Wanting what I don’t want.


This blog is about the journey of having a child with a life-limiting condition. One of the most pronounced lessons I’ve learned is that it is filled with stark emotional contradictions. I hope in this piece I can try to capture and express those feelings which are, quite frankly, tearing at me as I type this out.

Sometimes I want what I don’t want.

Yesterday, on my way driving up to Dublin from County Wexford to pick up Brendan Bjorn at LauraLynn, I decided to stop at Avoca and treat myself to breakfast out. I wanted their delicious blueberry and macadamia nut pancakes with the warm maple syrup. I wanted to be relaxed, happy, and enjoying the last moments of being alone before another long stretch (it’ll be about 3 months) of being housebound again.

It turns out I didn’t want it.
Or, I did, but not the way it was. I sat alone in a room full of families and friends all chatting away with each other at their tables, enjoying their breakfast. It turns out that is what I wanted for myself, too. I couldn’t finish eating fast enough.

A couple of days ago I spent a few hours in Wexford town to explore the shops and try to find a few bits I wanted for Declan’s confirmation the following day. I wanted to be surrounded by people also out enjoying the shops just like I would be. I wanted to feel what I used to feel when I was free to go wander wherever I chose to go back in the days I could actually do so.

It turns out I didn’t want it. 
After a few hours all I wanted to do was go home. I didn’t even want to sit in a cafe for lunch. I just wanted to go home and be alone. I think the isolation over the last couple of years is making it harder for me to even be sociable when I get the chance.

This morning, I wanted to sit down and work on the book I’ve been writing. I wanted total silence. I didn’t want to hear the PS4 excitement coming from Declan’s room. I didn’t want to hear the TV and Brendan’s feeding pump noise over the video monitor that is always with me. I just wanted peace and quiet so I could get lost in my own thoughts.

It turns out I didn’t want it. I felt terrible guilt in even thinking I wanted such peace and quiet because I know that, like many parents in my shoes who have gone before me on this journey, someday I will be the one on my knees begging to hear that feeding pump beeping just as I sit down; I have been that woman who thought I’d never be a mother after having lost so many pregnancies. And I thought, how dare I want anything but to be surrounded by my two beautiful sons. I’m sorry for even wanting such peace and quiet.

At least the pancakes were good.


One thought on “Wanting what I don’t want.

  1. Aidan Murray

    You sound so absolutely normal ! You have great desires but you’re afraid ……..afraid of yourself! I’m no psychiatrist but I don’t think you should allow yourself to be upset about your desires or your needs. I think your best help is in your faith. God loves you totally and wants the best for you…….He needs you to surrender to Him and trust Him. Impossible! You have to ask for the grace to trust Him. I find the Agony in the Garden very helpful. “My God, IF IT BE POSSIBLE…………….” Which tells us that there are some things God can’t do! But even when He can’t make your job easier, He can give you the grace to cope. God bless you.

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