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Monday, January 13, 2014

Gwennie G

She's our youngest, the one born into our family, just when it started struggling badly. We didn't know when we decided to have another child, what other issues could start to surface with Teale. We didn't know Teale’s severe brain damage could cause extreme mood disorders. None of our many doctors  warned us it could get worse, but it did...
Gwennie was born 1/13/03 via scheduled cesarean section. We didn't know her sex, but I secretly wanted a girl for Teale. A sister would look out for Teale better than two brothers would. It's more in a woman's nature to nurture and to caretake. I knew Teale would need help her whole life, I just didn't realize the risk we were taking bringing a vulnerable baby into our home.
Our home was very difficult in those early years of Gwenn’s life. We had to protect Gwenn at all times. She was often the target of Teale's discontent. Her crying, as a baby does, could set Teale off.  Teale would want Gwenn to stop instantly! Gwenn's touching a toy that Teale saw as just her's, could cause a sudden violent shove or grab from Teale. We were on our guard constantly, not just for Gwenn's safety, but for Beau's and ourselves. An object suddenly thrown could cause harm, teeth into one of us was painful. Staying on our guard was work, we all suffered post traumatic stress disorder. We would all wince when Teale was near, scared of being hit or hurt. I put locks on bedroom doors so Beau & Gwenn could go to a safe place.
Gwenn was born into our family life with Teale growing in many challenging way. Teale’s  personality was similar to that of the character Sybil. One moment she could be sweet and then she could suddenly turn nasty and out for blood. She would treat Gwenn well and then snap, sometimes for no apparent reason, making it tough to trust or build a positive relationship. Gwenn's resilience was astonishing. Similar to that of a wife who is abused, but then forgives, only to be abused again. Gwenn always forgave.
Their relationship these days is mostly one of distance. Skepticism on both their parts, keeps them at arms length. There are warm moments. Mark and I see glimmers of hope, but often it is like having two daughters, who barely interact.
Someday I hope to see the dream I envisioned. Someday I hope Teale will trust and love Gwenn.  Someday I hope Gwenn can trust and love Teale. Someday I hope they will be friends.

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