To support the start of The Fierce Fund, a new foundation supporting women and girls to always be at their best, I was asked to be part of its Blue Wig Campaign. But the time I was the most fierce was also the time I felt the most inept, the most vulnerable and the most defeated.
When my first child was born, he cried incessantly. I’m not talking about the normal amount of crying a newborn does. I’m talking about hours upon hours of nonstop crying. If the world around Vman wasn’t perfectly quiet, dark and still, he went into complete meltdown mode. As he reached toddlerhood, he became aggressive — biting, hitting and head butting. I have the broken nose to prove it. Vman was such a sweet boy who fell into violent fits at the drop of a hat.
As a mother, it was heart wrenching to wonder what was wrong with my son. It wasn’t until he reached three that we finally had term for it: Sensory Processing Disorder. It turns out this his brain misinterprets the sensory signals his body is sending him. The slightest touch could feel painful. The squeak of a door could sound like a siren. And his body couldn’t get enough input from his muscles, so he physically compensated. Activities like hugging were more like a football tackle rather than a loving gesture.
I wrestled through three years of occupational therapy with Vman, working his OT into our daily lives. His sensory challenges defined who we were as a family and what our daily life was like. I learned this unwelcome guest in my house wasn’t going away. But I was going to be damned if I was going to let SPD rule every aspect of my son’s life.
While educating myself, I realized there were other sensory parents just as desperate for information as I was. On a whim, I started The Sensory Spectrum, hoping to reach just a handful of moms at best. Today, The Sensory Spectrum’s Facebook fan page has more than 11,000 followers alone! In my darkest time, when I didn’t think I would make it through another day, I not only became the voice for my son but also a voice of hope and support for other parents with sensory kiddos.
The next time you are feeling lost, use it to your advantage. There is someone else out there feeling the same things you are. Take those emotions and let them propel you to become even more than you thought you could be.