Everyone will think they know what this is about.

You will all be right.

At the conference, during a carrier workshop, I listened to Dr. Randi Hagerman talk about the many symptoms that carriers have in common. It was an eye opening session. It was a relief to know that these things that I’ve thought were just in my head are real and, more importantly, there is a reason for them. A reason that is not…me being a hypochondriac or me just simply being weak. It was also, to be honest, a bit terrifying to think of the possibilities that lay before me.

There are so many physical and mental symptoms that seem to come hand in hand with a status as a fragile X carrier, it’s overwhelming. It’s also frightening to think that these things, that may come to steal away the comfort of my body and mind, are not within my control…they are within my DNA. I don’t like not being in control1.

After the initial helpless feeling, I decided I needed to focus on what I can control. Specifically, there is one thing I know I can improve and I know that improving this will help even should the worst come about in the future. I can reduce my stress. Stress=cortisol in your brain and cortisol in your brain is toxic. It destroys brain cells, it destroys the building blocks that make me…me.

No, I cannot eliminate stress…life is stressful for everyone…life is extra stressful for those of us with children with special needs…but I can do better. I began thinking about the major stressors in my life…my job, uncertainty and fear over Caleb’s future (both short and long term) were the first obvious two that came to mind. I can do something about some of that and I’ve already taken a major step in one of those areas. I could feel some of the tension leaving my body when I realized I was doing what I could, I was succeeding already.

Then, as always happens with me, I got greedy. I started thinking about other stressors in my life. The ones that don’t occupy a lot of my time or thoughts but flair up suddenly, unexpectedly. The medical tests I should have done but am putting off, for example, will cross my mind and I can feel the adrenaline (another stress related hormone) course through my body and for a few hours I’ll be thinking about all the ways I might die because I’m too scared to make the appointments I need to make (I’m not going to die, promise, but my imagination gets carried away at times!).

Another one of those sudden, unexpected stressors is anger.

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. — Mark Twain

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. — Buddha

We all get angry, some of us forgive easily and others forgive eventually. Depending on the transgression…I fit into both categories. There are times that a quick apology erases any hurt. There are times when an apology and time are needed to accomplish the same.

There is a special category, however, for those who have hurt people I love. For those who have taken advantage of people who were emotionally or physically vulnerable. Also, especially, for people who repeatedly do both of those things. This is where I am struggling. I cannot forgive people who have hurt the people I love. I cannot forgive a hurt that was not done to me directly, it’s simply not my hurt to forgive and my anger is deeper…it’s rooted in my heart.

I have been reading quotes and doing an awful lot of thinking over the last week about this and I simply cannot come to any conclusion. I am harboring anger that I don’t want. I understand that I am doing emotional and physical damage to myself…but I cannot forgive them. Is it possible to lose the anger without forgiving? Not so far for me.

So, I’ll keep thinking. I’ll keep working at it. I’ll keep looking for the answer I hope to find.

And, in the meantime…

When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear. — Mark Twain

Fair warning.

  1. I think this too might be a carrier trait! []

26 thoughts on “Everyone will think they know what this is about.

  • August 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm
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    Good lessons for all written here….remember “forgiveness is a gift you give yourself”……Oh, and I so happy to hear that you are working on that stress factor. This is one of the hardest lessons I had to learn myself. My daily mantra….if I cannot take care of myself, I cannot take care of others that I love….not easy, but we try.

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  • August 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm
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    beautifully said, Melissa Welin! i got a fridge magnet recently that said “let go or be dragged” and as silly as it sounds, it’s so true and helpful to remember.

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  • August 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm
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    Great blog post, Melissa. I’m sitting here in tears because I could have written it all myself and you said it so well. One day it will be better. In the meantime, I hope there isn’t too much swearing. 🙂

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  • August 9, 2012 at 1:06 pm
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    Rachel, you have no idea how grateful I am that Dr. Hagerman didn’t include “swearing” on the list of things not to do 😉

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  • August 9, 2012 at 1:09 pm
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    You and me both! I gave up on Mother of the Year when Derek said only 5 words at 2 years old and one of them was shit lol.

