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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The glorious thing about blogs.

There are so many great reasons to have a blog, having an on tap therapist is one of them, a screen that allows you to spill it all, say it like it, get it out, an audience who reads and sometimes replies, sometimes just hears, always there.
There isn't ever a time you can't blog, I usually wait until everyone is asleep because I often cry, sometimes laugh, always want to concentrate on the things I want to say. Sometimes I look at the date and I will go back a year, 2 years, see what I was doing then.
I love to see what the boys were doing oh so long ago, look at pictures of them when they were teeny weeny people.
Today I took Sophie to the train station, she was travelling to Bath to meet with Dan who was then driving her to the airport and just making sure she checked in on time for her flight yo Boston.
She was nervous and excited and a bit weepy, she wanted me to check her passport and her ticket and her passport again, she looked very young as I walked away from her, I welled up and I decided that rather than come back to the house while everyone was still asleep, I would go and get the days shopping from Asda. I cried on the way there and I gulped all the way 'round as I picked up dinner for this evening, I was so emotional and weepy and also I was wallowing in the fact that I will really, REALLY miss her.
How quickly time flies, how swiftly things change and as I wandered around an empty Asda I thought about how far Sophie and I have come, how quickly things turned around.

Then I came home and I reread this post

Friday, July 20, 2007
Dearest Sophie.
I. can't. save. you.
I have nothing I can do, nothing to say that you will hear.
I am powerless and I have to step back and watch what you are doing to yourself.
TO YOURSELF.This, my girl is YOUR life. Yours. Amazing that even though I gave you life, even though I was the means of your being here. I cannot live this for you. Would that I could, I wish with every quivering fibre of my being that I could crawl inside you still incredible body and take over. But I can't.
For 18 years I have fought your corner.
I gave birth to you and when, 10 weeks later your dad walked out, it was because of you that I spat such rage. I KNEW that you would somehow grow up feeling that this was your doing, that because this stupid man, and that's all he is, a stupid man, had no vision, because he had absolutely no idea what treasure he had right in front of his eyes, so he walked in search of happiness and treasure.
Stupid, stupid man.He didn't walk from you, he is running from himself. IS he happy Soph? Is he? Did he find what he left for? He's still running.
Your childhood without the daddy you craved was sad for you. Your epilepsy made things difficult. That was then, this is now. Don't let the past wreck the future, don't let disappointments ruin the possibilities. Don't.You have such memories in your head, so different from mine, so filled with belief that you were never loved, that everyone was better than you. No-one is better than you beautiful girl.
When you would clear the playground because you were so in everyone's face, when you couldn't, because you were poorly, learn how to play nicely and have friends, I fought for you. I helped you make friends and you had fun.When your dad would let you down I cried for you.When you were left behind because he would take the boys and not you...I would make up for his loss.
He was the one that missed out sweetheart.
When he made you sad at christmas, I drove 200 miles to get you, I made Christmas, I found Santa and you had magic. I did that because I adore you. You are my girl.
When I stick to what I say, when I tell you how something will be, when I give you a consequence and I stick with it and I have to endure the rages and the screaming and the swearing and the pure hatred, I do that because I love you.
Sophie, I love you.
When you were 5 and you wouldn't sleep, when I was a single mother with 2 little boys who were so hurt and sad and I had you with your epilepsy and all your behavioural issues, when you would come downstairs again and again and again. What did I do? I gave you a choice, you could stay in your room and read a book , listen to your music, play quietly or you could sit in the downstairs bathroom, with the door open but no toys, no company, no books. You screamed for 3 1/2 hours that first night, every 5 minutes I would remind you that you had a choice, your room, with books and music or the toilet. Again and again and again. The next night you screamed for an hour, the 3rd night you came downstairs, looked at me and said " Ok, I will go and read a book" and from that night you stayed in your room and you were happy.
How did that get turned into a memory of being locked in a bathroom while I played with the boys?I would never do anything like that Sophie. I had to teach you to sleep, I had to do something to make sure that I had some time in the evenings to recoup, to recover and be ready to face another day.

