Hello, I Am Terry


beating heart

I feel a little like a ball of yarn this morning. Strands of yarn unfolding in different directions. Not really going anywhere, unraveling on the floor to be stomped on or touched for softness, or maybe admired for colors.

I get pretty close to writing my true feelings in my postings but today, I feel like the only way I can put my strands of yarn back together is to be slow and smooth, sorting out thoughts. Winding the yarn around my soul piecing each strand smoothly so as it looks like it has never been touched.

You all know from reading my blog that I take care of Al. I am not only his caregiver, I am his sister. I would say that although he and I were not allowed to bond when we were young children, there has always been a part of me that has been very protective.

I don’t know when this instinct or learning behavior kicked in. I do remember telling kids on the school  bus to leave him alone. Al wanted friendships so bad when he was growing up. More intelligent kids picked up on this too easily.

They would pick on him on the bus. Make fun of his name, which was popular back in the times of Alvin and the Chipmunks. They would mock his name, knock his lunch to the bus floor. Al mistook the laughter for acceptance and this broke my heart making me very defensive of him.

The laughing still haunts me today as I write this. I can vision these rude kids sneering, covering their mouths and yet getting more attention by their own silly actions. Kids are kids right?

I don’t believe that children who are brought up to respect each and every soul act this way when they are in grades 4, 5, and 6.  My face used to turn red from anger as I knew what the purpose of their mockery brought.

I became the joke, the butt joke also on the bus, but I didn’t care. No one was going to get a way without hearing what I thought of  their actions. It sort of escalated from that point on.

Although I was not involved that much with Al when we were teens I always had that guard ready when it concerned him. It feels so common today for me to still have my guard and full-bodied shield up and ready to attack if someone says or makes rude gestures towards him.

I have had to work very hard at understanding the other person’s view. Not everyone is comfortable with a mentally challenged human, I get it. Wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, lack of control over words mouthed, body parts moving is not something we deal with in everyday life.

I would rather see a very young child come up to me and ask me questions about Al than the comments and gestures made by adults. I feel children are innocent. They are curious, they want to know. Adults know better to act in any way other than respectable.

I have come to the conclusion that people sneer or act rude because they have issues of their own they can’t deal with. Seeing someone like Al has all of a sudden thrown some out of their comfort zone and forced them to see that our lives are not actually beds of roses.

I have dealt with so much through Al’s illness. I have had to face the fact that our Dad was not the hero that I once thought he was. Although I love him dearly he made mistakes with Al. Errors that have been carried in Al’s heart to this very day.

I have had to come to terms that Dad’s lonely heart can be more powerful than protecting your own children. I have had to take on the sorrow of losing friendships and closeness of ones I used to be so glued to because I am caring for Al.

I appreciate the fact that so many want the best for me. People want me to be happy and live that  normal life. To love and have fun. Laugh and be free, but when I did not choose this route the roads did split and for this I feel sad inside.

I believe that the brother sister bond goes much deeper for me than the mere fact that we are siblings. For me, I realize Al and I are lucky to be where we are today. With the fact that I was passed around sexually when I was two and three, and the fact that Al was not treated as one of God‘s special babies, we have gone through much to get here today.

I believe the bond between my brother and I is survival. An intense need to be wanted and accepted in life. Today I hover over him like a hen with chicks. I want to do everything in my power to make him comfortable. For quite some time I have gone over board trying to get smiles from him.

It is sometimes difficult to watch him struggle to brush his teeth or let him feed himself. He needs to retain the independence he so deserves, but for me I see the struggle and I want to jump in and rescue him.

It is very difficult for me as it is or was for anyone else that is watching a loved one die. Every time a comment is given to me that lets me know he is declining, I have to deal with this alone, and yet still put on my happy face when Al is in my view.

If I didn’t have my blog here I don’t even have to wonder if I would be as mentally healthy as I am today. I know I would not be. I need your friendships. I need your words of comfort. Am I supposed to be needy when all I have to do is go to God and say help me?

Maybe, maybe not, for me I know God is with me at all times. But I also realize that I am maybe a more needy person than others. I require friendships and words here on earth too. I can’t seem to help it, but I do accept that this is who I am. I don’t even want to go back in time and analyze that this or that is why I am today. I just know that this is who I am.

When I took that beautiful photo of Al and Rhino last night it represented more to me than a new picture. It represented a bond between Al and a need for acceptance. It showed me that Al can feel and Rhino can accept and the two can  respond to each other. They bring comfort to each other.

I truly believe that Rhino knows that Al is sick. I have wanted the bond between the two to work ever since Al came home from the nursing home. It took about a month, but it worked. Now when Al is home Rhino is right there.

I did observe Al was not dressed for a public view, so I worked as carefully as I could at making sure that the photo was acceptable and that what you took from the photo was not his skin on his chest showing; but the love that was transpiring from pet to human.

