Monday, August 3, 2009


I know that I said just yesterday that I was recently back from our vacation and didn't know where to start and how to begin. I have no intention of blogging about the vacation because it was just that: a vacation. Full of family and beach and goofy child antics and aggravating family rigamarole. Perhaps I'll post a picture every day and let them speak for themselves. Or perhaps posting a photo will inspire a word or two, a paragraph or something.

Hitting the ground running is always the experience when I return here from any time away. I write this with a sigh, because it's always a given. And this morning was no different. I woke up and fed Sophie her breakfast. After that she proceeded to have a particularly violent bout of seizures and when I managed to bring her to the living room couch I had to practically lie on her as her arms and legs shot out and kicked and her spine twisted and arched and she threw her head back and groaned. It was as if she were possessed and at one point I yelled out, Stop it, goddamnitt! a word that I never use but this felt right in that moment. The other trouble was that Oliver was with me in the living room, sorting through all the crap in his backpack from the plane, and when I cursed he probably looked up and at me and saw what was happening. He's particularly emotional right now, melancholy about leaving Hilton Head, so he came over to me where I was sitting, half-lying on Sophie and he put his arms around me and started to cry. And then I started to cry, too. He said I hate Sophie's seizures and cried even harder when I agreed. I said I'm sorry that you have to experience all of this, I'm so sorry. I know how sad and hard it is and I'm so sorry. We cried together for a little bit and during that time I reassured him that we had to just be strong, that all would be well, that we loved Sophie no matter what and that we were a strong family it was all right to be sad and angry sometimes because we would feel better again, too.

And then all the seizures stopped and we got ready to take Sophie to school.

On the way, I had the burnt eyelid feeling from crying and I started feeling just the tiniest bit of resentment at other people's lives. How simple and easy they were or seemed. I felt this for just a small moment but just before the usual anger seeped in, I realized something quite different, like a twist in my psyche. I thought how difficult all of life is and can be for just about everyone. I thought that my family's life was just more difficult right now than others might be and that anger wasn't really the right emotion. I realized that I could feel compassion and understanding toward other lives and other's problems and actually not discount them, even if they were about something radically different than my own. And if I were to let go of resentment and anger I should then claim more compassion for myself and my family. I could acknowledge, then, that YES this life we lead is so damn difficult, horrible, really, a lot of the time. Of course I feel depressed a lot of the time and irritable and worried. I realized that in feeling anger and resentment toward what I had perceived as other people's lack of worries also made me less accepting of my own troubles. I feel guilty a lot of the time for not coping in the way I think I should be coping. In judging people's problems as trivial (compared to mine), I judge my own as trivial compared to others. And that makes me feel even worse.

Does any of this make sense?

I think I mean to say that a real twist in my psyche occurred randomly this morning as I drove in my car to Sophie's school.

The twist was a sort of DNA-like thing: overwhelming sadness, depression, anger, resentment, judgement, compassion, understanding became as one in a sort of Eureka moment.


  1. You make perfect sense Elizabeth.

    If could not ever make more sense.

    It is like after a very long time you have come out of another side. A side of acceptance, compassion and love. A side you have been showing all along.

    You have helped me. You have made me sad and sorry and knowing that we can bash our heads against the wall or cradle our little boys.

    Thank you Elizabeth.

    Be good to yourself.

    Love Renee xoxo

  2. In the end we are all in the same boat. Pain is pain whether measured by the prickle of a pin or the cutting of the flesh. Does it really make any difference how much or how little? How much do you feel either or both? How much do I? Would my feeling more make yours less? or vice-versa?

    Yes, you are right to be angry and frustrated and sad and all of the other things that remind us that not all our dreams are bound to turn out the way we dreamed them. But you also have the right to be serene, and compassionate -starting with yourself- about making a misstep in front of your son who needs to know that love takes many forms and some times it is the cry of love unresolved - as with Sophie's inability to respond to your love in a tangible way - that cries out in a cuss and a tear. His mother is human and there is no reason to hide that or be fearful of the consequences, you opened a door for him to express his own feelings in the matter. Something he may or may not have done afraid of its own consequences. There is a balance there that shouldn't be dismissed.

    Life is hard and unpredictable and full of promises unfulfilled. So you and I should know that the only way to survive is to let steam escape once in a while and never look back or feel guilty about it. What stays inside otherwise festers and infects the growth of compassion and self worth. You have the right. You earned it.

  3. For me, emotional whiplash is the most trying kind of pain. You have lots, every day.

  4. oh, elizabeth. this moves me so much. i see you with your body on sophie, oliver's body clinging to yours, the tears and then the next thing. and you do it with grace. i don't mean la la like some phony pious thing, but i mean REAL and HONEST and OPEN and so, yes, that is why you experience this shift, this twist, because you make space for it in your soul. i so admire you. i wish i lived closer so i could stand right there next to you and all of it, all of the messy, shitty, wonderful, horrible, beautiful stuff.

  5. you are amazing, elizabeth.

    there is a doctor i very much admire, who constantly reminds 'for there to be compassion, it must be universal'.

    yes, we cannot hold compassion toward ourselves if we do not hold it toward the 'other', and vice-versa.

    and we cannot hold compassion if we are looking at a measuring stick. i must remember this.

    very mucch love to you, beautiful, whole woman.

  6. That is a beautiful and profound transition. Compassion for yourself AND others.
    Your life is hard, in fact, LIFE IS HARD, and beautiful, and good and heartbreaking, scary, strange and inexplicable. It's a comfort when you name it honestly, instead of judging it. It comforts me, too. Thank you for your honesty and openness. I always feel less alone after I read your thoughts.

  7. I understand what you are saying
    we all do
    and we love you

  8. Yes, this totally makes sense. Thank you for sharing such raw emotion. No matter what our road in life is, there will always be something to make it a bumpy ride. I'm praying for a peaceful ride for a while for you and your family.

  9. I find something sacred in your words, and must comment on how this was so beautiful. The truth of deep unconditional love .
    I hope that being a little unburdened brings more blessings your way.

  10. You make total sense, and you do it so beautifully. I learn so much from you -- you write things I can't articulate but that resonate so strongly. thank you Elizabeth!

  11. Elizabeth, wow. Wow and then a bit more wow. I could see your DNA structure take that turn as you wrote this. DNA has never looked so beautiful.

  12. After going through what you do day in and day out, how could you not have those thoughts and feelings? I know what you're talking about, and wish there were something anyone could do to help stop Sophie's seizures.

  13. Makes so much sense... now that you've written it. Thank you.

  14. You make so much sense and I hate it when get behind with your blog because it is absolutely awesome.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...