Saturday, July 25, 2009

Special

Light, seen blurry at a distance, like rising from the depths, coalesces into wise eyes. Wrinkles frame them, leading deep down to the handle bar mustache, twisted into a curl. A firm hand presses into my chest with authority and comfort, my mind tracing memories unknown, how did I get here?

Rough stitched material pricks at my skin as sensation returns and sleep drains from my limbs. Vision expands beyond the face to take in the crowd looking at me, an unspoken truth sits heavy among them. Nervous energy in fidgeting fingers, wringing together against their bosoms, whispering silent prayers.

Soft light emanates from the curtain of the shade wrapping the top of the cool bronze lamps, in contrast to the darkness in the window beyond. Questions wrap themselves into a conundrum, my drowsy mind struggling to rise out of the fog. Where did my bed go? Why are these people here?

Seizures. I had them, but never knew them. They haunted my young sleep, terrorizing my family, leaving me waking surrounded by crowds in the early dawns of adolescence. Something was just not firing right amid the neurons, so they say. Something else to set me apart, the glue from the electrodes they attached to my head clinging in its clumps no matter how hard you scrubbed. Then one day they were gone.

I have not thought about those early morning episodes in a long time and then I came face to face with another little boy this week, who had them and the same heavy baggage of questions that come with them. Why am I like this? It makes you feel so alone. As a kid, it can be tough, allowing our frailties to define us as weird...different...especially when others discover your uniqueness.

It becomes easy to forget just how beautiful and special you really are...and you are beautiful. Created to be the one and only you.

42 comments:

Cinnamon said...

I guess no-one really knows the loneliness and feeling of difference unless you have been there. I think children feel these things more acutely than us oldies who have had years to learn how to handle our emotions. You seem to have a very special empathy with children Brian- your boys are lucky to have you.

Are these your boys in the photos? If so, they're growing!

Tom said...

everybody is different; i wish this lesson was easily learned by the young. Of course, there are a lot of older people who still haven't. Nice thoughts and words.

willow said...

This post goes hand in hand so nicely with your "Indian" post. Empathy and tolerance is sometimes the hardest lesson to learn.

willow said...

Um...that should read "are" and "lessons"...but you knew that.

Baino said...

My sister developed grand mal seizures when she was 16. Terribly disorienting and really interrupted her teen life but they're under control now thank goodness. Its as frightening for those who watch as for those who suffer Brian believe me!

Pastor Sharon said...

There is a hospital in our city which specializes in Neurology. I'm thinking they could use a friend like you with some experience, empathy and understanding. The children in your life are blessed to have you around! I can only imagine that you are an awesome Dad!

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

One of my best friends used to have seizures - they never could figure out what caused them. It was scary to watch, and she always seemed embarrassed that they happened. She did define herself as 'weird' or 'different' because of it, though I tried to convince her otherwise.

Wings said...

Interesting post. We are all different and unique, but some of us stand out a little more, I suppose. Or, like me, as little askew. ;)

lakeviewer said...

Our differences cause us pain in our youth when being different carries so much baggage. Our pain helps us understand, gives us unusual amounts of empathy.

otin said...

I have a friend that has seizures, or at least she did until they found the correct medicine for her! They are really scary and can brand a person as being different or handicapped. Most people don't know what to do when a person has one!

Brian Miller said...

@cinnamon - too true. i love my boys, yeah thats them. they seem to get bigger every day.

@tom - ty. a lesson learned many times the hard way.

@willow - too true. the last four posts have really drawn on this vein. not sure exactly what has pulled me there. (and yeah, i got it. smiles.)

@baino - glad your sister is doing better now. was talking with my mom about it this last week and she was reminding me of the terror she felt.

@pastor sharon - thanks. i love kids...contrary to popular belief they listen when you give them the time.

@stacy - it is easy to fall into that. hoep she is better now.

@wings - a little askew is not a bad place to be at times.

@lakeviewer - true. true.

