes would bulge and they would literally fight for what they thought was their life. I've also seen it many times in newborns. In newborns it is natural for them to rage when they are hungry or tired. They turn red and get stiff and scream as if they are going to DIE!!! And truth is they would if their needs went without being met for too long. But in the newborns case the mom or dad swoops in, feeds them and saves the day. Fixing what ails them as well as earning the child's trust. Thus developing what I now know as the all important bond!
You have lived with us for over 3 and a half years and I have seen you terrified thousands of times. But this time was different. All the other times there was something masking your fear. Anger, hurt, rage... A cloud, a distrust, almost as if you thought if you let me know the depth of your fear that I would hurt you with it. No matter how scared we knew you were we just couldn't get to you. I used to get the visual of you in an ice cube. Somewhere in the middle there was the Gianna that was healthy, full of joy and desperately wanting to trust people again. But at first it was impossible to see from all the hurt. As the years went by and you tested us daily (hourly) some of that ice melted away and we could see you. I could see the little girl God had created you to be before you had been hurt! Tonight I feel as if something has broken out of that ice cube...maybe just a leg or an arm...but I feel like I can touch the real Gianna! You are so close!
If it was up to me I would take all that hurt away. I would wash your emotional memory clean and you would have nothing but joyful memories, just like your brothers and sisters. But I am not God. And while this isn't His perfect plan for you, He did allow this. And ultimately He promises it will all work for your good and His glory. He will take this mess you went through and make something beautiful out of it! He already has. Your capacity to love is more than I have ever experienced. When you experience joy you experience it with every fiber of your being. It is like you are going to explode with happiness!
I do a terrible job telling you this. But I feel extremely privileged to be called your Mommy. I even feel lucky to be the one you feel safe enough to call "stupid," "big fat bummer," and my all time favorite "Big penis head!" I know that while you are yelling all those lovely names at me you are really showing me that you know you are safe. You know I won't leave you or hurt you. And you know that there will be mercy for you when the storm calms.
Finally, after praying for it for over 3 years I can tell you that not only do I love you; but I absolutely adore you! After years of praying for an emotional love for you, it has come. My heart is so wrapped in yours that when you hurt mine literally hurts too; when you feel joy, so do I. And when you are scared all I want to do is make it stop!
Sleep tight my little G-bug! Looking forward to trading Oct 7th and 8th late night terrors for long late night talks!
Mommy (aka Big fat penis head)