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Giving Life











Juliet's skills, courage, and passion allow her the unique privilege of participating in the conception of human life as a fertility researcher. As she gives life to others, it seems a curious trade off comes into play...Her own life slips away. Her work makes the dreams of others come true but what about her dreams? Has she sacrificed her own life for the cause of giving life to others? Is this how it has to be? What have you lost for the sake of finding something for someone else?

19 Comments:

Blogger scoutpost said...

Wow do I dare be the first to comment? It's been a long time since I've spoken up over here. To answer the question: What have you lost for the sake of finding something for someone else?

I gotta tell you I have sacrificed more of myself than I ever knew possible to humanly do for my son who has autism. We moved to AZ in Oct. 2003. A couple of months later I had my 3rd child, making 3 kids under the age of 4. By the time my youngest was 4 months old, my then 2 year old was diagnosed with autism. I cannot tell you how much this disorder will turn your life upside down. It is something that drains you emotionally, mentally, and physically 24/7. It completely consumes you. Part of that consumption is just plain intervening for your child, the doctor appts, the therapies, the care it takes at home, special dietary concerns, getting the correct placement in school, etc. Wow I hadn't thought about it, but I do feel a little like Juliet. I was sort of quiet, polite and undemanding before, but I have a more aggressive/assertive personality than before. I had to become that way, you could even call me pushy, to get the services and treatments my son needed. Anyway, because our lives were completely occupied with autism I basically had no time to even make friends...we've lived here 3 years and I have a few "friends" although the people on this list probably know me almost as well as they do. That's why this community has become so much a part of my day. I don't always have time to spend when others do, but almost any time I come online someone is there, or they will respond in due time. Anyway, because the autism was so time consuming- our marriage has hung like a thread at times, I haven't seen a doctor in 3 years, I've gained probably 25lbs due to the stress, etc. I remember going out to eat once with some people from my husband's office, people who I would call friends, but I sat there the whole time and couldn't even contribute to the conversation because all I knew about was autism. And when that's all you talk about, you start to get looks like you do when all you talk about is LOST! LOL
Oh well, to wrap this up: I've basically given my whole life away the past 3 years to my son, so that he could develop as best as he could, and to give him the potential to live the best life he can in the future. And I should say we've been blessed that he has made a lot of progress. He will probably be mainstreamed into school next year and many people don't even know he has autism until I tell them. Not everyone's story about autism has this happy an ending believe me. Ah well, it is his progress that has given me the time to write this in the middle of the afternoon, but must go now. If you want to know more about autism there are links on my blog.

2/08/2007 1:04 PM  
Blogger Dark Angel said...

You just beat me scoutpost. I think life is all about sacrifice, or to put another way you have to make choices, you can't have it all. When I got married I made a choice and that meant comprimise and the loss of some personal freedoms but the pay of was worth it. Then in order to have children we had to make more sacrifices, we lost around 50% of our family income, no more foriegn holidays, no more buting clothes on a whim, but again the sacrifice was worth it, oh boy was it worth it, my Sons's miles are worth all the money in the world.

But that is what lie is all about, I sacrificed my love of chocolate in order to save my teeth (still not convinced that one was worth it).

Anyway I'll stop rattling on now ;)

2/08/2007 1:07 PM  
Blogger Dark Angel said...

Hi Scoutpost,

Just read your blog, Autism is a real toughie, not that I have had any personal experience but both my wife and mother in law have taught autistic kids. I also know how misunderstood it is, you must hate Rainman with a passion!

It's great new that your son is getting into mainstream progress, no doubt the pay off for three years of hard work.

I'm off to read your blog now

2/08/2007 1:12 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Wow, scout! How wonderful that you're about to see some fruit from these last few years of work! So does that mean your son is high functioning. I have a friend whose son is not thriving in school. He's been in full day kindergarten for half a year. They have been discussing if he might have a form of Asperger's. Parenting definitely requires us to give more of ourselves than we ever thought we could, but especially parenting a high needs kid. It's amazing how these little people, who depend on us so utterly, motivate us to become more compassionate, to put others needs ahead of ours, to move past our adolescent narcissism and yet become more child-like in some ways. Gosh this is a hard job! Like you guys, I'm really grateful for that though.

