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    Posted August 20, 2014 by
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Living with a chronic illness

    Front Row Seat


    I am a caregiver.


    I am a mother. A best friend. A loyal confidant. A comedian. A cook. A maid. A hand holder. A comforter. A survivor, and a work-in-progress.


    I am no longer young. I am no longer beautiful. And the only heads I turn these days, are those who notice or connect to the despair in my eyes. Which might explain my sun glass obsession.


    I have been accused, threatened and abandoned. Mentally and emotional beaten. And I've lost plenty.


    I no longer go to work. I no longer dress up. I no longer spend hours on the phone with friends. ... Our home was taken. Our dog, put down. And the loss of relationships, I can't even bring to my lips to air.


    It's has been eleven years, and four months, since that fated day my innocent, non suspecting child, was thrown into a world of agonizing pain. And I, a front row seat. How as a mother do you help your child deal with the inconceivable betrayal of her own body, and then the aloof ignorance, and arrogance, from all those surrounding her? ... All I am aware of most days, besides my broken heart, and the distinct possibility of losing my mind, is the fact, that somehow, I am still standing.


    And even though the days are long, and the nights sometimes longer. The two of us have become an extraordinary team. We somehow manage to bring each other just enough love and comfort to make it through another day.


    Of course, my list of questions, and what-ifs, are endless. ... I wonder if this punishment is some kind of karmic debt I owe, or maybe the actions of my ancestors. Or perhaps some agreed-upon contract before came through the veil? And I wonder how much longer one can really go on in such a state?


    And as I watch her read, and journal.  I know it's a task I am simply unable to copy. For I am not that brave. My fears and anxieties are too much in my own head, and far too frightening to leave behind for others to read. But her's, somehow a work of art.


    How are people expected to survive and heal when there is no support or understanding for their condition or illness? When there is no love shown. No contact. No encouragement. No understanding. How do you find answers when you have run out of money? Forced into isolation, and live everyday with inadequate medical care. And hear over and over that your doctors hands are tied, especially with alternative treatments or options that are so desperately needed, because of the aforementioned. And what do you do when your own family abandons you, because their needs and agendas are far more important?


    These are the moments you are pushed to find the act of forgiveness. But how do you forgive, when there is no repentance? How do you move forward, when those acts continue?

    Like I said, I'm a work in progress.


    It's a humbling and painful journey, no doubt. Terrifying everyday. But I can promise you. You will learn about who you are. Who you want to be. And who you are not. You will also learn about authentic and enduring love. These journey's are all very personal. But for me, there is no other place you'll find me than next to my sweet daughter... helping her through this grievous nightmare in which she is trapped. That is what I do know.

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