The Illusion of Strength

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Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip… Yay…last week’s Thursday adventure!  Not really.  So here’s the lowdown; last week my son came running in to the house crying, as young adventurous boy’s often do, however this time, it was more than the typical trampoline bump or bicycle crash.  My son had unfortunately been on the receiving end of a rather nasty dog bite.  After a quick examination at home we could tell that he would need to see a Dr. and would likely need stitches, and seeing as my husband was unable to take him…and of course because I was in full swing Supermom mode… I volunteered to take him to the Hospital.

Now I had been handling it rather well, all things considered, and was even able to keep the waterworks at bay on the drive there as he asked fearful questions through tear-filled eyes.  During our time in the emergency waiting room I continued to check on the wound and calm his fears (and mine) as we chatted with the other questioning patients as best we could.  And then the time came to finally see the Dr.  I anticipated the typical discussion about stitches, but what I didn’t anticipate was my reaction to said discussion.

Being as I had never actually received stitches myself growing up, and that this was the first major accident requiring stitches with any of my children in general; I don’t think I quite realized where my body and mind was (or wasn’t) as I continued to stare at the wound and take in all of the information.  It wasn’t until I found myself having great difficulty focusing on what was being said that I suddenly began to feel funny and thought I should sit down.  I do recall for a split second entertaining the thought that I should mention my symptoms to the Dr. but that was quickly dismissed as I remembered that I needed to be strong for my son…and besides…I’d look stupid if I said something.  And in fact, that may be the last thing I remember before waking up to find myself on the floor somehow with a pillow under my head and the Dr. and the nurse above it.

Yep, that’s right folks…I, Supermom…the one who was supposed to be calming the fears of my son and being the strong one there for him (you know, the guy with the actual emergency…the reason we were there to begin with)…had passed out.  (It’s at this point that I hang my head and for the umpteenth time think…”I can not believe that happened”)  I’d like to be able to tell you that I recovered quickly so that I could be with my son as he received his 5 stitches, but sadly I cannot.  And as if blacking out weren’t bad enough, the Dr., being concerned about the lovely shade of green I was sporting, suggested that it would be easier to move my son to another room and give me the bed (and an apple juice)….and then strongly “suggest” that I not be in the room with him while the procedure took place (not that I physically could – even if I wanted to!)  The good news though, was that his amazing Aunt was able to come and be there with him, and when all was said and done – he being stitched up and I through with vomiting – my husband was able to come and drive us both home (after a promised pit stop at McDonald’s for my son and all his troubles).

So what was the lesson learned in all this?  Yes, that accidents happen and that in the future I should send my husband for all emergencies…but beyond that I think the greatest thing I could pass on would be that we’re not always as strong as we think we are.  I know that we as parents like to appear that we’ve got it all together, (and it’s no wonder with the amount of parent shaming that goes on nowadays over social media…we’re posting about love one minute and then beating each other over the head the next…where is the grace guys?  Which reminds me…no blaming here for this entire incident…it sucked yes but let’s not make a bad situation worse with the weapon of words…now where was I? Oh yes….having it all together…) whether it’s in the grocery store when we feel all of those eyes on us as our child throws themselves on the floor a la “Llama Llama Mad At Mama” style, or whether it’s when the bills are piling up and we’re feeling every ounce of weight on our weary shoulders…we like to shelter our children from the harsh realities that life can sometimes throw us…the big ones and the little ones…but in so doing, what kind of message are we really sending them?  To hide weakness and reject help?  When we look at it like that, I’m sure that’s not the goal for any of us, but the fact of the matter is that when we try to appear strong we only end up weaker.  When we try to appear strong we only end up weaker. Click To Tweet

Friends, the reality is that we’re not always strong, we’re not always brave, and sometimes we think we’re okay and can handle it, but in all reality we’re merely functioning on auto pilot, unaware that things are quickly getting hazy until we find ourselves collapsed in a heap and wondering how we got there.

But there’s good news, and here it is: it’s okay.  I know you’ve been told to be strong and to have courage…to just keep swimming, because heaven forbid others, let alone your own children, see you as weak…but it’s okay.  Sometimes we need another; sometimes the battle is just too tough to go alone.  And you know what?  That doesn’t make you weak…that makes you human.  Sometimes you need another. That doesn't make you weak...that makes you human. Click To Tweet

Maybe it’s been a long hard year, or maybe just a day, but we’ve all been there and if we’re not now, we know of someone who is.  In either case, let’s be people who are brave enough to turn off our autopilot and reach out to another to give and receive help.  Don’t stay quiet because you’re too afraid of looking stupid or of being a burden…it’s much much easier to just ask…before you pass out…believe me.

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