2/08/2007 2:09 PM  
Blogger scoutpost said...

Hey Twinkle! Yes he is considered high functioning. And yes we are fortunate to see fruit. It was a really rough 2.5 years. We've been watching our youngest who has sensory integration disorder and language delays, but so far he hasn't been diagnosed with autism. Lately though he has really started having a lot of fierce tantrums, so I'm not sure if he will be diagnosed later with it or not. So we're starting all over again! ugh. It is amazing how much patience and compassion it develops in you though. And as far as being kid-like...I just stopped to get gas earlier and was doing the ole fake walking down and up stairs outside their windows to make my boys laugh while the gas was filling up. We were having a great time- then I looked around and realized that everyone was staring at me! Oh well- if not a fool for your kids then what's the point?
oh and DA- I'm afraid I started my blog last summer, but haven't updated it much. Guess this would be a good time to go back and finish.

2/08/2007 3:10 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

All over again! I can't imagine how that feels.

Some friends and I were talking this week about the attitudes we have towards parenting. (We all have made staying with our kids our full-time job.) Sometimes we feel like we can't take it anymore. Sometimes we feel like we just need to endure. Sometimes we focus on how much character growth or how much good can come from the struggles we have now. One friend said that she's been convicted that she needs to stop wishing away her kids childhood and enjoy it more. Sounds like you also enjoy it, Scout. :-)

2/10/2007 6:00 AM  
Blogger capcom said...

I'm glad that I finally thought to check and see if David put up a new thread here!

First, I'm sorry to hear about your babies, Scoutpost, gosh. We expect to have to change in many ways to make way for our children's lives, but some folks get the extra burden of having special children too. I hate to admit that I ever even glance at "The View" TV show, but they had a show entirely on autism on Jan 29. If you go to their site on ABC...
http://abc.go.com/daytime/theview/index.html

...they have an autism subject link, and also on the recap page of the Feb. 29th show, they have additional info about what they talked about that day. Toni Braxton was on and she has a boy with autism. I'm sure that you have a lot of info resources, but it never hurts to have a few more maybe.

On a lighter note, DA from what you told us about your dental appointments this past summer or fall, it seems to be a good exchange! :o) But when you indulge, just brush your teeth like crazy! I have used Crest all my life and I don't have any cavities yet. ((Disclaimer: I am not in any way affiliated with Crest or any of it's subsidiaries.)) Haha.

On the subject of Admin's Qs on the front page, I pretty much lived my whole life (from childhood till almost 40) giving up my dreams for other people, and mostly for the men I was in long term relationships with (ex-hub, ex-fiances). And I don't mean in an altruistic way, but just because I was weak and timid (like the version of Juliet that we saw in her flashbacks in the "Portland" ep) and because I didn't think that my happiness was as important as theirs. I know now that there is nothing honorable about giving yourself away like that, and I eventually got strong and came to appreciate myself (like the Otherville Juliet) but it took some hard times and rough knocks to get there. I am thankful to the Lord that He helped me learn from the negative outcomes that were often the result of my lack of self-esteem in those days.

On another slant, I do feel that when you care about someone, that you could/should do anything to give of yourself to that person. Some people are also lucky enough to have the kind of life-work that they can give their all to, the way the previous Juliet did, and I really admire and envy that.

Don't you think that Jack also is the kind of person that would generally give of himself to "save" someone in need, no matter what the price might have been to himself in the moment? I like that aspect about his character. Not the part about how he allowed it to disintegrate his marriage (although that is a good example of how giving too much can mess up our lives), but in his dedication to helping people in his daily job and in helping people in need on the island (illustrated by giving his blood to Boone).

I think that in the way that Jack sort of became the default leader of the group, is sometimes typical of what happens in reality. People can often sense who is willing to sacrifice themselves for others, and the crowd often tends to lean on, or take advantage of, those giving or supportive kinds of people.