For 10 years I was single, I refused to date, I had my friendship with Gary, the one man I had ever really loved. I kept him apart from you mostly because he wasn't free to be with us. When I saw that you adored him that you wanted him to be your daddy, I had to end it, be lonely again and hope that you weren't too damaged. I got that wrong. I'm sorry. He didn't leave you like your dad, he was never ours in the first place. I took what wasn't mine to take and when you do that....well you will always suffer in the end.

When I met H, I was happy. I thought that here was our family, here was the man that you could love and who would be an example to you. I wanted more family, I wanted someone to love- that loved me, I was tired of being alone.I can see how you felt that you were pushed out, you're right you did miss out a bit, going from having my every attention, my constant company to having to learn that I am allowed to love too, that sometimes I can and should have time for me.I had 3 more children, little boys with their own personalities and quirks and needs and blessings. I didn't stop loving you when they were born, not an ounce of your love went to are my only girl, my most precious daughter, my heart. Always.
I made a mistake for those 10 years in allowing you children to believe that my sole purpose was to cater to you.

You are my only girl and such a beautiful one that it's impossible not to marvel at how stunning you are.I am, if I'm honest, a little in awe of your confidence, those same impressive boobs that I had, that I hid and covered and was embarrassed by, well you love yours, you stick those babies out and you hold your head up high.
You appear to be so unafraid by anything and I am afraid of everything.I can see what you think you are hiding though and I know you ARE afraid. I know you are sad and I know that you want the mummy to save you. I cannot do that. If I thought that grabbing you and bringing you home, if I believed that doing that would work, that you would cry and be sorry and want to try something different that WOULD make you happy, in less than a heartbeat I would do it.
Snorting white powder will not make you happy, it will not make your world a better place.
It IS NOT helping you little girl. You look like hell, like a girl who has nothing to live for, who is on the brink of disaster.
I saw you with those people and I died inside a bit. What do yellow skinned, bleary eyed, tattooed 50 year olds want with a beautiful, sad little girl?They want to strip you of everything they lost years ago, they want your soul precious girl. They want you hooked so that you will have to do what they want to keep getting your fix, this happiness you tell me about.
They aren't my darlin' they are the devil in very poor disguise. I would sell my soul and give my heart to save you, to make you see that you are killing yourself.
By letting me 'find out' what you are doing so easily, I hope that means that you don't want to be doing this, that you want to stop, that maybe it is a sad attempt to find something missing. I am ignoring the voices that tell me I am clinging to feeble hopes.I hope that one day you will be a mother that you will hold a child of your own in your arms and know, in an instant what it is to love. I will pray, every day of my life that you will never, ever have to stand back and watch that child destroy her/himself and be powerless to help.I can't save you sweetheart, I can't stop you, I can't make any of this better. I have to wait until you want to change it, until you come to me and tell me that you want it to be different, I have to let you believe that you are on your own, feed you when you are hungry, tell you I love you and hope that one day you believe it.
This is not fun, I am not sitting here in this house happy that you aren't here bothering me anymore.
I am here praying that you won't die today.
I lie awake hoping that you are with safe people, that you ate today, that you are sleeping at Jordan's and that you will wake up soon and want things to change that you will use some ( or all ) of that bloody mindedness to fight these demons and realise that you are of such infinite worth that drugs and drink and men with yellow skin and hooded eyes are not what you need and definitely not what you want.The whole world is at your feet my girl. You are able to be and do and have whatever your heart desires. Nobody can stop you doing the great things you dream of when you think no-one is looking.
You can have it all.IF YOU DO IT FOR YOURSELF.
There is love in buckets waiting for you, people holding their breath waiting for you to come and get it.