When I received the email from the lady asking me to be careful of what photos I posted of him, my guard came up instantly. The love that I felt looking at his picture was instantly tainted with ugly and dirty thoughts which I had never seen.

I did let Al see the photo and I did get permission to post it. I didn’t think too much of it. Most of last night I pondered on what I had done. Had I over-stepped my boundaries with Al? Was I thinking more of me than of him?

I still don’t know the answer this morning. I only know the fact is that I was so proud that Rhino and Al had finally made it to best friends that I wanted to share it with all of you. If I am guilty than I am an innocent, guilty person.

After sleeping on it all night I have come to the conclusion that I will still post about Al. I will still show photos of him, but I will be refraining from showing him without a shirt on, just for the purpose of his privacy.

I will continue to love him, and keep trying to understand other people’s views,  and I will always be on guard for anyone trying to hurt him in any way, but I will definitely keep bragging, smiling and crying by writing posts about the brother I love so much.

 

 

37 thoughts on “Hello, I Am Terry

  1. Don’t let someone else mold your actions…. You have those that ‘Follow’ you because you are You. Maybe you touched more nerves than you realize with the request for input. Far be it from me to tell you what or how to post, just don’t want you to fit into someone else’s mold of who you should be, I kind of like the lady I have come to know through your words and photos. My 2 cents…

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    • I appreciate this comment. I guess I am trying to prove that I am just me, nothing more, nothing less, and that I would never do anything to compromise my brother. I can always delete this post if you think it would be better?

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      • by this evening I am much better and maybe a little stronger. One persons view versus another can be quite different. I guess the ones like you who know me so well can understand what I am trying to do when I post and show photos. Others may no realize or understand. I am glad that you do know me, that you have never felt like I am anything other than who I represent. big hugs my friend

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  2. Well, I was pissed last night but I’m angry today. I want to SCREAM!

    Lady-who-sent-the-email: please un-follow Terry and never send her another email. What you did was ruin something special! Did you PRAY before you sent it? Did it occur to you to look past a shirtless man and SEE the love between a pet and a human being? Thoughtless, unfeeling, and heartless — how’s that for a quick assessment? And yes, I did pray before I typed this message. It’s called righteous indignation and even Jesus understands that.

    Getting off the soapbox. Sorry Terry. I had to say it or bust. Sandy

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    • thank you so much Brian. I guess I wrote this post because I am still trying to prove that I am a loving sister and would never do anything to hurt my brother

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      • I was just wondering… I don’t have her comment in front of me… but I thought she just said ‘photos’… In any case you are the judge of what you think is okay… and that al wouldn’t mind … Diane

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      • I asked Al before I posted it. Yes she did just mention the photo part. I think if Al was moderately mentally challenged I would not post his photos. After all it is the privacy issue, but on the other hand I have never posted indecent photos of him, ever

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  3. The love between a brother and sister is always special..your’s is more intense and real. it is not a formality, it is living and hoping with love. Keep posting..and feel happy about the moments you are living ..it is but true..God loves those who can be passionate about human beings..in general and family in particular. God bless.

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  4. Wow Terry. This post says it all. No explanation needed to describe to love between a loving sister , and and her brother. God is smiling down on you, for caring for one of His loved ones. Who cares what any one says! You continue to love him, and write about him as long as you want. We will continue to support you, by reading about his daily progress, and/or setbacks. Blessings.

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    • bless you my friend. I only want whatever comfort I can bring to Al and I also need to hang on tight as I take this path with him, this is why I post so much about Al

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  5. That was a TROLL who sent you an e-mail, Terry. Ignore, ignore and starve the TROLL.

    As for Al and Rhino, what I saw was pure love and tenderness. I did not see a naked person at all. Was he shirtless? That’s his Birthday suite. Did his private parts showing, I don’t think so. What I saw was LOVE.

    As for other pictures, there are more indecent exposure in the web. The picture was tastefully taken.

    Now, let’s move on. Shall we? God Bless you. Perpetua.

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  6. i loved the pic of al and rhino! i am however a cat person:) my cats bring me much comfort and i am a big believer that animals know when we are ill or sad. i am glad you came to the conclusion you did. again i will say this blog is for you and you have to do what you think is right for you. blessings to you

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  7. Terry, please do not let one senseless ignorant person change you or affect what you choose to blog.

    What is obundantly clear, is that you are not only an incredibly warm friendly, caring, and supportive woman, but also too, a sensible, responsible and intelligent one. Alvin is truly blessed to have you in his life, and to have found a love, and closeness with you now, that was denied to you both in your earlier days.

    Yes, you were forced in to a role of protector, and it was not the life you chose for yourself, but you stood by your brother and sacrificed so much to keep him happy and safe.

    I fail to see how anyone could possibly accuse you of doing anything that was not in your brother’s best interest.

    Personally I would feel very lost and deeply saddened if those wonderful photos, were not forthcoming.