2/11/2007 7:14 PM  
Blogger scoutpost said...

capcom said...
I think that in the way that Jack sort of became the default leader of the group, is sometimes typical of what happens in reality. People can often sense who is willing to sacrifice themselves for others, and the crowd often tends to lean on, or take advantage of, those giving or supportive kinds of people.

Interesting thought capcom. I think that I am one of those people who have tatooed to their forehead "will sacrifice for others". I don't like complaining because I think there is always someone out there who has it a lot worse than I do, and I know this may not be the most appropriate place to vent, but I am feel like I am being taken advantage of right now. In addition to taking care of my kids, my 81 year old mother is ailing and needs to move to a place that provides more care for her. Mind you, she lives in Fort Worth, TX near my brother who is 10years older than me and has not kids, but he doesn't have time to take care of my mother so he says. Even though he agreed that it was ok to move her to Fort Worth from Mobile, AL last summer. He continually tells me I need to come out there and help him (like I have nothing else to do since I don't have a "real" job). Anyway, Thursday he emails me and tells me that we have to move my mom by the end of the month and that I need to come help. Well, despite the fact that he didn't even warn me or ask politely, of course I will help- because my mom needs this. After talking with him though, I find out that the week I am travelling out there to help, he is not even planning on taking off work. Apparently he feels I owe this to him since he has been taking care of mom the past 6 months or so. Oh well, like I said, I'm doing this for my mom, and I'm trying really hard not to be selfish, but my brother's attitude toward me really stinks. Anyway, thanks for letting me vent. Just thought it interesting how capcom's last comment seems to describe exactly how I feel right now.

2/11/2007 11:07 PM  
Blogger scoutpost said...

Oh and I meant to say-
Thanks capcom for the info and link to the View. I will check that out when I get a "free" moment- ha! j/k And, I'm glad you were able to learn from your past to get you to the point you are at now.

2/11/2007 11:11 PM  
Blogger capcom said...

Wow Scoutpost, I am sorry that you are going through that too right now. Maybe you should take your brother on a Dr. Phil show! He will tell your bro a thing or two about how he has been treating you and your mom. And I'm only partially kidding here. It would be good for another man to tell him how wrong he is.

Did your brother explain why you "have" to get your mother now? Is a meteor hurtling through space aimed directly at Fort Worth and you have to get her out of its range? I understand how you are doing it for you mom. It's a hard place to be stuck in, between unfairness and compassion. I still don't do very well in those kind of situations myself. I too feel like I still sometimes have "sacrificer" (or maybe "loser") on my forehead. Especially at work that was the case more often than not.

Well, maybe you can think up some compromising conditions, that would require *him* to do some compromising to make it easier for you? And lay out for him just exactly how much responsibility you have on your plate with your kids' special needs and all, if you haven't. Has your hubby ever talked to him? Maybe your bro would be less inclined to make demands if he had to make them to your hubby? I'm just taking some guessing shots at it.

We'll keep you in our prayers for sure. XO

2/12/2007 11:25 AM  
Blogger kvonhard said...

Scoutpost - In my teaching, I've dealt with several older teens with autism. Most recently, today, I discussed with my mom a student of hers who was able to maintain a "service" job in the college library. Sure, his interpersonal skills were somewhat lacking, but he also managed to do his job well. Autism is especially tough on parents b/c of the manner in which children interact with their parents. My thoughts are certainly with you. However, at least he was diagnosed early on so you can manage the difficulties and negotiate through them early on.

As for the brother situation, my mother is in your brother's position but for the following two points - my aunt lives an hour from my grandmother (grandfather passed this summer) and my aunt refuses to take ANY responsibility but then places blame on my mother (for her father dying -at 92, for their parents getting old). None of this do you seem to do. You also seem far more willing than my retired aunt to drop things and help your brother when he beckons. My mother has sacrificed all other relationships (husband, me (to an extent), friends not from the assisted care facility in which my grandparents live(d)) for her parents at this point. Your situation, I understand, is different. PLEASE don't get this wrong. It makes me wonder if my mother is the strong or the weak person. I've always thought of it as the weak one - not standing up for herself (there's a long history). Or, is she truly stronger for sacrificing herself and her true happiness to do what she feels she has to? I can't really answer that question. However, maybe the sacrifice of everything else that I know she holds or did hold close makes her a stronger person than I give her credit for?

