But really I am sorry that's it's taken me this long. It was madness getting ready for girls camp and I didn't quite realize I would have zero reception out there. It was awesome though! I can't tell you how strange it is that for these girls--I am their Diane Blackhurst. Not to sound super cheesy but even though it is a huge responsibility and time commitment--I don't know how I could face the trials I am facing in my personal life without the blessings of this calling. These girls are truly extraordinary and it's odd how much this calling has forced me to face up to and embrace my teenage self. Which has been yucky and liberating all at the same time. Because I am close with these girls and they want to know what I was like--and I have to be honest--I mean I'm at church, I can't lie for Pete's sake. And so I find myself confessing the truth about the SUPER insecure, awkward, angst-ridden teenager that I was, and it's ok. It's ok because while it's true, it's not the truth anymore, while pictures remain unforgiving (thank you Katie)--I have evolved and I still maintain a person's sense of humor is directly proportional to the length of their ugly phase, or at least it ought to be if there is any justice in this world.
And so, while I am working through some teenage shame issues that have manifested--let memove directly into the parenting shame issues I am now starting to face. In the past several weeks while in the midst of Maddie breakdowns ranging from the mild to the nuclear, I have received comments and unasked for advice from people who clearly think that I am a terrible parent. On the one hand I want to explain her issues and on the other hand I want to kick them in the junk. I have always been terrified and driven by what people think, but Maddie is becoming increasingly hard to manage. And I wonder/fear what this will do to my personality over time.
And speaking of weird mind games, I am in such a weird place with "my trials." If people ask me, I think I generally try to be really positive--that is how I feel a lot of the time. But then if people interpret that as a minimization of my problems--that really bothers me. Nothing is as bad as it could be, but it's still something. I'd prefer to think of myself as bravely struggling than making a bid deal out of nothing or like I have a terrible life! One of Maddie's therapists told me I had a great attitude about Maddie's diagnosis and then she said "you're probably still in shock." Oh, ok. Thanks? But then if you sympathize too much it freaks me out, like when another therapist asked me (while Maddie was wigging out)..
"so she bites herself when she's upset?"
"And hits her head on the ground I see, does she do that a lot?"
"I'm sorry, that's so hard to see your child hurt herself."
This made me cry for like 30 minutes, and I think about that exchange constantly. It is the emotional equivalent of pushing on a bruise and I don't know why I do it.
So stream of consciousness as it is, here's my entry. Our Utah plans have changed because of all this crud we have to work out with Maddie, the regional center and the school district. We will be there July 15 and stay for a couple weeks. I wish it was sooner and longer, but this is my life now. I love you guys and seriously cannot cannot wait to be together!!!