Thursday, July 9, 2009

Survivor

When I started thinking about moments I have survived, I started thinking about my childhood, to see what traumatic experiences I could use to write about.

In grade 1, in the middle of winter, I stuck out my tongue and licked the metal fence in the school yard. Yeah, you know what that means, right? Well, it hurt like hell to remove it. But I survived.

Once, I was chased by a dog on the way home from school, and when I was a few steps from home, the dog jumped on top of me, just staring into my eyes as I lay there, thinking I would surely die. It was a big black dog and I think this is why I'm still scared of dogs today. I survived that episode, and ran home, crying, to my mom. I remember I was wearing a sweater with 3 boxes on it - in red, yellow, and blue - a birthday gift from a friend, such vivid is that memory in my mind, still.

I remember the time I did not run fast enough in grade 8 track and field, and a big mean girl beat me up after for making her lose the relay. After the cops (yes, the school actually got the cops involoved) talked to her, she wanted to be my best friend. I survived her shoving me against a locker, and I certainly never let her be my friend after that. I was nice to her, though. She was such a suck-up after that.

I survived drinking Jack Daniel's behind my high school before a dance. Multiple times.

I survived white water rafting, and falling out of the boat two times, having to be rescued. (Before we got in the water, I was sure I wasn't even going to get wet at all!)

I survived living in a very small town where I fast-tracked my broadcast journalism degree after I had graduated from University.

I survived being almost kidnapped in D.C. when I was waiting for the bus. A man in an orange truck asked me to get in his truck. I ignored him, and he drove off... and then came back again. Told me again to get in with him. I ignored him, and started wondering if I should run back to my house, or if that would be far worse, considering (in my head) I was thinking he'd follow me home and kill me there. Eventually, after asking me again to get in his orange truck, he left. I was on a quiet street, and no one else was around.

I survived having my hair played with by a complete stranger on the subway at 4 a.m. in Queens, New York, after a night out with friends. I did not move. I was totally scared. My two friends were just staring at me, not knowing what to do.

I have survived many turbulance filled flights.

I have survived dealing with and lying to Canadian Customs officials after shopping trips south of the border.

I survived 45 minutes of poking as someone tried to give me my epidural - 8 puncture wounds could clearly be seen on my lower back for days after. If you so much as say the word 'epidural' to me, I get numb in my lower back just thinking about that experience.

These are just some of the things - none too significant - that I've survived. But the one thing I can say I'm a true survivor of is motherhood. I have survived days like the ones when my baby, only 12 weeks old, had to be rushed to the hospital with a high fever due to a urinary tract infection. Having to watch him get an iv into his baby hand was traumatizing, to say the least. I survived two weeks of staying at his side in the children's hospital, and again when he was 6 months old.

I felt like a survivor when my son got pneumonia and I had to watch him go for countless x-rays, and I survived waiting for him to get out of surgery. I can't truly explain the pain and worry and fear I went through those days, but: I survived all that.

I survive the daily worry of being a mom, and I know that no matter what, this worry will never go away. Each time one of my children gets sick, I go into survivor mode.

I am a survivor of motherhood... most days, it's easy and fun, but some days - the days you are worried and scared, and feel so alone - those are days I consider myself a survivor the most.

This post was written as part of a writing assignment from Mama Kat's blog.

18 comments:

Shannon @ AnchorMommy said...

You've been through a lot! I feel so bad you're still scared of dogs! You would surely regress to that memory at my house because our dog is very big and very black. He's also very much a goofball and doesn't know his own strength.

Eight epidural attempts?!?! That person should have been fired!

I admire you for all you went through with the UTIs and pneumonia. ER visits and x-rays are terrifying as a mom!

Kelly said...

Wow that man in the truck thing is creepy and the guy playing with your hair is even weirder. Too bad you can't go back in time to yell at him.

I try not to worry about my kids too much because otherwise it would drive me crazy. I think there is always something you could be doing better or differently. It's crazy to think about how much of their development you affect

Farmers Wife said...

Visiting from mama kats. That is an amazing post, I really enjoyed reading it. I am so with you about the needles in the back, I had to have a lumbar punchure when I was a child and to this day can STILL remember them trying to get the needle in my back. *shudder*..

Jessica said...

Aren't we all!

Especially surviving the daily worry. Good grief!

This is such a sweet post and you really are a survivor! I can just see your poor little girl self pinned by that big, nasty dog. And the orange-truck guy! Holy crap!

I, myself, have survived years of bad decisions. It's a freakin' miracle I'm sitting here today!

Great post :)

twinmomplusone said...

Well written Loukia!

cheers

KendallJaye said...

Cancer survivor AND Motherhood survivor. :D

Chantal said...

great post Loukia! You really are a survivor!

Lady Mama said...

Great post. You are a survivor! And yes I know what you mean about surviving motherhood - possibly one of the most challenging things but really there's no choice in the matter. And I can only imagine how hard it must have been to see your son taken to hospital at 12 weeks.

Nap Warden said...

Dang...orange truck guy scared me!

I think we are all surviving motherhood, one day at a time;)

Elaine A. said...

You are a survivor! It's amazing some of the tests that we are put through and things we can overcome.
Beautiful post my friend!

Shana said...

Great post! Thanks for being so honest!

Blahbitty Blahbitty Blahbitty Blah! said...

Great post Loukia! I have survived much of what you wrote about. Thankfully, not the weird person playing with your hair on the subway. Yikes! I would have pooped my pants!
I was almost kidnapped when I was 5. The man followed me after I would not get in his car. He was playing with himself in the car when he as asking me to get in. I was terrified. I ended up going down an alley (I know, smart move) where he continued to follow me until I went to someone's back door and banged until someone opened up, rescued me and called the police. What a wacko! Glad we all survived these encounters (and continue to do so--as far as the motherhood goes).

Maria @BOREDmommy said...

Motherhood is all about surviving and persevering with the little people intact. You've experienced enough to give any Greek mother a heart attack several times over!!! Your poor mana!!!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I don't even want to go into the things I've survived! Yikes!
Motherhood? The ultimate survival. Asher had double pneumonia, strep and RSV last winter, and it was the scariest time of my life. Not being able to control your child when they are sick is the scariest thing ever, isn't it?

Rachel said...

They seems like such small things, but taken all together, it seems like a miracle any of us make it to motherhood at all...

So glad you survived, Loukia!

Krystyn said...

You've survived a lot, but I have to agree with you motherhood tops it all; especially when the kiddos are sick.

That Girl said...

Wow! This post really struck a chord with me. When your babies get ill you have to be strong for them and deal with it the best way you can. This is what I try and tell myself now rather than feeling scared and sick to the pit of my stomach. Not saying it always works though! Its that feeling of responsibility for them that can be so scary! And you have survived a few scary things!

Christy said...

Great post! It took two tries to get my epidural in, and I thought that was bad...

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