I guess what I wonder - is there more than one kind of sacrifice? There are some you do for love, some you do for duty, some you do out of guilt, out of fear. Are any more "right" than others? Or, if not "right" more justified? If you sacrifice because you love someone, is that actually not a sacrifice b/c in the end it is something that you want to do? Meanwhile, when you sacrifice out of guilt, you sacrifice not because YOU want to and so it truly becomes a sacrifice but ultimately truly unhealthy?

What happens when you think, as I once thought, that you sacrificed something only to realize that, in retrospect, it was no sacrifice after all since what you gave up would have made you miserable? Does it still count as a sacrifice if I'm happier in the long run? At the time, it was a huge sacrifice. In the end? Not so much. If, when the sacrifice turns out to be for the best for you personally is it still a sacrifice? Must a sacrifice be one that forever has caused you a continual loss?

Why is it I end up with more questions than answers on this board????

2/12/2007 3:16 PM  
Blogger scoutpost said...

Hey all!
Thanks for your responses, and to answer somewhat briefly. I will say that I am giving the situation a LOT of thought. I am thinking of confronting my brother and talking about it, I just want to make sure I do it in the right frame of mind so as not to start a blame game or in turn be unfair to him. Also, I'm weighing whether or not confronting hime is worth it. Bottome line- life is short and I don't want to create a rift between my brother and I that will last years after my mom is gone- he's my only sibling. I think what it comes down to is whether or not I can sacrifice again without becoming bitter at him. As far as helping my mom, I would do whatever I can, she deserves that and I wish I could give more. I am certainly making every effort to not take the mindset of a martyr. And as far as my husband, he is sort of lying back now and keeping an eye on the situation, but I know he will step in and talk to my brother if the situation continues, we've talked about that. I will keep you posted on what I decide to do. I appreciate your feedbacks and advice.

2/12/2007 3:39 PM  
Blogger kvonhard said...

Best of luck Scoutpost! Just try not to run up to your brother's car in a parking lot, banging on the window like a crazy person and yelling at him. That, incidentally, does not help the situation. (Personal experience...)

I think that if you can find a way to talk with him - is there something you can do from a distance? Is there a way that you can handle money while he takes care of day to day things? That might be a good way to broach the topic. That you want to help, but that your time is limited when it comes to travel. Are there bills that you could pay/decisions that you could make to help him? Something that doesn't require you shuttling from AZ to TX (quite a hike) and that might make him feel as though he's not alone. Sometimes a well-meaning offer with actual follow through could help. Maybe even just promising to order online and have delivered clothing/underwear/etc. for your mother. This way it's one less errand for him to run (with you being reimbursed from her accounts in the same way he would be if he was doing it).

That's my 1.5 cents.

2/12/2007 3:45 PM  
Blogger capcom said...

Kvonhard, I like your ideas of trying to reach some kind of win/win/win (third win being for mom) negotiation, if the brother will do so. I think its always best to try that avenue first when power struggles like this come up. Each person can lay out their needs in an orderly fashion and negotiations can be made, hopefully. Surely there must be some area where he will give in, instead of him getting all his needs met? He actually might be afraid that he will get stuck all alone with a very sad and tragic situation eventually, and maybe he needs to be assured that that would not happen. Again, I'm just guessing on what has or has not been discussed already.

Scoutpost, I noticed that you said that *you* don't want to *create* a rift.....well IMHO you would not be creating difficulty, he has already created the problem of pushing a task on you to avoid sharing the responsibility of a family situation. Since the possibility of conflict already exists due to his unwavering stance, you would not be creating anything. I hope that you know what I'm trying to say, I feel that guilt is already being put on your poor shoulders, in the way you expressed that. And I do know what you mean about not wanting to cause separation from your brother by digging in your heels about your needs.

