It's been too long away from the words, from the people here. I feel like I'm travelling in a foreign country, and I don't speak the language. Yet, I am pulled, called to spill my experiences and feelings.
Nate is doing very well in school, despite much prodding on my part. He doesn't have the inclination to do any type of work that doesn't come to him either easily or that is lacking the immediate satisfaction of something stimulating. It's a huge challenge to keep him focused on any sort of goal that doesn't have a quick return on investment. However, something has helped us speak on a different and more productive level.
After reading this book, I realized that we were not talking to each other, we were talking at each other. We discovered that punishment (i.e. taking away his video games) does not work, it's actually makes things so much harder. I don't want this post to be a review of the book, which I could very easily do, but I want to highly encourage it as a new tool in your arsenal of things to try with your children. I could see that Nate and I were like ships passing each other in the night, aware of each others presence, but not truly noticing what was going on and not able to find a way to navigate differently. This has given us that power. At least for now.
I do not claim that this will always work. I think that's the caveat with always building up your parenting reserves. You have this confidence that it will consistently be effective, then the moment comes when it does not and you're dumbstruck for a few weeks to find a new solution. That's where we were about 2 months back.
It's been a strange and happy accident, this sudden and magical micro transformation between us. We have been talking kindly, being more aware of each other's needs and feelings, working to be more flexible, having actual moments of "normal" parent/child bonding. I likened it to that moment in "Awakenings" when Robert Di Niro walked over to his mother and smiled and gave her a hug after years of being catatonic. We've reached across this gigantic divide to touch each other in a place I didn't think we could. I shudder to think that we won't have this ever again. I'm holding it so close to my heart and building a place in my brain for it to always be there for me to access whenever I choose. Perhaps I'm being unrealistic and subjective, but when you feel you have never truly connected that way with your child and then you do, you never, ever want to let go.
We're off for his neuro psychological evaluation tomorrow morning. They are checking to see where he is and see if the diagnosis is still valid. There was a part of me that was afraid of what they will say. That they'll change his diagnosis and then we'll be set adrift and have no services and things will get exponentially harder. I know we are very blessed and very lucky to have all the services that we have in place. I don't want to ponder the possibilities of NOT having them. I cannot control the outcome and I will deal with what ever the results are. It's funny that I don't know how I would react if they took a diagnosis or possibly both of them away. We've identified this way for so long. Worked so hard in this vein to advocate for what we've been told he has and what I as a growing therapist have observed as objectively and factually as a loving advocate mother can. Changing the diagnosis won't change the way I feel about him, but I would almost feel betrayed if we are told something different. Like my instincts and the psychologist's instincts and anyone else in the mental health community who has seen him and observed him in some capacity are told that they are wrong. That there eyes, training, skills and instincts were off. That's a hard storm to weather, at least for me. But I know that I cannot weather a storm that has not been predicted, so I must stay strong in knowing what I do know until the report is other wise...
This year has been a huge transformation for me, without me planning it on being so. From my first steps into January, still full of doubt and anxiety, to the end of July where I felt my personal journey of self exploration was complete to mid November where I find myself not complete and nursing my long neglected personal trauma and slowly shelving those memories away, where they belong. In between there lies old jobs left, new jobs found, debts paid, friendships tested and strengthened. I have been humbled in some very close and dear friends who have been aiding me on this journey. It's some of the most painful emotional steps I have ever experienced. It is not a sudden landing, this healing, it is a long sojourn. I am thankful to finally have started this path to my recovery.
I thank you for reading this blog. I used to do this because I thought I wanted notoriety and recognition. My intent is to share my experiences with the Universe and hope that maybe one person takes something and it makes them smile, laugh or perhaps change their perspective.
That's where I'm at..