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Nov 02

Don’t discount what you’ve been through

I had a session yesterday with Sam’s therapist, just a catch-up sort of thing – because in so many ways, he’s improving, but there are still issues that we grapple with.  The bigger issues now seem to be focused on dealing with negativity – he’s really uncomfortable with sitting with and handling negative emotions.  He looks to Marc and I to help him, to make it okay.

The reality is that we do make it okay.  When we can.  And there are a lot of ways in which we subtly sort of rearrange things to accommodate the anxiety.  Planning parties to happen at home, homeschooling, planning playdates to happen here.  There’s lots of reasons for it – and they’re all logical and make sense.  He’s still got all the dietary issues, and getting him fed is easier at home.  He still can’t see – or at least we don’t know what he can see and what he can’t – and all of that is easier for him at home.

I worry about how much accommodating we do – by lowering our expectations, he (and we) end up accepting so much less for him. He misses out – on playing with his friends, on spending time doing things that other kids his age do without hesitation.  When I asked the therapist about that – she pointed out that it’s much more about work that Marc and I have to do – we have to be willing to watch him struggle and suffer.  To be anxious and scared and work thru it.  She said to me (and I’m paraphrasing) “don’t discount what you’ve been through over the past year – it’s not just about whether or not he can handle this, it’s about whether or not you can watch him do it.  To have to see your child suffer and not be able to fix it – you had to do so much of that.  Can you handle more of it?  Can you intentionally, at this point, put him in the position to feel those negative emotions and let him deal with it?”

The reality is that I can’t.  Not yet.  There’s so much negativity that he had to deal with, so many things that I couldn’t fix or couldn’t help – at this stage, I need to be able to do this slowly.  I have to be able to push him slowly, slowly, and give myself space to be okay with it.  The reality is that no parent likes to watch their child hurt or be afraid, and we, Sam, Marc and I, have done so much of that in the past year.  We need space and time.  Time to not be scared, time to be able to heal.

I wish it didn’t take so long.  I wish I could wave a magic wand and be over all the trauma, that he could be over all the trauma.  But the truth is that it’s going to take more time.


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