She's our youngest, the one born into our family who started struggling badly after her birth. We didn't know when we decided to have another child what other issues could start to surface with Teale. We didn't know her severe brain damage could cause extreme mood disorders. None of our many doctors told 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.
Life was very difficult in those early years. We had to protect Gwenn at all times. She was often the target of Teale's discontent. Her crying as a baby could set Teale off, she would want her to stop instantly! Gwenn's touching a toy Teale saw as just her's could cause a sudden violent shove or grab. 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 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. Her 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 and Mark and I see glimmers of hope, but often it is like having two daughters in the home 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.