@otin - you are right. in the moment the other day, i was trying hard to remember. i never remembered mine when they happened. maybe i am glad i did not. they alwayws happened at home in the night as well so it helped i think.

Ronda Laveen said...

I find it so interesting that you don't really remember the seizures but only the aftermath. Great post. Hope your trip is great.

david mcmahon said...

Amazing, thought-provoking post. As a teenager, I had a friend who suffered from them.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Brian:)

When I was young a friend of mine had seizure. It is very difficult to watch when someone is having a seizure and unless a person is trained it is difficult to know what is to be done.You just watch the suffering person helplessly.

You have written very vividly the feelings of a person when he comes around from a seizure. I have not come across any other person having a seizure apart from the friend in my young age and it has left a deep impact on me. Thank God you don't have it anymore.

Your children are cute and they have a special hair style. I suppose it is the fashion these days.

Wish you and your family a wonderful Sunday Brian:)
Joseph

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi...thanks for coming over to mine. Not suffered from seizures but it is interesting hearing about them. They must be scary for a young child. How wonderful you are there to reassure your boy.

lettuce said...

that must have been scarey
yes, its hard growing up - and i wonder if the process EVER ends?

subtorp77 said...

Brian, in the first two paragraphs, I though you were describing Rollie Fingers; that he was K.O.'d by a line-drive( google him and you'll get the reference ).

Years ago( way back in high school ), I was a mentor for one boy. The other kids ridiculed him, cause they thought he was different( he had lost all his hair from chemo ). Different set of circumstances but none-the-less, he always felt like an outsider. We got to be great friends and I helped him through some of it. Pity the kids that teased him, for he passed on less than a year later, at the age of 8.

I've often noted that the cruelness of some children comes with the upbringing of them. Will humanity ever set aside their differences of one another?

Lakeland Jo said...

what a brilliant picture- I love it

Daniel said...

Thanks for sharing Brian. I knew there was a girl in my high school who had such seizures and I seem to remember that she had one in gym class one day. The news evoked a feeling of creepy silence. I think we were all hoping that she would not get anywhere near us. We did not want to "catch" what she had. I am certain that we treated her exactly the opposite of how loving, caring people should.

Lorraine said...

Terrifying when you feel you have no control, it made you the wonderful man you are today and you are beautiful

Beth said...

My youngest son had seizures as a toddler and child but like you, he seemed to "outgrow" them. When they stopped, my worries didn't/haven't.

Being different, no matter how, can be uncomfortable. My hearing impairment has always set me apart from most of the non-hearing challenged world. With the help of my mother, I learned to make not hearing so well a positive. When I taught special needs children, I could reach them on a different level because they knew I knew what it was like to be different.

Poignant post.

Bengbeng said...

i have had mild seizures all my life. at first ppl sort of freaked out n made me feel like a weirdo but after a while, ppl just accept ppl are just different. i am living a perfectly normal life but avoid certain circumstances n situations as a precaution

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Brian:)

I have come back once again for a small help.

I am not able to access RAIN-MOUNTAIN MAMMA. Can you please inform her. Thanks.

Best wishes:)
Joseph

VE said...

I've never really been around seizures before. Ok, there was that friend with the pot farm in Northern California I guess...

Dot-Com said...

Guess we never realise what loneliness is until we experience it, but with the right support, loneliness can be overcome.

Nicole said...

Amazingly great job with your writing - you always make me feel something. Your blog is a great read... Step up to accept your award, Mr. Miller. Go to my blog, and accept your award (You are a great read!)

J A Harnett-Hargrove said...

Brian, I'm finding this post hard to respond to, but the resonance is there. -Jayne

blueviolet said...

My father had a very visible difference and I think it has made me particularly empathetic toward anyone who might possibly be considered out of the norm. I'm grateful for that gift of sensitivity.

books,coffee,etc.... said...

Hi! Brian,
"It becomes easy to forget just how beautiful and special you really are...and you are beautiful. Created to be the one and only you."