It's funny how some people just know exactly how to make us feel, so that we will give in, regardless of how giving in will affect us. :-(

Kvonhard, what I could say about your Qs is this: it says in the Bible, that if I don't do something with love, it means nothing. I think that this is a good "golden rule" type of inspiration to go by. And I think that there are many types of sacrifices. A mother can give up her child for the benefit of the child, although the mother will regret it forever -- large sacrifice of love. I could let someone get in line before me, even though I got there first -- a small sacrifice of politeness, and one that doesn't really impact me all that much but that hopefully will pass along some peaceful vibes in the world. Then there is the kind I was talking about before -- overlooking my needs for those of a spouse/partner and not caring if my needs are met at all -- bad, unhealthy sacrifice, caused by low self-esteem, and no good comes out of that IMHO. In other cases I would not call an act of giving up something a "sacrifice", if I benefit from it as well -- that's more like negotiation or bartering resulting in a win/win situation. And if it turns out that something that I thought was going to be hard, turns out to be an easy "give", that's what I call a blessing! (and I say a thank-you prayer to the Lord) :o) It's a kind of serendipity of a sort. Unexpected benefit! :-D Anyway, I hope that made some sense.

I hope there are not too many typos here, I'm to lazy to go over it all!

2/12/2007 9:20 PM  
Blogger kvonhard said...

Capcom - That makes total sense. Dictionary.com says that sacrifice is "to surrender or give up, or permit injury or disadvantage to, for the sake of something else." It also has an alternate noun definition that indicats allowing harm to something desirable for the sake of something prized more. Hmmm ... My husband and I discussed this for a while last night. I wonder if a sacrifice becomes negated when what you give up is no longer something that you find desirable (i.e. I gave up my chance at the law school I wanted to stay with my husband before we were even living together only to realize that I wouldn't have liked it/would have been miserable about two years after I finished the school I eventually went to). Is that still a sacrifice? It felt like one at the time. Today, I wouldn't have it any other way. Does a sacrifice, by definition, have to involve regret or, lacking that, negative emotions (i.e. the child given up for adoption). And if giving something up doesn't create some version of those feelings, then is it truly a sacrifice...

This now makes my head hurt.

2/13/2007 1:42 PM  
Blogger Dark Angel said...

I don't think sacrifice has to contain negative emotions, I gave up the plans I thought I had to get an office job before i got married. I doubt my career will ever be anything other than a boring way to earn a living, but do I regret it, no. I have a beautiful wife and great kids anything else is just icing :)

Scoutpost whilst I haven't had to deal with elderly parents (mine are in their 60's) I recognise the situation. The sibling that lives furthest away, who already has all the problems has to sort out their parent whilst the carefree/single/rich sibling does nothing. To a degree some people are just nicer and more altruistic and whilst it seems that the people that do the right thing just get all the sh*t and none of the rewards but I think the carer does get the emotional rewards that the non-carer never gets, or never even concieves and they are the ones leading the empty unfulfilling life.

Scout from what I know from you online you are a kind and generous person with the wisdom to do the right thing. If we could put an arm across the net and give you a hug I'm sure we all would. My thoughts are with you though and remember if you need some one to bitch to, moan at, cry with or laugh with we're all here :)

2/14/2007 12:16 PM  
Blogger R2K said...

Great page : )

2/14/2007 1:28 PM  
Blogger capcom said...

Good points Kvonhard! I think that your decision on giving up law school was definitely a sacrifice back then. I don't believe that being glad/relieved/content years later after making the decision, takes anything way from the original intent. That is, it's the thought at the time that counts. :o) Also, it just proves that you made the correct sacrifice and/or choice, because now you're happy with it!

DA, well put as usual, ditto to everything you said. Has your wife ever told you that you are very intuitive and sensitive for a male of the human species? :o) Not to knock men in general (I don't go in for that), but you know what I mean. Maybe it's because you are from the UK? You're like Desmond, all sentimental and stuff! :o)

2/14/2007 9:13 PM  
Blogger capcom said...

P.S. Scoutpost, concerning your first post, please get thyself to a doctor, and get checked up. Stress is baaaaaaad and wears down the body terribly. You also need to be healthy, so you can take care of your babies.

2/14/2007 9:16 PM  

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