Friday, March 27, 2015

Tourette's Syndrome

I’ve been given a new diagnosis. 
Actually, my daughter was given a diagnosis.
Being a mom, though, means that this diagnosis is actually my world now. This diagnosis will be researched, feared, reviled, loved, and ultimately owned by me.
 Because I’m a mom.  And my imperfect self loves in a perfect and unconditional ferocity this girl that I gave birth to eight years ago.
So I researched. 
I read about the statistics, famous individuals with the same diagnosis, and joined the support groups and newsletters.
I read about the natural remedies and holistic approaches. I bought essential oils, made terra cotta diffusers, found glass roller bottles, droppers, fractionated coconut oil, Epsom salts, magnesium supplements, and made potions with drops of ingredients I’d previously only associated with the Nativity.  I lovingly created these treatments, anointing my baby’s flawless skin with antique hopes and prayers, as mothers have done for thousands of years.
I feared.
I imagined the worst.  I envisioned the tears on her face, the peers who may be unkind, and the future broken hearts she may experience.  I imagined her being ostracized, ridiculed, and left out.  After reading about anxiety, depression, and emotional highs and lows, I feared a future that would hurt her and bring her to those places in her soul where even her Momma might not be able to shine a light and help her find her way out.
And I reviled.
I hated this diagnosis and how it seemed to be an attack on my strong and vibrant daughter.  I hated that tics will follow her emotions, twisting and contorting her features with every stressful thought or rush of adrenaline, making her want to hide her face from the world, her emotions naked before all in her presence.  I hated how there was nothing to fight, no enemy to drive away for relief. I hated how she has no choice and no control.  After telling her so many times that only she is the master of her body, in an effort to raise a little girl free from the notion that she needs to please others with beauty, physical touch, or by succumbing to societal pressures, it turns out that I was wrong. She doesn’t have full control of her body.
But then I loved.
I loved it because this is a part of her, and therefore I must love it.
 I loved it because I can see her being an instrument of awareness.  A beacon of information and acceptance.  An intelligent and lovely spokesperson.  A fighter. An advocate.  A strong voice in a world that sometimes needs strong voices to drown out ignorance.
She will shine. She will conquer. She will thrive.
She will do beautiful things with her life, and this diagnosis will only refine her, make her more compassionate, more intentional, and more tenacious.
And because I’m the Mom, I will own this diagnosis. I will have Tourette’s with her. I will walk with her and feel the pain, experience the sadness, and brush it off like a champion – by her side. I will grow in this diagnosis, educate, advocate, and be proud of this diagnosis. 
I will Love her.
Everything will change…..But Nothing will change.
The road stretches out before her and I can see that it’s full of adventure…