Thursday, August 14, 2008

Scars

Almost three days have passed since my mother and stepfather returned to California after visiting us here in New York. For the first time in my life, I have connected with some fraction of how my mother feels about me. I am still processing the visit, but I must say that it was the best visit I have ever had with my parents. Sharing this phenomenal joy of motherhood with them has opened new doors of understanding and new avenues within the mother-daughter relationship.

Running perpendicular to my forearm are over 20 scars, like tics of reference on a ruler. I fear what my mom sees in those lines. We have never discussed them. Now with a daughter of my own, I am overwhelmed with guilt for how sad those white puckered interruptions of my smooth skin might make her feel. I secretly plead with the universe that I may never have to see those same scars on my own child's skin. Is there anything my own mother could have done to prevent them? Is there anything I can do to prevent those wounds from forming on my daughter's arms? Or is the damage that my DNA brings to Pepper already done?

10 comments:

Casey said...

"Is there anything my own mother could have done to prevent them?"

Tread carefully, my friend. You're on a path now that you can never un-walk.

Julia said...

This must be incredibly hard for you. May you find some peace with these questions.

Sarah said...

i used to worry a lot that my dna was tainted and my child would have no escape. enough that i was opposed to IVF and wanted to adopt. i had a really eye-opening time with my mom recently too, in which i finally saw how much of my issues stem from her behaviors and our relationship rather than the allegedly tainted dna (all the legitimate crazy is on my dad's side.) which has no implications on your situation whatsoever, i only mean to say i understand and hope you too find some peace with it.

Nicole said...

Casey,
Absolutely! This statement was not meant to indict my mother. Instead, I wonder what preventative maintenance can be done if you know your child is predisposed to bipolar disorder. My mother didn't know at the time, but Pepper's mother does.

Casey said...

Really, Nicole, I think the best thing you can do for Pepper is to take care of yourself.

Maybe she's predisposed to BP and maybe she's not, but it's very clear that mothers have immense influence on their children and how their children learn to deal with stress. I don't think it's wrong or bad of you at all to question your own mother's affect on you. It's hard terrible work, but I think it's important.

Casey said...

Also, though, kids are incredibly resilient, so don't freak out about it, too much.

Cibele said...

I agree with Casey, taking care of your self is best you can do for your girl

Dino aka Katy said...

i think DNA only come is half the picture behavior how she sees you and her environment are the other - don't worry it will be fine.

Aurelia said...

I kept thinking about this and then never came back to it! Arggh

Anyway, truly you don't know what the future holds, but hon, you of all people are the best person to watch out for signs of problems. If anything, she's better off with you!

Momma Val said...

It is OK. Really. There a a million other blemishes and dimples and hairs that your child will be pointing out to you in no time. Mine is 20 months and he already continually points out mommy's dimples (not the cute ones on your face) and daddy's pimples. There is little time to think of myself and all the troubles I've ever had. Now it's all about him . . . and us! I don't know that I agree with tainted DNA. Just always remember to treat your baby like his DNA is fabulous and wonderfully imperfect. Teach him to love himself. It will all be good! Hi, I bopped over from In Blue Ink. Nice to meet you!