Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Different does not equal less

Different does not equal less

hi mama,

It is hard to believe how far you’ve come.

This time last year you would never have imagined the amount of loss and hurt you would have to, and could be able, to take.

There were the dark days when you felt like running.

The times when you wasn’t sure how you were still left standing and the times you had the urge to throw your head against a wall.  It was in those moments, when you became silent and solitary, whilst the chaos still continued to spin around you.  

You gave up and that was what frightened you the most.

You were the mama that close friends and family felt would be close to breaking down. They told you to give it up and let someone in. Try to make time for yourself - but you were locked in a mental prison and your only task was survival. You were putting out so many fires that it was impossible to see the cinders you had become. You admitted you didn’t even like yourself anymore, how could you expect anyone else to?

It wasn’t the way you planned it. The way you expected your family unit to be.

You wanted to be that family.

That family with a mummy and a nice daddy who shared the workload. The daddy who would be bathing the kids and tucking them in with a bedtime story whilst you had some well needed pamper time.

Then you would jet away on fun-packed family holidays with an abundance of sunny shots to return with.

Instead you had a child with an additional need and a choice to make whether your children or your husband’s needs came first.  You could not referee anymore.

You didn’t have a chance to grieve over your lost freedom as you were catapulted into crisis simultaneously.

Your child had a disability that was invisible to everyone around you, but which you lived and breathed every day and that you were forced to believe you were the cause of.

A child whose condition controlled them so badly that daily tasks of using the toilet, eating and drinking had shut down.  You became her carer instead of just being her mama.

A baby, who was still five years old as she told you she hated her brain.

Your infant began a trail of self-destruction and violently attacked everyone around her.  Then she turned it on herself. How could you watch her self-harm and attempt to take her own life?

You had no choice but to take her to hospital and get her admitted.

Sat, with your precious baby cradled on your lap, as you admitted to the world you could cope no more. 

Don’t feel guilty for not knowing how to deal with it. Remember, she finally was in safe hands. As you wept hot tears, it was a relief to share this burden. You have never been as frightened in your life as you were then, desperate, clawing on as you prayed they would not take her from you.  

Why did she want to kill herself? It was like a narrative in a soap opera - it wasn’t supposed to be your life. If only someone would’ve listened earlier, could’ve offered us some support, we could have avoided it all.

Then the effect the stress had on your marriage. You lost the partner, the soul-mate, the person you wanted most to hold your hand.  

As you crumbled you realised you were the foundations - the fortress that held it altogether.

And then came the system that tried it’s best to beat you.

The day you found out they had discarded your child from school and you were trapped in shock. You were fortunate to have a friend there who laid her mothering hands on your shoulders and told you to breathe.  

Your worst fears had become a living nightmare. 

But you should be proud, warrior mama, as you found the strength to fight back.

The day of the trial was the turning point. You sat in a room and all around you were people who were finally listening.

And you won. 

Yes, you won, for your baby who didn’t choose to be this way. You bravely told the world about the discrimination both you and her had to face. And in doing so, you stood up to a system who were letting down other vulnerable children.

It was rested on your shoulders to re-start the journey of getting her to like herself again.

That was no easy feat. And you ignited that start off, with the dedication that comes with unconditional love.

You are a good mama. You don’t always feel like it when you lose control.

Now you are supporting other parents at the start of their journey, sharing the knowledge you’ve gained from being on a path that took you off course. And you are beginning to build those baby steps and creating a family unit that isn’t how you planned it, but it’s ok, different does not equal less.

You are not rejected from the life you had; you are being re-directed to something better.

Keep going mama.

Have faith in the power you have to keep on steering your ship’s wheel.

It will continue to get you where you want to be.

Trust, mama, just trust.

Read Danielle's blog over on her website,  PDA Parenting .  Think another mama could benefit from reading this letter? Share by clicking on the social icons below...

Read Danielle's blog over on her website, PDA Parenting.

Think another mama could benefit from reading this letter? Share by clicking on the social icons below...

Deep breaths mama, you've got this!

Deep breaths mama, you've got this!

You speak her name, often and loud

You speak her name, often and loud