    Please give your brother a big hug from me.
    Oh and tell Rhino to keep up the good work! Their bond is indeed a very special one.

    This may not sound very Chritian of me, but do yourself a big favour. Kick that horrible commenter to the curb. She clearly doesn’t deserve to feast her eyes upon your wonderful blog pages. Perhaps we should pray for her.

    Best wishes and 1001 hugs,

    Cliffy

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    • Hi Cliff, What the emailer said hurt me so bad. I just couldn’t believe that they thought I would do anything other than good for my brother. I guess some see my photos differently than me. I show Al’s photos to give you a better insight to who I am speaking about and it also helps to understand what this nasty disease is. I am so thankful for friends like you who understand and know me and realize that I love him and will do anything to protect him, not hurt him. thanks for being such a wonderful friend. If you lived here we would be running around together! Prayers work too!!!!!

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      • You are very welcome! The pictures of Al are great! I dearly wish I could help you both in some way. Words and prayers are all I have 😦

        Yes, we would definitely be running around together

        I’m sorry I haven’t been on much lately. I have been working at a local blueberry farm. I start my day there at dawn, and work straight through until sundown. I was told not to report for work this morning though, because the farm has been invaided by a big group of hungry Black Bears. The authoritoes have been called in, and are trying to find a solution that doesn’t involve shooting them.

        So the upside is, it gives me some free time to catch up a bit.

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      • I would be eating those blueberries faster than the buckets would fill. LOL. Your words and prayers is more than enough Cliff. Don’t feel bad. I enjoy our friendship

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      • I love blueberries too, but I shy away from eating all my profits 😉 Thanks,Terry I’ll keep doing both. I really enjoy and value this friendship too!

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  8. Oh, I love the person who said, “Let’s move on.” You have too much confidence to doubt yourself and I just hate that this person derailed you–don’t let them. I’m not a Christian as you know, but when you questioned the need for friends, it gave me pause. I do get confused on certain Christian beliefs to be honest so I’m trying to understand. My only friends are online due to my illness and I’ve been all alone for years before blogging due to it and it’s awful.

    We are social creatures by nature and this is only normal, so rely on us! Rely on the comments from us about the photos. Trust yourself, but do listen to your multitude of readers who really care and have been around for awhile and know your story. This may be my Jewish take on things, but sometimes we have to look around and not up and be the one to call the shots on what we will and won’t do or put up with, just like you did as a kid. Boy, I hope that didn’t come across wrong, but please understand that I’m from a very old religion/culture that is different in so many ways. I just wanted to give you a different perspective (we’re not a converting bunch so no worries!) so you can get back to being the Terry we all know and love who doesn’t let bullies get in her way!
    A ❤

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    • I think when I mentioned friendships, I want someone to talk to when I am frustrated with Al’s illness. I bring so much on all of you here at WP, that sometimes I think I am just over doing it. I was thinking if I had friends here in town I wouldn’t have to burden you so much, but it sounds from your words that it is ok

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      • I don’t have any friends left anymore, either. My illness and moving to the SW made everyone disappear yrs ago, but that’s due to their own issues. The difference here is that we CHOOSE to read you blog! I just have you bookmarked as it’s too hard with my low vision to deal with the inbox if I followed everyone on WP (and not too many are of interest!). So, I choose to drop by and I steer clear of bloggers who just complain about all their problems. You’re not like that at all and you’re not burdening me. Au contraire! I get a break from the nightmare I live with by entering the world of Al and Terry–and it’s wonderful, even the sad moments. It lets me know good people still exist in this world, which I struggle with. Your tagline says it all. I’m not even posting anymore due to my health and my cat now (it just was too hard), but I’m still here to read and comment! If you can think along those lines (people choose to read your blog) it may make a difference…
        Hugs! xxxx 🙂

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      • I never really looked at it like that, but I am now. Oh my friend, I wish I could help ease your life, but I can do nothing from here, except to let you know I love you. You have always been very special to me

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      • Oh, goodie and I love you bunches, too! Thanks for the kind words. Just keep being you on your blog and you’re easing my life. Don’t forget that I had the bad experience on WP too w/the evil post directed at me about my religion and you came to my rescue–my devout Christian friend. 🙂

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      • I have thought of you as a friend from the first connection we made. There is something special about you and I think so much of you. big hugs

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      • No one has a right to attack you for your views. I better not find out anyone that is or I will be on the attack myself. My friends mean too much to me to have to tolerate unwanted remarks. hugs my friend

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  9. You do not apologise or give reasons to anyone, it was so wonderufl to see Al and Rhino, that is it! I am glad you showed us, and I know how much love and care you have for your brother. Keep on what you are doing and let us be with you and hopefully help you all the way! Much love ♥♥♥

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    • thanks Ute. I knew I liked you for some reason. you are strong and you stand for what you believe in. I am so lucky to have you in my life. love and hugs my friend

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