I had a dream last night. One that I would almost call a nightmare. I was shopping with my daughter and for whatever reason half way through the dream she became a baby. I woke up in a panic repeating to myself that it was only a dream. So why such anxiety? Why would such a simple innocent dream become so devastating to me? There are parents, a good number of them, that look at their child/children and wonder where the time has gone. Looking back on the times when they were younger, longing for a simpler time, a time when their child was dependent on them for mostly everything, before the child became so independent. Myself, not so much. See, every February 11th, I take a deep breath and say, “I made it through one more year.” Parenting a child with special needs is difficult enough. But the idea of reliving every painful memory is even more mortifying. Of course there are good moments to be remembered. However, the memories traced with sorrow are by far more frequent. You have to understand that everyday for the almost past ten years have been an uphill battle. The constant sleepless nights for the first four years of her life. The nine hospitalizations which, were excruciating to say the least. The unforgiving multiple times she attacked herself and me. Years of neglecting my own needs. Feeling like a failure most of the time regardless of the effort I put in. The utter isolation. The multiple diagnosis: schizoaffective, bipolar, ADHD, and now borderline personality disorder. The plethora of medications tried and failed. The multitude of tears, rage, anger, fear of losing my sanity. The harsh arguments with my husband, to the point of reaching a divorce on several occasions. My son no longer able to handle the pressure in the household, deciding to live with his father instead. My daughter attempting to run away on several occasions resulting in a sense of paranoia. Having to lock up simple its such as a potato peeler for fear that my daughter would use it as a means of injuring herself. Trying so damn hard to deal with the constant wild mood swings. No, no there is nothing that would make me want to relive the past. It’s hard enough that I must live in the present. Fearing the future. No, everyday that both her and I make it through is a small victory for me. Every passing year is a landmark of survival in our history. Unfortunately, I have not the slightest clue how this story will end. I pray that it will end happily. I work so hard to ensure some type of positive future for her. She’s so brilliant, funny, smart, caring and talented. Her heart is made of pure gold. I must look to the future in hopes that one day just maybe she will live a “normal” life, whatever that may be. There will be no looking back, only pushing forward.