Dear Dystonia,

I hate you. You have challenged me in ways I never knew possible. You cause exhaustion, pain, frustration, confusion. You leave isolation, and fear in your wake. You steal innocence and worry free childhoods. You make your victims unrelateable to those who once understood. You work your ways into all aspect of life and into places that nobody wants you. You are mean, you are unforgiving and you are relentless.
I hate that we can never beat you, never get rid of you. I hate that you turn the everyday mundane into obstacles. I hate you for taking away my right and ability as a mother to help my kids, and make them feel safe. I hate that you cause stress, and anxiety, and helplessness. But mostly, I hate that you have my kids. They are sweet and little and perfect, and they do not deserve you. You are destructive, and I hate you.

But, I have to tell you a little secret. All the while, you have been attacking the people I love most in this world, you have unintentionally left behind some unexpected consequences.

When you force me awake time after time, night after night, you give me time. So much extra one on one time. Time with no distraction, no phones, no TVs, no toys. Just me and my little boys snuggled up in my bed together. While you were busy causing vomit and pain, you left behind lessons in what it means to truly love unconditionally. While you are busy forcing four people into one bed, you have also forced in closeness and intimacy. While you were busy causing pain in little boys legs, you taught them that they can overcome, persist and achieve. While you are busy making funny postures and movements, I am learning to read the minute details of my children that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. While you are busy disguising yourself to outsiders, you have taught my kids that their parents will always believe them, even when others don’t. You fostered a trust and a bond that I never knew possible. While you were busy trying to stress my marriage, you left us with the true meaning of partnership, and commitment. The financial stress caused by your cruelness gave us real life lessons in what it means to prioritize and put family first.

So my dear Dystonia, bring your best. We can take it. Just know, that while you are busy causing pain and irritation, I’ll be busy picking up the little nuggets of gold you’ll be leaving behind.

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