Susan's Blog

Friday, July 22, 2016

Restive Pain

My emotions flicker like a tired eyelid. At the oddest moments, say in the middle of a soft cruise down a flat side street on my bike, my heart flips over. Just like that, sun behind a cloud, lights out. I’m sorry Nat. I wait for tears but they are just stuck.

Or there are the not-at-all-odd moments, like 3 in the morning, when I imagine the horror. Did someone hold him down and punch him, kick him? Was there actually a crack, a crunch as his ribs broke? Or was it some sudden, frightening fall, crash, face-down? Did he make a sound? He hasn’t cried in maybe a decade — but did he then? And no one knew? No one picked him up? What did he do with his hurt?

Why didn’t I know?

I guess on some level I did know that something was not right. (?) That stillness. That shutdown a year ago. The stiff arms.

Then, the more recent stuff. The inexplicable weight loss, digestion discomfort. Because of fractured ribs?

I am swept back in a terrible undertow of memory, to those earliest days as Nat’s mom, feeling something was wrong with him, somehow, but not willing to fully believe it. Not willing to do the work of convincing my world, not able to stick with that story taking shape in my mind. My baby. I was so consumed by him, long walks pushing the stroller up and down the hills of Arlington, Mass. Talking and talking to him. He was my other half, he was me. That’s how it has to be with a new baby, right?

But it’s never really changed all that much. He is there, before my eyes, when I sleep, when I’m awake. When he’s here, and sits down next to me willingly on the couch. He seems to look to me to understand things, to get things right. I don’t know how much he looks within for those kinds of answers.

His apparent fragile dependency is the part that kills me, but that also makes my heart burst open like a hot red poppy. That dependency is so dear, and so scary. That crystalline clarity of need and trust. His ability to trust — maybe now that I think of it, that’s his disability. That self-advocating we can do, but he can’t.

And yet. Arid hope blows dusty across my consciousness at those odd moments and I wonder. Maybe that ability to trust is also his strength, and will be his way through it.




Wouldn’t that be wonderful if that ability to trust is also his strength and will help him through it ? He always did what he could…

— added by shelly Senator on Friday, July 22, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Susan, am just getting caught up on your blog and am heartsick at what I’ve read. Please know I’m sending healing thoughts to Nat, to you, and to your entire family. I cannot fathom how anyone could ever want to hurt your sweet son. Am so, so, sorry!

— added by kim mccafferty on Friday, July 22, 2016 at 7:47 pm

The nightmare. How.

— added by Jacquie on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 9:03 am

I completely understand all the discomforted wondering about exactly how and what and when and where…

But I am less certain that information makes much of a difference in the end. Don’t get me wrong, I hope the perpetrators and identified, punished, and learn their lesson.

But we know exactly what happened to Arnaldo Soto (and his therapist Mr. Kinsey), we have it on videotape for crying out loud, and still the absolute horror! That is not lessened in the least.

I continue to be haunted by both stories. I hope the love that surrounds Nat will help him find his way to cope and heal.

— added by Ohio Mom on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 11:34 am

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