Early this evening, I was talking with my sister. Her 14.5 year old daughter was getting ready for a school football game. She and her 3 friends were in the bathroom putting on makeup and curling hair and giggling and having fun. And I was suddenly transported back to my high school years and the anticipation of going to the football games. They were always so much fun. There wasn't a lot I really liked about high school, and I'd never go through those years again for a million bucks, but I loved the football games.
They were always so much fun. I rarely watched the game to actually know what was going on, but I loved listening to the cheering and the laughter of the people in the stands. The happiness was contagious on those crisp Fall evenings. And there were always the dances after the game was done, where we'd dance to I Love Rock-n-Roll, Freeze Frame, 867-5309, and the like. To this day, I'm transported back to that time in my life when I hear these songs.
When I got off the phone with my sister, it suddenly hit me that none of our daughters had ever experienced what I did. We homeschooled Bugster through her junior high and high school years. She had plenty of different opportunities that she'd have not had in a public school setting, but she also missed out on things like football games and dances. I suddenly felt horribly guilty and called her up. I couldn't help but cry over her having missed out on what surely would have been some of her fondest memories, if she was anything like me. And she's a lot like me.
She assured me that she did get to go to football games and had the fun and excitement of cheering on the teams. She got to go to a prom with Bubster, and I know she had the time of her life. She assured me that she didn't feel like she missed out on anything and that she was grateful for the opportunities that she did have.
While we were talking, it hit me so hard that Hopper and Scooter won't ever have these kinds of memories, and although I'm thrilled that Bugster is satisfied with her experiences, it kills me that Hopper and Scooter miss out on so very much. It hurts that they don't have friends, that they'll never kiss a boy, that they'll never know the fun of putting on makeup and getting ready for a football game. It's hitting me even harder as I type this. My eyes are barely more than slits.
This is Hopper's senior year of high school. I'm sure that's one reason it's hitting me so much harder. I'm thankful in indescribable ways that neither of them can truly understand what they are missing, but it me hurts to the very core of my being. The loss I feel is so incredibly deep. *This* is why people say, "I'm sorry" when they hear you have special needs children.
All these years, I've had to focus on the positives. I knew that, if I allowed myself to go 'there', that I might not survive. 'There' is a very dark place with no hope. It's sad. It's consists of shattered dreams and immeasurable pain. It's a world of despair. There's a really good reason I have chosen not to live my life 'there'.
And now that I've allowed myself to go there for a few hours, to grieve this tremendous loss, I need to leave. My visit is over.
I will be happy and strong once again for my girls. I will be thankful that they don't know what they're missing. I will be so very thankful that they will never be hurt by a boy who just wants to use them. I will be thankful that they will not understand the pain of being on the receiving end of gossip. I will be that they are the happiest two people I've ever known in my life. I will be happy that their love is unconditional. That their trust in us is undying. I will be forever grateful that they are our daughters, and that they're not with someone who doesn't love them or try to understand them.
And I will be doing everything in my power to arrange for us to go to a football game as a family. I will do everything I can to prepare Hopper, so she doesn't have a panic attack at the thought of us being at her school and seeing people she knows in the stands. I will do everything I can to make sure she has some wonderful memories of her senior year of high school. I'm hoping that with all of us there, including Bugster, Bubster and Frank, that it won't be as hard on her. That she will instead have wonderful memories of a wonderfully fun day.
I pray the girls will always be secure in how much they are loved and adored.
They deserve that at the very least.
Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.
You can read the start of my journey here.