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  • August 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm
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    Ditto with Rachel. Thank you Melissa, glad to know others feel the same. It helps me get through another day of slowly releasing my anger.

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  • August 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm
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    I get it. And I wish with all my might I could help you. I hate seeing people hurting and I wish I could take it away from you.

    I have 2 pictures on my cork board above my desk that I look at daily. They are constant reminders to me. One is the Serenity Prayer, which most everyone knows. The other is the Knots Prayer: http://footprintsdiary.com/prayer/the-knots-prayer/

    I know *I* don’t help, but maybe these will. <3

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  • August 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm
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    It’s about how ‘vigilante’ should be your next career move. Cape, mask, secret identity…

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  • August 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm
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    Love it. When reading your blog, a thought came to mind that Manny tells me from time to time, having to do with something that really upset me, and that is not to let anyone rent space in my head. It is toxic and all it does it make you more upset and it makes it harder to get over. I think its hard to sometimes let things go, but for our own well-being, I think it’s something we need to do. And I especially like what Cindi wrote above about forgiveness. Need to keep that one in mind every once in a while!

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  • August 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm
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    Nice post, Melissa. I was trying to think of ways to reduce stress the other day. As far as the forgiveness thing, it is hard. For me, I know I have been forgiven of some pretty ugly things. That helps me to forgive others. Love you.

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  • August 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm
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    Thanks, Kristie…that’s a good way to think of it. I know I’ve asked for and received forgiveness from those I never expected it from. More thinking <3

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  • August 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm
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    M!!!!!!! Love this post….although it makes me want to kick some ass on your behalf! It’s all so true….forgiveness is the hardest….I find (unfortunately) that for me, it becomes easier to piss me off, the older I get. It also makes it that much harder to forgive…we should pick this up over a glass of wine, sometime soon!

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  • August 9, 2012 at 3:57 pm
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    @ Carolyn, good luck with your journey…it does help to know I’m not alone either…if you find the “how to” I’d surely love to borrow a copy 🙂

    @ Rosie, I’ve heard that one before too and I’ve said it to other people…funny how it’s easier to tell someone than it is to believe it when it’s YOU! I think all we can do is keep working at it for our own peace of mind!

    @Paula, how *FORTUNATE* that I will be sitting on your sofa in EIGHT DAYS! We can surely squeeze in a glass or two of wine 😉

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  • August 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm
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    Love you more than life… but you already know that, it’s the reason I’m still here. <3
    If I could take away all of the crap so your life was only filled with family, friends, wine, happiness, Dunkin's and all of that rainbow and unicorn shit – I so would. Well, not completely, I'd leave just a tiny bit of crap so you would still have a reason to say fuck <3

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  • August 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm
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    I need some of the crap to remind myself of how awesome the other stuff is…less crap would be good…and you ALREADY have taken away tons of crap <3

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  • August 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm
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    You put into words what I’ve been thinking since attending that workshop! It’s good to know that a lot of the things I struggle with are because I’m a FX Carrier and I’m not alone. It’s also a little scary with all the things that were said, but I’m tring to focus on the positive, like Dr. Hagerman stating that our OCD tendencies work for us because we are driven to get the best services for our kids and won’t give up! I’m working on stress reduction by not worrying about things out of my control. When I visited my brother recently in MO, I was able to forgive him for calling my boys F..king R….ds several years ago. I hadn’t spoke to him since but I realize he has his own problems (he’s schitzophrenic) and I now have peace and he’s not “taking up space” in my brain anymore. I love the Knots prayer and am going to post it on my Wall. It was nice meeting you at the Conference and I love reading your posts! Oh, and I, too am happy to blame my FX Carrier status for my potty mouth. I’m sure Randi just forgot to mention that one! lol

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  • August 9, 2012 at 7:27 pm
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    beautifully written- a topic that has been on my heart a LOT lately!! I always wonder about the rage that seems to come out of nowhere… good to know I’m not alone. xo

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