• Lorna J Westley

A Special Child (Part 2) - My Dark Place

Are you going to be ok? Sure, you’re ok now, better than ok. You’re happy, cheeky and excruciatingly joyful surrounded by your family who love and adore you. Who shield and protect you from the cruel world. But what about later, when you’re bigger, when you’re alone, when I’m not there to strike down anyone who stares at you too long with my evil eye?


Are you loved enough? Will you love yourself enough to have the confidence and self-esteem to do anything you want, whenever you want and wherever you want? Will you walk into a room and expect, no demand, to be loved because that is what you’re used to and so that’s what will happen? Will you have the courage to look people in the eye and let them see you for who you really are? Will you love freely and with an open heart, exposing your vulnerabilities and offering your true self in all its perfect imperfections?


Are you loved too much? Is it possible that your family has loved, adored and protected you so much that you do not develop the resilience and fortitude to cope with the ignorant and uneducated people who might taunt or tease you? Will their cruelty break your heart (as it does mine) and shatter your confidence and self-worth into tiny pieces? Or will you rise above the ignorance to become a leader, an educator, a master, a luminary?


Do you have the strength to cope with the medical challenges ahead of you and with the disappointments or setbacks they may bring with them? Will you be brave during treatment (as you are now) when I’m not there to hold your hand? Will you try to smile through the pain (as you do now) when I’m not there to hold you in my arms and gently stroke your burning skin? Will you have the sensitivity and self-awareness to reach out for help when you need it and find comfort in someone else’s arms?


Will you have the boldness and fearlessness to face life as one huge adventure ready to be tackled head-on? Will you take it by the horns and throw yourself into it? Will you live and play hard, giving everything you do 110%? Will you make lemonade out of lemons, dance in the rain and laugh in the face of adversity? Will you face your medical obstacles with a fierce determination and plough your way through them?


Most of all, will you understand that you are perfect and whole just as you are? That nothing and no-one could make you be more so. That you are smart (so smart) and funny and caring and affectionate and so so beautiful in every way. Will you know that about yourself? Will you appreciate who you are, rather than begrudging who you are not? Will you accept the parts of you that are different and appreciate them for making you who you are…unique, amazing, wonderful you.


Why did this happen to you? My precious, beautiful, perfect child…why do you have this? Was it my fault? Was it something I did or didn’t do during pregnancy? Oh my god, did I do this to you? Was it us? Your Mummy and Daddy who were both so excited and over the moon to be having you? Was it genetic? Did we do this to you? And if not; then why? Why you?


Will you be happy being special? Because I know you didn’t ask for it. And I didn’t either. And whilst, I accept that you ARE special and love you completely and unconditionally for being so, there are times (many times, especially at 2am in the morning) that I wish you weren’t.


When I see your older bothers strip off their shirts at the beach and run down to the water in their board shirts, I watch them with the smug satisfaction of a proud Mum and then the thought hits me (as it always does), “I hope you will be able to do that too.” Damn that intrusive, gate crashing thought!


Looking too far ahead causes nothing but chaos and distress in my anxious mother’s mind. And so I pull myself back. What do you need today, this week, this year? Can I handle that? Yes, I can. I must. It’s the only way to stay out of the black hole that constantly tries to suck me into it’s depths of despair. My worries are the darkness. Your smile is the light.



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