Thursday, January 14, 2010
Yesterday was a weird day. I decided to stop being in denial and asked Zoé's pediatrician to finally sign the completed form requesting a disabled plaque for my car. He eagerly agreed saying if someone needed it, it was surely me. It felt strange driving with the blue card in my windshield. Weird to feel that I am now part of this other community of drivers. I felt like I was unrecognizable to myself from the person I was before it all happened. The diagnosis, the therapies, the new set of challenges. Adding the grieving process for the childhood we won't ever be able to experience. Not comparing it to our own, but to what we thought we would be able to experience.
It is the ego grieving, in a sense. When we ask ouselves, how could I have "produced" such a child, how could I have given Zoé her condition. In my case, it is not something I think about, because it was genetic. You don't pick your genes. Your DNA is established and there is nothing you can do about it.
MMD is not what defines Zoé, and she won't be looked upon with what she cannot do, but what she CAN achieve. This is what is truly important.
Today, in support group, Maria, a Mexican mom was able to feel, for the first time. Let herself cry, shed the tears that we all have shed befofe her. A lot of us, mothers in the group feel empowered, we've accepted the place we are in. For Maria, the long journey is about to begin. She doesn't really have much support from her family, because she comes from a traditional Mexican background, where autism, being different is not accepted. She hasn't gotten the final diagnosis for her son, but doctors are leaning towards "autism", and once she gets the final verdict, she will be able to start her grieving process. Then, she will have to embark on a painful journey, meeting challenges and arming herself to fight the stares, the questions from others. I felt for her today, as she doesn't speak any English, a problem that I am sure adds to her stress in front of doctors and specialists. We told her she could find a translator, a Spanish speaking support group. We also have Tina, whose daughter is disabled and she, too, suffers from her background, being Asian means that whenever you have a child with special needs, you've brought it to yourself, you deserve it for you must have done something bad, and that is the retribution. Shettal, too, suffered from her traditional Indian upbringing. Tina told us, when you have a disabled child, you must stay home and hide him or her from others. You bring shame to the family. How blessed am I! To have a wonderfully supportive family and a strong support group of friends.