Monday, 7 November 2011

The greenest of monsters


Once upon a time a good friend of mine (she doesn't look like that) said to me 'Envy is wanting what someone else has, jealousy is not wanting them to have it'

I have been thinking a lot about both recently, fueled by this post here, which I feel has blurred the line between the two. But it's about something I know nothing about. Here's what I do know about.

I suffer from what is, based on the above, a big old case of envy. Ever since I found out that William was deaf I have looked at all the people around me having children and wondered why they 'got off'. Why it had to be my baby that got the duff gene out of nowhere. Why my baby has a harder life than theirs. Why they get to moan about sleepless nights and weaning and laundry while I sit on the floor rocking, wishing that these were the only things I had to worry about. Why do my friends get to fret about their perfectly normal children going to school, making friends and coping with the change when I, already, worry about my child going to school and being able to talk.  

But not once, not ever, not for one portion of a second, have I ever, ever wished that these people had deaf children. Or that their children had any kind of disability at all. Or that they didn't have their wonderful, non disabled children.

I am envious that they don't have to deal with what I have to deal with. But I am not jealous of their 'normality'. I would not for one second wish this heartache on anyone.

But that doesn't stop me from wishing it was different sometimes. For me. Not for anyone else.

I'm linking up with lovelinks for the first time...come join me!



  1. Darling, you are only human. Although I do think you have super human qualities at times. As always thank you for your beautiful honesty which lets us try to see things through your eyes for a bit. I hope it makes us better friends to you because of it.

  2. I've felt that way too. Everyone wants and expects a perfectly healthy baby; it's hard to adjust when they aren't. One assumes this sort of thing only happens to other people, until it happens to you. Reading your post made me realise, though, that I genuinely have started to see the difficult experience of mothering a baby with a health problem as a bit of a badge of honour actually. I feel proud of everything we have been through; him and me. I feel that I've gained a lot of understanding from the experience. It is hard, though, and I do know that feeling of almost disbelief: how did this happen to me? Is this for real?! It must be so easy for others..but then, as I say, I am starting to find a lot of meaning in it and feel privileged that it's happened to me.

  3. What a lovely perspective, thanks for sharing it with me. x

  4. Ali, you are not alone in this. So many hearing parents of deaf children feel the exact same way. And in my opinion, there is always a bright side. William can begin to know the beautiful, visual language of sign language, and become part of a culture and community that most people don't even know exists. If the UK and US didn't have different sign languages, I would offer my services to you and help you learn (I am fluent in ASL and a teacher of it). You will get through it, and your son will be an amazing, intelligent, successful person, as I am sure he is already becoming.
    "Deaf people can do everything hearing people can do, except hear." - I. King Jordan, first Deaf president of Gallaudet University, 1988-2006.

  5. What a thoughtful comment, thank you. I agree that sign language is beautiful and I love how it has helped him communicate and he looks SO cute doing it! It sucks that we have different sign languages as we have family in the US but it is one more thing we will overcome I'm sure.
    Ali. xx

  6. While not the parent of a disabled child, mine are survivors of a crime...there were many times that I had similar feelings... envy... and I, too, would never ever wish the heartache on another. You are not alone :)

  7. Oh by can I relate. I felt/feel the same way about my son who suffered a stroke in utero. Why is it that I - who did everything right and got the prenatal care - should give birth to a disabled child? Why not the woman who did not get prenatal care, who smoked, who had loads of caffeine, who did not take care of herself have a healthy child. Don't get me wrong. I don't wish anyone's child to be disabled. It's just something I'm not proud of and something that I can't help.

  8. I get it too. Every time I look at someone who got drunk and ended up with a baby they didn't really want. Me? I had to go find mine.

    Everyone has their envy. Everyone has their jealousy. Everyone is human. God bless you and your baby boy.

  9. I know exactly what you're talking about. I felt the same way after my son was born and we found out he had a genetic syndrome. I've always found those emotions hard to explain but you did a very good job of it. Buddy wears hearing aids and does well with them. He's had little friends with cochlear implant who have done remarkably well. Hang in there, girl. If there's anything I can tell you at all it's that no one can tell you for 100% sure what your child's abilities & capabilities are going to be. My son has blown the doors off what were told to expect when he was an infant.

  10. Everyone is envious of someone else at some point or other. Maybe I'm a little envious that you HAVE a baby. But, we gotta keep working on being happy with what we have...key word there = it's WORK to get there!

  11. I am so glad you joined us! You are going to love it and find so many great people because of it!!