I wrote journals in the olden days, in the days before blogs. I wrote so many of them it was hard to carry them. Every time I wrote them I would imagine showing you, as you grew, that I felt what you feel, I thought that I could use them to show you that I was young once, I could prove that as you grew up I wrote how much I loved you, I wrote about all your exploits and the crazy stuff you got up to. You made me laugh and cry every day of your childhood. You were the most stunning baby, white blond hair, chunky thighs and a laugh that was irresistible. I could never go out without people stopping me to tell me how glorious you were.Every one of those journals were lost. Every single one gone on the journey over to America. Every bit of written proof that you are my heart, that since the day I first saw you I was determined that you were going to know what greatness and joy were.Every written memory to show that you ARE loved , that you have never been a reject or an after thought. I am so sad about because it was real and undeniable, you would never be able to yell at me that I have never loved you. All those books.Every picture of that laughing little girl who captivated us all with her naughtiness and joy. Lost, memories of a happy girlie gone forever. No matter that I still have it all in my head and my heart, you don't believe anything I say anymore. I am so sad. I want to thrust them in your face and make you see that you are so WRONG, that you have always been loved and treasured and so valuable to me.
Show you how you laughed all day and how we took endless pictures of that chunky little white haired girl who hid kittens in her backpack and ran away with imaginary friends. That cheeky 3 year old who poured 40 bottles of shampoo and bubble bath, conditioner and toilet cleaner in the bath.the little girl who would ask strangers to be her daddy and bury sleeping holiday makers in the sand. Sweet little girl who kept me on my toes from morning til night and then some.

I saw that you had found my blog. I hope you come back and find this. I hope even more that you believe it.Every word is true. I promise you.

You are so glorious, my heart is breaking to see you looking this way, dull hair, grey skin, dull eyes.
Don't do it Sophie.
Please hear me when I say that I love you but this is something that you have to do for yourself. If you don't learn to love yourself, the real Sophie Alex, if you can't see that you are worth fighting for, worth working for, well the battle is lost. This is up to you and all you have to do is call for me, tell me what you need, show me that you are ready and desperate to help yourself and I will be by your side so fast your head will spin. What I can't do is make it easy for you, the best things in life always come from hard work and are almost always the result of blood sweat and tears.I think of how sheltered my life was, of how I reached 25 without ever having first hand experience of anything that I read about in the news, divorce, child abuse, drugs, homosexuality. None of it of any importance to me because it didn't affect me, not in my world.
Divorce...horrible but not the end of the world, we did it, got through it.

Child abuse....all done. finished, over and beaten. Talked about until I could puke and now the monster is dead.

Drugs...this one was the one that frightened me least, stupid people do drugs, no hopers, my kids aren't stupid and they know how much they are worth, they won't do drugs, not mine. NOT MINE!

Dear God, save my girl.Please send someone or something to show her how precious she is, she won't listen to me, I can't make her see.Please don't make me do this, don't make me watch this child kill herself or lose herself or ruin her life.
Please. Oh Please.I did all that other stuff, I did. I got my boys through the abduction and abuse. I learned that homosexuality isn't the end of my boy being my boy.
I see that a child with disabilities is a blessing and not a curse.I understand that losing my dad isn't the end, that although I miss him I will see him again.
I know that, I do.
I live with the memories and the hurt and the pain of all those things I have lived through and I even manage to see the good that has come through those trials, but this one, please don't make me watch this, because this girl is too precious and I am just not strong enough or clever enough to help her. She needs you to do it and I need you to do it.
And I am begging you to take this one away.
I will live without the material fripperies that I think I long for, I will move house and clean other people's house, I will make do and mend, I will stick with my old car with it's back firing exhaust, I will let this beautiful house go and be grateful for that stinking one with the leaking ceilings but please don't let my girl do this to herself, send in the cavalry, the knight in shining armour, the miracle.
For me and for her.Please help my girl.

Oh my Sophie, you are worth the fight, you are worth the time and effort and energy, I will match everything you give to yourself, but you have to go first. This is your fight Sophie, get your gloves on and stand in your corner,I'll hold your towel and cheer the loudest. I love you. Always, I do. Honestly. Mum xxx

P.S. Message to scumbag people responsible for helping my daughter in anyway to harm herself.She has a brother that is a police officer, a dad ( useless in many ways but handy in some)who is a prison officer, a brother who for some reason, although a gentle giant, has no worries at all about beating the living shit out of people he discovers have hurt his family and she has me. A mother who has vowed and is totally unafraid to kill with her bare hands, anyone who is ever again directly responsible for the abuse or long term suffering of one of her children. Idle threats? Don't try me. When my child is involved my my fears leave me, there will be no head bowing, no scuttling, no hiding and no timidity.Watch and see.

