For the past couple of weeks I have been trying to become more active in my blogging and also in learning and sharing about James’ epilepsy. Between my own blog and comments on http://epilepsytalk.com I have been sharing a lot of information about our struggles with the epilepsy, pseudoseizures and foster parenting in general.
This evening after sharing one of my stories, I received this comment in response:
You got to have the HEART OF AN OCEAN to care, root & vouch for epileptic foster child.
THIS WORLD NEEDS HEROES LIKE YOU !!!
Epileptic like me understand, appreciate & ADMIRE your courage to learn, understand, struggle & fight for remedy for your son’s seizures.
Thank you for sharing your very uplifting & inspiring story for BRAVE PEOPLE MAKE FOR BRAVE WORLD !!!
Some people may find it strange, but it is words like these that keep me going. I get similar words from James’ family about how far along he has come in 8 months. It is nice to hear from other people who are also sharing their experiences that are helping me to learn more about epilepsy, seizures and all the medications.
I am somewhat of a perfectionist with things that are very important to me, and I take these things very personally. I think if they were going any other way than how they are right now, and have been during the past 8 months, I would be looking upon it as a failure. The fact that James is still living with me, and the fact that I have guided him to a better life path, gotten his seizures under control (knock on wood), and he is fairing half decent in school.
Back when he moved in with me, I didn’t know anything about parenting, much less parenting a troubled epileptic teenager. I have a few people believing that I would fail and he would not last a week. I had some of those believing also that I was in way over my head with this boy. Perhaps I was, but I was determined not to fail this child as the rest of the system had for so long. I was determined to make this his last stop before he is out on his own as a responsible adult.
Looking back, I do wonder how I managed, especially during the time when seizures were an everyday occurrence several times each day. I was working full time teaching new courses that I had never taught before, dealing with seizures, dealing with pills, and dealing with a teen that is just like all the rest – defiant, moody, etc. I was often looking to colleagues with teens for guidance in the parenting area just to learn how to deal with various situations that had arisen.
When I hear the kindness of strangers, and people I know, it is my sign that I must be doing something right. I need to hear it. I cannot fail this kid or I will be failing myself, and in my mind all those people who figured I could not do this thing will be proven correct. That is something I cannot allow.
On a side note, before I close for another evening, I have been speaking to James. I have told him how much his story is making a strong connection with my readers, and this is just how I see it. He has started a blog, and when he is ready he will be telling his story about how he has been dealing with epilepsy all of his life. I feel that if it can affect me in a meaningful way, then he should share this story with the world, and he can affect others the same way. Hopefully he will start it soon. I will keep you posted, and when the time is right maybe even reveal the real person behind the pseudonym “James.”