Wednesday, October 27, 2010

overly sensitive

I know and recognize the fact that I tend to be overly sensitive to the fact that my beautiful daughter has Down syndrome.

I do, I know this...and yet time and time again, I somehow allow the overly sensitive side of myself to control how I think and view situations

Standing in the grocery store line....a lady stands behind us...she stares at Addison for a long moment....and then changes to a different line to wait first thought? "she noticed the ds."

Watching as people are so excited for my sister's baby...posting pics and announcing to the world about the new addition to the family...and I can't remember them doing that when Addison was first thought? "it's because my baby has ds...they weren't as excited"

Yesterday, I posted on a Mom blog post about having a preemie baby and relating to NICU stays, stating clearly in my comment that my baby has DS....I watched all day as other comments were posted and replied to....and mine was never posted to the thought? "they didn't want to post my comment because my baby has ds"

Listening to people all around me making jokes and flippantly using such words as "handicap" and "retarded" and find myself torn between shriveling up inside and holding a grudge and yelling and screaming about how much I hate those words.

I have a picture of Addison up in my office at school, and one day I returned to find a gaggle of high school girls standing outside my office door, staring at Addison's picture, and one of them was proclaiming in a loud, obnoxious voice "That is the ugliest baby I have ever seen!" It took my entire 26 yrs of built of restraint to not throw my entire mug of scalding hot coffee on this teenage girl who was staring at me with guilt as it clicked in her head that it was my baby that she was talking about. I was convinced that she had seen the ds in Addison's eyes and that was why she had declared her to be ugly.

These are just some small examples of me being extremely sensitive. I know that some of my friends and family walk on egg shells around me. I know that, and normally I would feel bad, but honestly some things just hurt so much that I really appreciate so many people in my life going out of their way to tell me how beautiful Addison is and how much they view her as any other baby and they don't use words that they know keep me up at night in fits of tears.

I know that the lady in the grocery store probably just saw a shorter line, that people did congratulation Addison just as much as my sister's baby...I just had so much going on I didn't notice all of the posts, that the blog writer emailed me and apologized for the mistake as my comment had gotten lost in the spam file, that people don't mean what I am imagining what they mean when they use those words, that that teenage girl was just trying to impress her friends......

I know. Yes, I do. And yet....I still cry and lash out my Mama Bear instinct to protect my daughter from ever having to be hurt like I am time and time again.

I am working on this...I promise...


  1. I have learned in my own experience that children do not naturally "read into" others' motives. They take people at face value. That being said, you are more likely to be the one to hurt her by being overly sensitive; you will teach her that something is wrong with her and she will learn to to be overly sensitive also. Sometimes when we are trying to protect our children we unwittingly hurt them by pointing out things that they would have never caught in the first place.

    We were in a church for several years that had a ministry with children who had many different "challenges" and the DS children would light up the place. They have such a sweet and loving nature. Do not assume that everyone thinks that something is WRONG with your child, there are many of us that see them as the joy that they are!

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  3. Ya, I want to smack that teenage girl too! LOL...Trust me people do NOT say Addison is cute just to comfort you or make you feel good...She IS seriously the cutest little girl I have seen!! I always look forward to seeing pictures of her! Teenagers are ignorant, and they do like to be "cool" in front of their friends...I applaud your restraint, I would have thrown the coffee, LOL
    I heard some one saying once that Russell looked funny and wierd, cause his tongue was always sticking out...At the time I was crushed...really, really hurt...But soon realized who was I kidding, I KNOW Russell is a handsome little guy, so why let that comment bother me??
    I have also wondered if people are staring at Russell because he is a cute little baby, or simply because of the Ds?? When I see people whispering I think its because of the Ds and about Russell...I know I am over sensitive to jokes and stares and comments...Its hard not to be....But I am trying. I have wondered if people only comment on pictures of Russell because he has Ds...If they think he is cute or just feel like they HAVE to say that...Trust me I have felt all these very same things!
    I am always so thankful when Moms post things like this...It really does help a person feel less alone...I know it takes a lot of courage at times to write what you really feel, or the negative sad things you feel at times. But it helps a person push through it, and it helps those who read it.
    Thank you for commenting on my Post yesterday when I needed some kind words...It helped me alot. Sending a hug your way :)

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  5. It's the Mama Bear syndrome. I could NOT believe how intense it hit me with Kara Marie!! :)

    But honestly, Addison IS beautiful. She's determined and funny and seems very advanced for someone who has dealt with as much as she has in her very short life. I'm constantly impressed by the pics and notes you put on your blog. God has given you a very amazing little girl. :)

  6. totally fine, Patti. (-: thanks for the sweet comments, everyone! Jenny- your post gave me the courage to write mine...(-: thank you!

  7. I just found your site through Life As Mom, and read through your whole story. Your daughter is just adorable! I wanted to share with you another blog that I read about a woman who has a daughter with DS - born right about the same time as your daughter. I'm sure you've heard of it since it's a very popular blog, but in case you haven't the site is called www dot kellehampton dot com. She is an amazing writer and takes fantastic pictures of her two daughters. I think your girl will go on to do great things!

  8. I am so sorry for what the teenage girl has said. We get stares from strangers and we have had people pucker at Laura in pity. Addison is NO where near ugly! She is one of the cutest babies! I was reading this post to my mom and she wanted to see a picture of Addison. She looked straight at her and asked me how could anyone say she is ugly??
    It makes me sad that you cry because people are so arrogant. I hope one day that Down syndrome will be seen as "normal" to the world, and that no more tears will have to be shed :)

  9. I'm so sorry about the hurtful words, Deanna! I'm so sorry if I've ever left any hurtful comments on any of your blog posts! Anna and I just love Addison to death!! We are completely taken by her!! We have nothing but good, happy thoughts in our hearts for Addison, and much love!! Thanks for sharing your heart with all of us.

  10. well, I deleted one of my comments cuz I thought maybe I could just do that and link back says my comment was deleted. Sooo...I just won't link back. But just know that you inspired me;)

  11. becky, you absolutely have never offended me by your comments! i have loved all of them! also- patti...i added my email address to my profile...(-:

  12. Hang in there sweetie! I give you permission to throw your coffee on that girl next time. ;) I think Addison is adorable and I love seeing new pictures every morning when I check your blog before I start my day. And I keep meaning to ask her if I can borrow her cute red hat! ;) Love you both!! BIG HUG!!

  13. Addison really is super cute, and I also love checking to see what you have posted and look at any new pic of miss addison. Athena also loves to look at the pictures, or videos, and says that she loves "baby addison, she is so silly"
    you keep that mama bear syndrome, you earned it!!

  14. so glad i found your blog...addison is a doll :) we too have a baby girl blessed with that magic chromosome. our blog is i love your pics and your writing and am so sorry you were having a bad day. kiss those cheeks for me! miss maggie used to have those cheeks till she stopped nursing at 15 months :(

  15. Oh brother. Stupid teenager. I'll bet that really hurt. I think I'd cry for a week if anyone ever said that about one of my babies, even knowing that it isn't true. Which, by the way, is also obviously not true about Addison! And as the other comments have made obvious, nobody's saying she's gorgeous to make you feel better. She's gorgeous. Period.
    Also, my baby girl is in a constant state of jealousness about Addison's knock-out outfits, especially the red hat. She's like, "MOM! That cute little girl from across the ocean is majorly showing me up." She's also working really hard to learn some of the moves that Addison can do.

  16. You aren't being overly sensitive. And teenagers can be jerks. Which I why I DREAD Claire going to HS, but that is off topic. Sending hugs your way, as I know the slights can be hurtful, whether they are meant to be or not.


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