Brian, I’ am "deciphering" again...
Wow...The moral of your post methinks...When people will learn to accept the fact, that we are all unique.
In addition, when will some people learn that no two people are alike...not even identical twins.

Therefore, what conclusion I have reached after reading your post… “We” should think twice before "judging" others…because they are different and instead, we should learn to "embrace" others because of that...difference.?!?

Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee

vicki archer said...

Beautifully written Brian - if only we could all see things this way I imagine there would be a lot less heartbreak. Vivre la difference... xv

...mmm... said...

I so loved this. it touched me deeply. Thank you for writing it. nice to meet you.

Brian Miller said...

@ronda - several people i talk to don't remember them...odd. very disorienting. trip is going well. head home tomorrow.

@david - thanks man. odd what comes back around in life.

@joseph - thanks for dropping by. rain seems to have disappeared. tried to drop by her place the other day. my boys...they get mohawks for the summer. i dunno. ha. yeah, i am glad they were a passing thing, scary for all not to know. God is good.

@hadrianna's - thanks for the visit. this too will pass i hope.

@lettuce - growing up, never ends. one day i might even try it.

@subby - yeah, caught the reference. baseball fan. tough sttory about the boy. we can be so cruel at times.

@lakeland - ty.

@daniel - thats what grace is for.

@lorraine - what we go through does shape us. thanks. smiles.

Brian Miller said...

@beth - thanks so much for sharing your stories. to turn a deficit into a positive is an amazing feet. glad your boy grew out of them as well.

@bengbeng - thanks for being real with us. know that you are special.

@VE - ha. search and seizure...

@dot com - yes it can. who you surround yourself with makes all the difference int eh world.

@nicole - thanks for the award and kind words. it makes my legs look so good...ha.

@jayne - smiles.

@blue - it is a gift...

@dee dee - you are figuring me out pretty well...it only takes me a few more words...ha.

@vicki - opening one eye at a time...

@mmm - ty. glad to.

Moannie said...

This is a very moving and poignant post, beautifully written; so worthy of David's Post of the Day.
It's true, as others have said, we are all different in one way or another,red hair, crosseyed, bigger ears,Tourettes,Epileptic, fat, thin...and children are the cruelest animals before they learn not to fear that which they do not understand.

Cheffie-Mom said...

Your boys are precious and blessed to have you. Congrats on the Post of the Day Award!

subtorp77 said...

Brian, huzzah! Iknew you'd get that one! And as for the second part..I know that from personal experience, as well :(

Erin Davis said...

You capture that feeling of aloneness so well here. Beautiful post. Congrats on the post of the day award at David's.

introspection said...

Over from David's POTD, am so glad I came. this is indeed a moving post. People are different, some less and some more: we learn it as we grow. Your decription of how you felt after the actual seizures is touching and enlightening. I live with a person who is differently different, and I try to understand. but I think it's very difficult for others who face/deal with them when they actually behave differently. the helplessness of the situation can play with your Psyche. Their condition of being different is an ongoing process.
The condition you decribed, actually has a very positive side, that you out grow it. You mostly out grow it after adolesence; After puberty among females. My experience is that extreme weather triggers its onset, especially extreme cold. Grandmothers usually advise that such children should be kept warmer all the time.
Great picture of your boys.
Congratulations !!

...mmm... said...

Sickness isolates--that is perhaps the worst part of it. Heart rending post here.

Sarah Laurence said...

Congratulations on your POTD win! Your prose is so evocative and beautiful. How scary those seizures must have been. Your advice and knowledge must be a comfort to your son. Sweet photo of the boys.

Living with illness is a challenge (my husband has congenital heart disease,) but modern medicine is a miracle.

Sorry to be so slow to visit. It has been a crazy busy week without much time online.

Colette Amelia said...

seizures can be brought on by a head injury. Yes the brain is a marvelous thing. We don't appreciate our marvelous machine until it goes awry.

Are you writing a book? You have such a talent!

liza said...

You can only reassure the child going through this that they are not alone. Hard for a child to understand, which makes the job of the parent and guardian that much harder.