Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 15: Next to Godliness

Last night, after my post, I headed out to a yoga class. I'd missed the morning session and thought it would be good for me to go and get out of my own head for awhile.

I was wrong. I spent the entire class thinking about Simon's potential sensory disorder. Or, more specifically, I spent the entire class beating myself up for not having identified it sooner.

I fell out of every twist and balance I tried. My muscles shook and I sweat profusely (it is heated yoga). At more than one point I thought about giving up. But I didn't. Because I don't, because I can't. Giving up isn't an option, no matter how badly I'm faltering.

When we'd finally gotten past all the tough stuff, and I was lying on my mat in "corpse pose" at the end of class, I felt close to tears. I was far more tired than usual, and I knew that this, too, was my own fault for my inability to "let go" and focus.

And then I caught myself: Idiot, you're feeling guilty for feeling guilty.

Now that's progress, I thought wryly. At least I'm calling myself out on it, and acknowledging the senselessness of it.

Guilt. I'm very good at it. Whether it is my old-school Catholic upbringing, or the fact that I was an oldest child and always felt responsible, or just part of my DNA, I excel at feeling guilty. Where Simon is concerned I've honed the feeling into a practical skill set.

I've wondered if something I did, or did not do, in my pregnancy caused his stroke. I've questioned whether or not I've done enough for him soon enough to have the greatest impact. I berate myself for not pushing harder when I first suspected he had Cerebral Palsy and the pediatrician and therapists weren't willing to "label" him yet (as if a diagnosis is the worst thing a mother can want for her baby.) And now, I'm making myself crazy wondering if recognizing a sensory disorder sooner would have allowed for more effective treatment and possibly prevented some of his missed milestones.

Feeling guilty does not fix these problems. It just prevents me from focusing. I lose my sense of balance and it makes me want to give up. And, giving up isn't an option, no matter how badly I'm faltering.

But, maybe it is time to give up the guilt. To use further Catholic rhetoric; I'm not a saint, I'm not infallible. But I won't be a martyr to the "what ifs" and the "should have dones."

I'm Simon's mother. No one knows him better, and no one could love him more. And that is close enough to godliness for any mere mortal.

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