Coming Out

I inadvertently forced my mother into the hot seat today.

You see, I have a Facebook profile. Never has a person agonized more over the info section of their facebook profile. It was ridiculous. Should I mention Charlie’s issues? Should I not? OH THE AGONY! You would think that I didn’t have any actual problems in my life. Finally, I went with a condensed version of the truth encapsulated with what I’ve been doing since my college graduation in 2001 (HOLY CRAP, HAS IT BEEN THAT LONG?). I mentioned a stroke, CP, and therapy, but didn’t go into hydrocephalus, epilepsy, and heart failure.

Some people might question why I bothered. I mean, if you really know me then you know what’s going on with Charlie. You probably have access to this blog (although whether or not anyone besides my brother is reading is a completely different story). People that only know the Facebook version of your life aren’t your closest friends. You don’t owe it to them to be 100% honest–chances are they’re giving you the glossy version of their life. Plenty of people just skip the info section.

But, there are some people on there that I like, but that I’ve lost touch with. I want to be able to share my life without feeling like I need to edit out the unattractive parts. Besides, I’m not embarrassed about what happened to Charlie. It’s not like I DID something. It is what it is. I have a child with special needs and that is the focus of my life at this time. Truly, not the biggest deal in the world.

So. . . my mom. She runs into someone she knows at the mall. This woman’s daughter and I were friends off and on from the second grade. We went to the same elementary school and high school and to the best of my recollection, we didn’t have a falling out so much as we went our separate ways. Probably had something to do with the fact that I went through a scary-dark period in high school and wasn’t a whole lot of fun to be around. We both went to LSU, but I’m pretty sure I never saw her while I was there. I think. I never saw her on campus, but I can’t make any promises as to who I saw or didn’t see in bars. It WAS college.

Turns out, daughter came into town for a visit, showed her mom my profile on Facebook AND all my Charlie pics. So, my mom is standing their in the mall talking about how it turns out that Charlie, an infant, had a stroke. This woman was a nurse, so she wanted the nitty gritty.

I feel bad that my mom had to stand around the mall talking about her grandchild’s horrific birth, but I’m not sorry that I’ve talked about Charlie’s life. You see, I find that most people fall into two camps: You’ve got the group that glosses over the ugly and acts like nothing bad ever happens to them. Meanwhile, they’re dragging their son to drug rehab. The other group goes for the woe-is-me thing: they’re sick, their kids are sick, their life is SO terrible, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!

I’m aiming for the middle. I want to be the person who says, “Yes, my life has challenges, but I’m not hurling myself off of a bridge or asking everyone to feel sorry for me.” I’m still taking pictures, going to concerts, eating good food, and living life the best way I know how. We all have challenges–no one’s life is perfect all the time.

PS: This is weird, but Charlie just laughed in his sleep. Kind of freaked me out.

PPS: I know it’s been ages since I’ve posted any new pictures, but I will try try try to take some this weekend. I haven’t had any good photo-op moments lately.

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  1. Mannyed says:

    The good thing about facebook is that you can put it all out there and still decide who you want to ready about your life and not. I’m pretty sure people can only see your profile if they are friends with you. That’s what I like about it. That and scrabulous. I like your middle of the road approach.

  2. Mommy07 says:

    I really like you, you and your blog crack me up =)

    My mother would have had a fit if something like that happened to her- when Noah was born she gave me a lecture on what to tell people, she only told of the brain swelling and the apnea, not the abnormal EEG…not so sure why she chose to remove the EEG part but she did!

    Your attitude is inspiring..I am usually a pessimistic neurotic, psychotic, worrywart but a work in progress!

  3. Sometimes having a special needs child can be a bit exhuasting. I feel like I talk about Elisabeth’s ‘problems’ ALL the time. Everyone wants to know how she is. And I am grateful that they care enough to ask. But it does get tiring explaining the same things over and over and over. Sometimes I wish people could see Elisabeth as a baby, and not a medical problem. So what I am trying to say is….I understand :)

  4. Nadine Hightower says:

    Charlie was dreaming.

    And I think you are handling the issues that you are dealing with very well.
    High Five!!

    And yes It’s a steamy 100 degrees!!

  5. I wonder if I’m the last one out there to get onto facebook.

    You’re doing a great job of handling lifes challenges.

  6. I have been reading you before there was even a thought of Charlie and I have always thought of you to be somewhere in the middle. You and your stories have blessed me. Keep up the amazing job you are doing with Charlie and your life.

  7. White Hot Magik says:

    I was going through a very transparent phase when I started Facebook and linked by blog to it so whenever I post it shows in the newsfeed. I occasionally see that someone from facebook is reading my blog but since I am cheap and don’t pay for the info I don’t know who.

    I am sorry if this upset your mom but I think it is great when you are open. I don’t think you only talk about problems, but you talk about triumphs and joys that is why we love your blog!

  8. Christine says:

    Good for you! I don’t have a Facebook page. I do have a Myspace that I never use or even visit. I recently signed on to You tell people anything you want about your life. Like you have said, it is what it is.

  9. “Still taking pictures…”
    That pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it? Life has all kinds of ups and downs–no reason not to celebrate the good or even hide the bad. You’re right; it is what it is.