I would never, not in my wildest dreams, back then have believed that in such a short time she could do it, she heard me, if only with her heart and she believed me and she has done it. She is clean and she is happy and she is living a life filled with the things I longed for her to have. She said the other day that she is nearly happy, she remembers so clearly how desperately sad she was, how hopeless she felt and she sees and feels the difference and I hope she can see that the things I promised her are coming true, I hope she sees that the very day she came to me, when she lay on the floor and she howled how she couldn't live that way anymore, when I knew she meant it and I made her promise to be obedient to listen and do what I asked her to do, when she promised that and she kept her promise, I hope she sees that I have kept mine, that I have done everything I can to help her.

I love having her here, I will miss her for 10 days and I will love every second she is away having fun.
I believe that she has come far enough that she won't go back to where she was. I still don't take any of it for granted there is still such a thrill when I see a new step she has taken.
I have been frantically checking her flight status all day, she is due to land in about 90 minutes, then she can start her 10 days of fun with Cathy and George. I can relax when I know she is with Cathy and on firm ground again.

I believe in miracles, I am sure that prayers are heard and answered. I am totally convinced that when we do our part the Lord will do the rest for us and with us.
I am so glad I know these things.

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Blogger sarah said...

you guys have come so far. my heart smiles everytime i hear how good she is doing. Your blog touches me not only for the fact u so understand our life here with autism but you set an example of the type of mom i want to be for my kids. I wish my mom had the compassion that you have for your family. thanks for sharing with us helen :)

10:35 pm  
Blogger Kourtnie :) said...

Helen, my eyes leak when I read your words!! The beauty in them, the realness, and the call-it-as-it-is helps me to find comfort with the battles in my own life. I see little glimpses of Sophie's battles in my own child. I just came home from meeting with my daughters' teacher and I am so lost. She struggles so much! I'm humbled that you are so honest with your journey, yet grateful because I can see there is hope. You are a true momma-bear, yet one that guides with true love. And it's obvious that our children's success lies in our ability to truly love them. Once again, thank you for your wisdom and honesty. It couldn't have come at a better time for me.

11:05 pm  
Blogger LosingSanity said...

I am sooo happy for Sophie and for you. I remember reading that post the first time and crying so hard, for you, for Sophie. But, I felt in my heart that she would rise above it. I am so glad she has come so far. God certainly does hear prayers - and it sounds like he has answered yours. =)

3:56 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


10:22 am  
Blogger mom to three great kids said...

As a mother of three wonderful children,(16,14,5) i can only imagine the fear and hurt you felt and how helpless you must of felt seeing your child destroy herself. This is one of my fears raising my children, for they won't be children much longer, Knowing when to step back or when to lend a helping hand. I hope to have at least some of your courage.
Reading your blog, knowing what you've lived through and survived , makes me realize, that i too am much stronger than i sometimes feel am i.... and for that I thank you! Stay strong and keep enjoying these wonderful moments. God Bless!!

P.S: You've also given me lots of laughs...keep up the good work

6:29 pm  
Blogger Jenn said...

Oh Helen - The first time I read that entry - I cried, and I feel a little bad that I didn't respond to it - I couldn't - I could not find the words. I prayed. I wept. I was so happy when Sophie moved back home. I thought that if anyone could will their child back from the ledge of destruction - it would be you. And I was right. Your never failing love won out, and I'm convinced that you willed her to change with your sheer determination and wanting of better things for her (AKA mom's love). Also that miracles are real, and that I had the great honour of meeting that miracle face to face, which was a joy!
I love you. I love Sophie. XOXO

1:20 am  

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