Jaime Loves Stuff : Why I Forgave...the Unforgivable.


Why I Forgave...the Unforgivable.

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Most of my long time readers know the story behind my daughter's brain injury.  However, I have quite a few new readers who may or may not have gotten that far in my blog and our story. My daughter has a severe traumatic brain injury.  She was shaken.  Yes, my daughter was shaken.  Yes, she is MY biological child (it really peeves me when people ask me if she was mine.  Oh and you wouldn't believe that people ask me if I did it... really? Come on!).  She is MY baby.  Forever.  I carried her for 42 weeks (Yep! I was miserably overdue in the extreme Arizona summer heat.).  I went through labor and delivery.  I went through every fear of being a mother with her.  My ultimate fear came true- my daughter was abused.  Severely.  It's not believed by the doctors, detectives, attorneys that this was abuse that was happening for a long time.  As a matter of fact, we all believe this was a one time incident.  The person who did this snapped and sadly, my daughter pays the price of this "snap" and will pay for the rest of her life.  My daughter's brain will never heal.  The parts that are damaged and parts that were removed are gone.  Forever.  Her left hand will never function.  She will always have a limp.  She will always have cognitive delays and issues with controlling her emotions.  These are the cold hard facts of her life.

She was 11 months old when she was injured.  As a matter of fact, her injurversay (Thanks Renee for that word!) is in a little over a month from now, July 8, 2004.  She will be 10 in two months.  

I spent the first few years after her injury depressed.  I was despondent.  I felt so much despair, anger, sadness, hatred, and I grieved.  I grieved hard.  It hurt so deeply to know that somebody intentionally hurt my daughter and almost stole her life.  My daughter is lucky- she's alive.  Not only is she alive- she can walk, talk, make decisions, argue, sing, laugh, and do the things that other children who have suffered from shaken baby syndrome can't do.  

The person who did this only received a sentence of five years probation.  I grieved over what I perceived to be injustice.  My daughter is worth more than five years PROBATION.  My daughter will NEVER go to college.  She will NEVER live on her own.  I will be taking care of her for the rest of our lives.  

However.  A big however.  I learned to forgive this person.  Forgiving somebody does not mean that you are saying what they did was ok.  What was done was NOT ok but I love myself and my daughter too much to live in the anger, the hatred, the sadness, and all the heart-destroying emotions that was overcoming me. I even distanced myself emotionally from my daughter.   I needed to be healthier to take care of my child.  I forgave for me.  I forgave for my daughter.  I also have learned to forgive myself.  I had no control over what happened.  I can't change it.  If I could, I would but that's not possible and there's no use focusing on what can never be.   I no longer hate this person.  As a matter of fact, I hope that this person has peace.  I am still seeking full peace.  I am trying.  I constantly falter.  I cuss too much.  I am impatient.  I can be mean.  I am trying to better myself each and every day.  When my emotions are out of whack, my daughter reacts.  She's too important to me.  I spent too many years being focused on what happened to her to see that she needed my attention.  She needed my focus.  She needed me.  She needed ME to be with her MENTALLY and EMOTIONALLY.  I am not 100% healed, I don't believe I will be 100%.   I still have flashbacks to the moment I saw her lying in the ICU with tubes out of her head, in a coma on life support.  I still remember the two months we lived in the hospital while she was recovering.  I still flashback to the phone call.  The emergency room. To sitting on the homicide floor at police headquarters while my daughter was in emergency neurosurgery.  I can't forget.  

I get better every day. 
I get stronger each day.
I am slowly becoming more patient.
I am becoming a better parent each day.  
I learned to not focus on what happened. 
I learned not to focus on what could have been.
I embrace what is.  
My daughter can do ballet.  An adaptive ballet.
My daughter gets to enjoy life.  
I chant and meditate.  
Buddhism has helped me find peace just as your faith helps to guide you to find yours. 

I forgave so I could move on with my life and release the bitterness that grabbed a hold of me.  It helps my daughter to know that we live for today.  Or so I try.  It's been nearly nine years... maybe in another nine, I will be 9 times stronger and so will my daughter.   A work in progress.  I am moody and tempermental but I am getting better each day.


