The time has come where Emma is starting to be more and more aware of the things that are happening to her, about things that have happened to her and why she is "different".
She talks about her most recent surgery. She knows her head was fixed, although I am not exactly sure what her comprehension level is but she understands. I think more so then I give her credit for. So, today, I was looking at the photos I have of her from a few days after her head injury and her recovery. First she said "Oohhh poor baby! She's sick!". Then she noticed me in the other photos with "the sick baby" and she asked me "what's the baby's name?". I said "Emma". She said "like me?". "No, baby, that IS you. That is you when you were a baby and you had a head injury". (I have told her several times that she had a head injury.). She then asked me a loaded question. "Why?". I just looked at her with my jaw dropped, and tears pooling in my eyes and said "I don't know the answer just yet".
How does a mother look her daughter in her eyes and say "You were abused. You were a normal, healthy, bouncing beautiful baby and you were shaken. Your brain was murdered and your "normal" life was stolen. You were shaken and I can't tell you why because the person who did this will NEVER admit to doing it, let alone why". I don't want to lie to her, but how do you tell your child the truth, when this will be a painful truth. I am not ready to answer this, I need to wait until I think she is ready and can understand the impact of the answer. However, who am I to decide WHEN she is ready? How do I tell her? Is there any way in this world to lessen the heartache? Isn't that what a mom is supposed to do- make the heartache go away, kiss the boo-boo's goodbye?
It boils down to... I don't want to hurt her, but I don't want to lie to her because that will be more painful.
Bah. I am rambling. Remember.. it's NEVER ok to shake a baby!
September 2010, is the 11th International Conference on Shaken Baby Syndrome and it's in Atlanta Georgia this round. I have never been able to attend and I really, really hope I can this time. There are events and special rates for survivors and their families (and families of non-survivors). I am just hoping financially I can swing it. If you know anybody who wants to sponsor a struggling momma raising a child suffering from Shaken Impact Syndrome while going to college, let me know! LOL. Or better yet, let them know! Just kidding, but actually, not really. LOL. I am saving up and hoping to score a job on campus next semester for Work Study, I think that will be easier then working off campus. I really am wanting to go. It's a year away and will allow me time to be able to save up. I am nervous taking Emma on a trip like this, but it may not be as bad as I think. Either ways... Atlanta 2010 HERE WE COME! I just really, really want Emma to start meeting other children who are JUST LIKE HER! To know, she is not alone.
Here's the link to the conference and also, it's a GREAT site with a wealth of information about Shaken Baby Syndrome. National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome