I have learned some valuable information through my blog. I've discovered that I am not alone in my feelings of isolation and feeling lost in life. I have heard from so many wonderful women who have confessed to having similar feelings.
Yesterday I took Robby to the animal park again. He has discovered the joy of feeding the fish. As I was watching the fish, all hoarded together in a stagnant pond while gasping for air and food, I realized that I could relate to their plight.
I, too, feel as if I am struggling. Sometimes it feels as if the world is happening around me, and I am standing still. not sure of where to go and or how to proceed.
I am not alone. I suspect that everybody, particularly mothers, encounter these identity dilemmas. Many of the women who contacted me were amputees who were trying to find a place in a "four-limbed" world. Being an amputee certainly adds a layer of complication, but the struggle is universal.
My life has drastically changed since I became a mother. Every decision, from what and when I am going to eat, to how I am going to spend the day, is influenced by my little boy. I appreciate the fact that Scott's life has also changed since Robby's birth.
In general, I think that men are more immune to this kind of identity crisis because they are able to retain more of themselves. My husband is able to engross himself in auto races, football or any other sport while I entertain Robby. He is able to carve out this time for himself without guilt, which is nearly impossible for me. At this moment, Scott is in the other room watching ESPN while I am trying to write despite Robby hopping on the bed pretending to be a frog.
I have lost the ability to sleep until I naturally wake in the morning. The mornings of enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee have been replaced by chugging a few sips of the burning hot caffeine before changing a diaper and finishing it cold after tending to the needs of the toddler. Some days, the only "Peggy time" I get is when I remember to lock the bathroom door!
It is reassuring to know that many mothers, both able-bodied and disabled, feel isolated and lost. Before writing my blog last week I felt as if I were the only person who loved her family yet still felt unfulfilled. I was ashamed. I thought that I was being selfish and that I was a bad mom because tending to Robby's needs did not completely satisfy all of my needs. I was judging myself, and I was wrong to do so.
So, the question still looms. What do I do now, and who am I? I am a thirty-five year old, stay at home Mommy. I am also an amputee. I have given up my career, temporarily, for the opportunity to raise my son. I am a mom, a laundry worker, a cook and a housekeeper. I am also a daughter, a sister, a wife and a friend.
I have not given up my talents, my compassion for others, or my intellect. I dream of being a writer, of being a voice for amputees and for mommys. Perhaps the transparency of my feelings and experiences can help other women dealing with limb loss or any life changing experience.
I am a firm believer in the "everything happens for a reason" mantra. Perhaps I have been waiting for the reason behind my amputation to show itself. Maybe, just maybe, I need to become more proactive towards defining the reasons behind my limb loss. Instead of passively waiting for an epiphany I should be working towards creating my own definitions. Dreams only become a reality when they are set into motion. I have started writing my book.