“I want you to know that you are not alone in your being alone.” ― Stephen Fry
It is truly common today for one to feel that they are alone due to them struggling with issues in their lives. These issues can range from domestic abuse, to eating disorders, to physical illness, to even chronic pain. Many of the people and children that Bowtie Kids has the privilege to work with have suffered in some part due to chronic pain affecting their lives. Ms. Greene and her family are no exception. Ms. Greene and her children are a family that has been with Bowtie Kids that have given us an opportunity to use their story to show others they are never truly alone. Ezra Archer of Bowtie Kids interviewed Ms. Greene and her children to get their story.
Archer: Who here has dealt with chronic pain?
Greene: Well, it starts with me, Niah has a lot of injuries we are trying to figure out with her knee, Nico has migraines, Jeanisha has gastro problems, and then I have one that has pain in her toes. Three of us suffer migraines. Sometimes once a month, sometimes once a week, sometimes every day.
Archer: Are you aware that these things can often be passed down from parents to children?
Greene: Yes! Yes, I know and it’s hard because I don’t know where exactly I got it from which makes it hard to see your children have it. It’s frustrating as a parent you want to see your children go and enjoy their childhood and then that happens to them.
Archer: Anyone can answer this one, how did you first start experiencing chronic pain and how did you handle it?
Niah: One day I just woke up feeling this pain. I didn’t think much of it, I thought it would probably go away. I didn’t tell my mom at first. I didn’t think it was serious.
Greene: I was frustrated at first, in my mind I was thinking “girl if you would have stopped all these splits and flips and whatever else”. As a parent the last thing you want for your child is to experience this kind of pain.
Archer: How many solutions have you tried to help the situation?
Greene: A lot. I think it was a lot of years later we finally had to buckle down and get surgery for her. And for the other kids I actually had to take them to a neurologist and put them in a study. We’re still waiting on those results.
Archer: I can see how that would be frustrating.
Greene: It is because it’s hard to keep a job when you have so many appointments. It is frustrating, not because of the kids, but because in the world we live in you can’t really afford to stop.
Archer: What has been the biggest help to you on your journey thus far?
Greene: (Smiles) Bowtie Kids Because I felt like me and my children are not alone. Each Saturday at those events, I learned more about myself and my kids. They learned about each other as well. They believed in each other just a little bit more and became more confident as we went on.
Jeanisha: I made some new friends! Playing games with them was fun. It’s hard for me to make friends since it can be weird. The meetings helped a lot.
Archer: How did you come into contact with Bowtie Kids?
Greene: It was actually through thanksgiving. It didn’t look like we were going to have a good thanksgiving. I was contacted by another organization I was with, telling me that an organization called Bowtie Kids is giving out free thanksgiving dinners. They came and brought us a huge thanksgiving dinner, which was very good by the way! And that’s when I thanked Karen and she told us about Bowtie Kids. I felt that was good for us because I felt so alone, just my kids and I. Just to know that there were other people going through the same thing, I guess you could say for once I felt normal (Laughs)! Just to know that my kids are normal, it’s not my fault, and that we can get through this was amazing.
Archer: That is such a powerful message that ties into my last question. What do you think would have helped you the most to hear at the start of your journey?
Greene: That you will be okay, we’re here for you, and you are not alone. We can get through this together. And it’s just amazing to have an organization like this where EVERYBODY is getting through it together.
Ms. Greene and her children gave a powerful interview that we hope many can take something from. She did not have all the answers, resources, or people to rely on that a lot of people would have in this situation. Yet she and her kids keep going, knowing that there will be many days better than today. With Bowtie Kids help, they know that no matter what, they have support now.
We also hope that anyone else reading this knows they are never truly alone. Whether it is Bowtie Kids or another organization, there will always be those willing to lend a helping hand. Please send someone this article if you think that they might feel alone in their pain. If you support our cause, please consider supporting Bowtie Kids in any way possible, including but not limited to: supporting our social media presence, donating, and/or telling friends and loved ones about us. Stopping pains like migraines from happening isn’t a certainty. Yet, being able to support and encourage those who suffer from them surely is.
Visit Bowtie Kids to learn about different support opportunities that you can get involved with as you find the best way to support children with chronic pain.
LinkedIn: Bowtie Kids
Written by Ezra Archer