safe harbor

I wrote on our other blog yesterday about our homesickness, that being in the hospital for a month is just plain rough on a family, and we’re missing our lives–what they used to be, what they should be. I have to tell you, though, I’m missing my old blog home too. It’s challenging writing for a new audience. I know many of you are out there reading, but so are our family, strangers who are supporting us, even our son’s care providers. We’re so exposed in so many ways there, and yet I also feel this funny need to protect people from the harsh reality of what we’re experiencing sometimes. Does that make sense? I don’t know if it does. I guess I just miss how free I feel here.

Over the past couple of days, there has been a family here in the process of losing their newborn baby. It has been heartbreaking. When I came back this  morning from staying at the house provided for families, her room was empty. She was gone. Another couple just had a new baby while their toddler undergoes treatment. Brand new baby and recovering mom are all both now in the room with the boy battling  cancer. The cycle of life here in this place is so strange, and so many things just aren’t right. Parents here all share the same types of expressions. You know when someone has had a rough sit-down with a doctor, when a child is having an easier day, when a parent has been here alone for far too long. It’s a surreal place, this floor, one where people get a lot of earth-shattering news. But it’s also a place where people reclaim their children, where lives are saved, where families are reborn. I want to be on the other side of that. Honestly, I haven’t taken much comfort in talking with other parents. I don’t necessarily want to. Their stories are hard to process. It’s hard to accept that some kids don’t make it, that some don’t have what they need from their families, that some cruise through everything and are just fine in the space of a few weeks or months. I don’t know how to deal with these stories when I can hardly grasp our own. But I don’t have a choice. The sounds of kids crying through the walls, the family members coming to say goodbye to that baby, even the cheers for the kids who are progressing beyond these walls to a life of remission–these are all a part of my existence now. I don’t get to filter them out, and I don’t get to filter out the reminders that we’re in a pediatric oncology ward, and that our lives are forever altered by this.

I don’t know why I feel like I can share all of this with all of you more easily than with the rest of the world. These aren’t epic, personal breakthroughs or rants. I suppose we’ve all just held each other up through so many hard times without any sort of judgment that it feels safe here to be whoever I need to be in the moment–even if it’s a swearing, bitter, frustrated, devastated mom. So I guess I want to thank you guys, and also confirm for myself that I’m not going anywhere, that I still need this space, that I still need to be T from Reproducing Genius (And if you know me in real life, outside of these pages, I hope you’ll help me keep it this way). As hard as it is to navigate new waters while continuing to swim in my old pond, it’s something I’ve just got to do. What harm is there, really, in doing more writing, anyway?




Filed under blogtherapy

7 responses to “safe harbor

  1. I’m glad you’re still writing. Blogging with a change of audience is a bit tricky to figure out. I’m glad you’re working through it. I can’t imagine how hard it is to be there and connect/not connect to other families in a similar/not similar situation. My friends went through this a lot in the NICU when their daughter was born at 24 weeks. They ended up finding a lot of comfort and support in creating relationships with their nurses. They are still friends with a lot of them now and stay connected via email and facebook. It has been really healing for them. It sounds like you guys are creating some of those relationships already.

    As far as this blog goes, I think it’s great that you have it, but I do worry about your anonymity here with all of this. I know I already messed that up (and corrected it but still) and wonder if maybe going to password protected posts here might help make you feel more comfortable? And then if someone accidentally (oops! sorry!) connects to this blog or shares the link, it won’t matter. They would only see what you’d want to share? Maybe something to think about as you go forward. I just really want to make sure you don’t have any bad experiences with someone finding this one. And want to make sure your writing space stays secure.

    Lots and lots and lots of love!

    • T

      It’s definitely something I’m considering at this point. I hate to go invisible to potential new readers, but protecting the posts themselves could be a good way to go. So complicated, but necessary in this new world of mine.

      And please don’t worry about that temporary link. As far as I know, no deep, dark secrets were revealed. 🙂

  2. tbean

    Everything you write makes so much sense and I’m glad we get the T. that is “ours” (not the T that is shared with family, friends, strangers, nurses) in this space and that you can be more candid. I can only imagine how emotionally charged and overwhelming it is in the ward. When I started reading blogs, sometimes it was a struggle for me to not take on everyone else’s story, everyone else’s pain. It was hard for me to draw those lines. I can only imagine how much harder that is, in the hospital, in the flesh, in such a vulnerable state, to walk the halls and overhear bereaved parents and family and other children who are sick. Totally totally overwhelming and I don’t think I would want to talk to the other parents either. It’s a club that no one wants to be in and making those connections only admits that you are in the club in the first place.

    Anyways. We’re here.


  3. I, too, am glad you can still come to this “safe space” and share yourself completely with us. There really is no better outlet I think than writing about raw emotions (and/or having a good cry about them). Just know that even though some time has gone by, we are all still thinking about you three often.

  4. Lex

    I’m so glad that you’re writing here too and that you have this as a safe place to come. I think of you often and am sending all things good, always.

  5. It sounds so very surreal to be where you are. I keep thinking it was only a short time ago you were writing about preschool. I am happy for you that this blog is still a space were you can be you, T, from Reproducing Genius. I am here for you in blogland.

  6. Gia

    This is your safe harbor. No need to censor…no need to hold back. We are all right here behind you to listen and to hold you up with words of encouragement…


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