So one of the topics we planned on doing was - Do you have regrets or is that a term that should be used for people with “normal” lives?
Shortly after my sons assault I did have a lot of regrets… I guess more guilt. Although I was not home when the assault(s) happen, my son was assaulted on at least two different occasions. He had an older hemorrhage in addition to the acute hemorrhage that almost ended his life. I was at work, there is nothing I could have done. I had no idea the horror he must have went thru. I never saw anything. I never had a clue. I was even impressed that he went to an optional parenting class just for fathers before Kyle was born.
Looking back, I see things now that I “should have” picked up on something as “not normal” Kyle cried a lot when he would hold him. He had never been around babies, and seemed to hold him awkward, and you know babies can sense feelings, like animals, the sense when you are feeling a certain way. I would reassure him and encourage him and then he would feel more comfortable. He would talk to him, play with him everything normal, just like everyone.
Another “should have” …there was one day I had come home and Kyle had been sick, he had been throwing up and not eating (drinking) that day. I came home from work and he projectile vomited. I immediately took him to the doctor, and the doctor told me that he had the flu. He’s the doctor, I figured he had the flu like the doctor said. Looking back now, it makes me wonder. Was he assaulted that day???? Why did I not see it???? And most horribly the regret that tugs at me, even 10 years later… Why wasn’t I there to protect him???? I would lay my life on the line for this little boy. Why????
I was in therapy for months dealing with all the feelings and challenges. It took me a long time to finally convince myself. It was not my fault. If I would have known, I would have taken care of him like he deserved.
I can write that even now, but in my heart I still don’t truly believe it. I will always regret and blame myself.
And days like today, the regret creeps back in. Kyle is a highly functioning survivor. Most people would see him and except for the huge scars on his head, would not know anything was different.
Every school year I have the challenge of a new teacher. I constantly fight with the school, I had lots of fights when we first got to this school. The “special education” teacher actually told our day care provider that there was nothing wrong with Kyle. I was just an overprotective mother and exaggerated things. And that Kyle was just spoiled. I was needless to say PISSED. Excuse me??? Let me tell you what we have been thru. Better yet… I organized a conference call with all of his teachers at the time and the principal ( who missed the call ) with the Neuro-Development Center Doctor from Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. She has had to deal with schools a lot. She was blunt, honest and informed them that this boy sustained a severe head injury and that he almost died from these injuries. He has issues, challenges and he does have brain damage.
So frustrating! So now its another school year. And although I'm sure there is a file with information at school, like last year, I bet the teacher doesn’t know much about Shaken Baby Syndrome (Abusive Head Trauma). So I will do like I do every year. Provide the new teacher with all the information about SBS and the particular challenges. He has been at school for 3 days. I usually give the teacher a few days and then WHAM here you go.
The doctors say that every year we will see more challenges as the gap between Kyle’s age and his neuro developmental age.
It is frustrating the challenges he has, the struggles he has, the social exile he faces from people. Kids can be very cruel, and he is so sensitive, his feelings get hurt so easy, and we talk about it and I reassure him.
“ Mom, I am so stupid, mom the kids make fun of me, mom I cant do it, mom I’m not like the other kids, mom I have no friends.”
“Mom, sometimes I just want to die”
“No honey you are not stupid, you are a very smart boy, we just has to try harder sometimes, everyone is different in their own way honey, and that is what makes us all special. Not everyone is alike, but we always treat people with respect and love. If someone is being mean to us, or says something mean to us, we move away from them and find someone nice to play with. Friends are like treasures, and its not about the number of friends you have, its having real friends that are nice that count honey and most important is that mommy would be lost without you, your family and true friends love you and need you. Life is very precious and we should always hold on to that”
Am I doing it right??? I don’t know. We do the best we can, and we work towards another day.