Moving Away From Jealousy

To you. Mother of a “typically developing” daughter, “normal” kids.

I am not jealous of you.

To you. Mother that hears with ease, mother than can wake up and see, mother that doesn’t struggle through crippling depression with an injured brain.

I am not jealous of you.

I am not.

****

photo 1

When I started school with my blood red scars rippling across my face, I was jealous of you.

I wanted your face that had no seams.

When I was teased for them, then for my thick glasses that were like two bottoms of a coke bottle connected in the centre, I was jealous of you.

I wanted your lovely seeing eyes.

When I was hit for being white, for being different, when I was called names and shunned; when it seemed as if I would never fit in, I was jealous of you.

I wanted your brown skin, I wanted your easy way of being, I wanted to be included like you always are.

When I was fitted for massive hearing aids – the enormous geriatric kind – I was jealous of you.

I wanted your hearing, I wanted to hear.

photo 2

When I was molested, then abused and raped, I was jealous of you.

I wanted to be as I saw you: whole, unmaimed.

When I alternatively tore up my insides with bulimia and starved myself, I was jealous of you.

I wanted to be as beautiful as you are.

When I drank myself into blackness, scorched my lungs through cigarettes, lost my mind in drugs, I was jealous of you.

I wanted your light. I wanted the impossible beauty of God to shine in and through me as I saw it shining from you.

But then.

That Love that is the Source of all worlds came and lifted me when I knew I couldn’t go on any more.

That Love gave me more love: my partner, my heart, my child, my children.

That Love caused me to grow and see and stand and believe and know.

photo 3

I am not jealous of you.

I have learned that we all have our own battles. No matter how exquisite your life might seem, you have yours too.

I am not jealous of you.

You might hear and be perfectly mentally balanced – you might have lovely typically developing non-disabled children – but you too have something that you struggle with, that makes you cry, that will choke you when you aren’t looking.

I am not jealous of you.

Maybe you don’t have to fight to have your children included in school, you don’t have to worry about (not) hearing your child cry for you, you don’t have to ignore stares in the supermarket or mouthed whispers of “special” humming in public air.

But I am not jealous of you.

How could I be? We are different sides of the same coin.

Your light, your beauty, your wholeness is, as I now know,  also mine.

My struggles and the thorns upon my rose are echoes of a familiar melody for you; that is why your heart can feel what I am saying here.

photo 4

Let our gift to one another be in our understanding. That whether or not it is fully clear to us, let us remember that we walk along the same path that is life. That my difference, or what is different about our lives, is of as much consequence as the various fragrances of flowers. The difference in smells lends beauty and diversity in a world that thrives on contrast and on love.

I am not jealous of you.

Sister, mother, daughter, friend.

 

 

 

 

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Meriah
Meriah Nichols is a deaf artist, tech-junkie, Counselor (and sometime teacher), mom (one with Down syndrome), cat-lover, Trekkie, yurt-dwelling off-the-grid farmer's wife. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done.

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