18 comments:

  1. Wow, Jaime. I am just humbled by your forgiveness. I cannot fathom going through that. My son is 11 months old right now and reading your post made me tear up. Thank you for sharing your heart. I'm sure it was not easy to write, but I am also sure it will help others.

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Ariel. It's terrible to go through this. It really is but in reality, when I learned that the chains that were binding me to the negative needed to be broken... it became easy. Especially once I realized that I was doing this for me and my daughter. Give your son lots and lots of love <3

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  2. I am grateful to know you both. You are a gift to us and in this I am glad you turned up in our class. Ballet is so wonderful for us to imagine and be very free! I am trusting as Emma continues to amaze your heart will continue to heal. You inspire me!!! Xo

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    1. Awww! Thank you, Judy! I am very grateful that we get to know you and Cody through ballet! You both are amazing!

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  3. Hi Jamie,

    I started reading your blog years ago and remember you sharing this then. It hurt my heart and I can only imagine the grief and pain it has caused you. Hugs for staying strong, you are setting a wonderful example for your daughter.

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    1. Thank you, Sheila! I want her to be able to able to carry on with her life and not fret over the "what could have beens or should have beens"

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  4. You are amazing. You have been through so much and to be able to talk about forgiving the person who did that is remarkable.

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    1. Thank you so much. It's definitely easier to forgive the moment you realize that you're not giving them a green light but you're giving yourself the okay :)

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  5. Truly amazing. You are humbly inspirational. I don't think I would be as graceful in forgiveness as you are. It takes a very strong person to not only forgive, but also to share your story and heartache so openly. I am sure there are other women out there in your situation who needed to hear this. Certainly brought tears to my eyes! Much love to you and your daughter!

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    2. Thank you so much.
      Honestly, it took many years to get to the point I can forgive the person who did this but that was the most healing moment and it freed me to be able to move on with my life and let it go. It held terrible chains to us. Thank you so much for coming by, reading it and commenting!

      I am off to visit your blog :)

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  6. It takes an incredibly strong and brave person to forgive someone for such heinous acts, especially when it involve someone's own child. I'm just now reading your story and it breaks my heart to read about your daughter. She deserved (and deserves to be honest) so much better than that. You are a wonderful mom and a wonderful woman. Don't ever forget that.

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    1. Oh Kim, thank you so much for your super kind comment! I appreciate it so much! She does deserve so much better- I agree!

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  7. Wow, you are an incredible woman. I can't say I understand exactly what you have been through BUT - my son was stillborn in 2012 and I have dealt with a lot of anger, disappointment, and stupid questions/assumptions from other people, etc. I think these really difficult experiences in our lives often mold us into something more beautiful than before. I think your forgiveness is truly amazing and I am truly encouraged by your strength and candidness.

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    1. Thank you, Chirleen. You know- any loss- stillbirth, miscarriage, child's death after birth, a major injury, disability, etc. are all really similar with the grief- anger, disappointment, etc. You are absolutely right- these events in our lives really do mold us into something much more beautiful than before (I love, love, love that by the way!).

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  8. Wow. Your honesty is profound in this post. I am honored to have read something so real and vulnerable from you, all in the name of forgiveness' sake. You are doing the right thing, and I commend you over and over for forgiving that person every day. I know it isn't a one-time forgiveness because those feelings will arise again and again, and you are practicing perseverance in your quest to forgive.

    You are an incredible mother. Keep doing you :)

    Glad to have found you through SITS. ~Jenna

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  9. Beautiful. Sending peace and love to you and your daughter.

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  10. Jamie, I've been all over your blog, reading all kinds of stuff - I started with your sugar scrub review yum! I can't tell you how much I admire you for being able to find forgiveness and peace in your heart for this "person" who hurt your baby. I know it is the best thing for you and your beautiful little girl but I also know that forgiveness isn't as easy to come by as it sounds. Your daughter is a very lucky girl to have you as a mom.

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