Pillars of strength

You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have.

I stumbled across this quote today on Facebook (it can be quite philosophical at times!) and it really hit home with me.

“You’re so strong. I couldn’t cope with the things you do!”

I hear variations of this comment frequently. My reply is always the same. “You would do the same things if you were in my shoes.”

I had one particular friend say it to me a lot, and always said that she wouldn’t be able to cope. I think we all underestimate our strength capabilities, in both ourselves, and in others.

I’m sure there are people out there who didn’t think I could cope with everything we have. But you do what you have to do. I admit, cracks are starting to show, but the tower is far from falling.

I scream, I yell, I cry. Whatever helps to get me through that particular moment. Then the “cracks” are patched up, and life carries on. Caffeine and wine usually help as a mortar or gap filler!

Having four children with special needs (well, technically three, at this stage), those cracks appear more frequently than the average person.

When the young one was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and in hospital, our GP was frequently calling to check on his progress, and to see how I was coping. All the medical staff were gushing at how well I was doing. I think I surprised them being be very involved in every aspect. I preferred to be in the treatment room with them, helping them to put IV lines, and keep him calm, than listen to him scream from the hallway. That is more distressing to me. If the doctors needed their room, I respected that. More often than not, I think they were thankful that I was helping to keep him calm. It makes their job easier.

If it wasn’t for my husband, then yes, I probably would have crumbled in a heap. Life is very different when he is home. He has a calming effect on everyone. He has complete control and respect, which is something I am insanely jealous of when it comes to our kids.

We don’t always agree on things. It would be a boring relationship if we did.

Everything we have gone through together, it is the type of thing that either makes a relationship, or breaks it. When the young one was diagnosed with CF, it is a weird thing to say, but it was probably one of the best things to happen to us. We have never been closer. I think there is a new-found respect and understanding for each other.

The people who bug me most, are those who think they understand what we go through. Trust me, you have no idea. Unless you have three children, each with the overall development age of  about 3 years, and another child with a life-threatening disease, and deal with it constantly on a day-to-day basis, don’t comment on what I should, or should not be doing. Unless you are a specialist, don’t tell me what I should, or should not, be doing with my children’s medical treatments.

I have enough on my plate, and I am just about at the end of my tether. Back off, before the “cracks” appear again and the tower crumbles down on you!

Ok. Woosah!

But my point is, don’t underestimate me, my family, and most of all, don’t underestimate yourself. You never know what you are capable of until you are in the situation!



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