Although I know I am not alone, this has been a very lonely couple of weeks. My concern and despair for my son’s well being is nothing more than the innate wiring of motherhood. All mothers will generally throw themselves in front of a bus to save their child, any child. And yet, I feel utterly alone in my despair and concern for my own child in this moment, like something is missing and if I could just find it. Despite the empathy, care, advice, commiserating support of so many friends and family, at the end of the day, full responsibility for what decisions are to be made are my own. They belong to me and my husband. And when he says he feels optimistic and I don’t, I feel even more alone.
What am I so upset about? A friend told me not to believe this is an emergency. If your son was being pulled into the tides of a mysterious affliction that could impact the rest of his life in unpredictable ways, leading to addictions, dysfunction, regular rejections and struggle, how is that not an emergency? And yet, she is coming from a place of deep compassion. She has a child with ADD. She knows what I’m going through. So I feel like a loser for taking this all so hard. What am I missing?
I know that worry, beyond the initial impulse to react and protect, can be devastating to the nervous and immune system as well as generating all kinds of negative energy. So, I am back peddling away from it, but like quicksand, the more conflicting data and questionable supports are foisted upon us, the more I scramble for rope to hold onto, to keep us from drowning a little while longer.
Yesterday was truly a nightmare for me. Watching my son cling to me and beg to leave school, so pale and weepy, far from the bright eyed curious monkey I know so well. Listening to the teacher relay her account of a child gone wild in the classroom, throwing tantrums and appearing to delight in his naughty behaviors. Reading through my pile of books and articles, replaying countless conversations and sitting more in my mind than in my heart, spinning desperate wheels in search of an answer…anything.
I wonder if the spider remedy is making things worse? A sign that it’s actually working?
I could barely hold back the tears and spent most of the day in between sobs. One of my best friends took little man for a couple of hours so I could go to the school meeting. She texted me. “Why don’t I take him to school tomorrow. I will sit with him. However long it takes. I’ll go every day he needs me there.”
I burst into tears. I was just about to ask my husband to do the same thing. I clearly could not take him. Both because he clung to me, but also because it is just too heart breaking to see how isolated he is in class, how difficult it is for him to sit and focus, or interact positively with anyone. Knowing he doesn’t have an aid who knows him or even how to help him, makes this “re-integration” a well intentioned failure.
But my friend is an angel. Little man adores her. As soon as she said it I knew it just might actually help him. How can I possibly repay her generosity? I feel awkward accepting it. I haven’t had many friends like her in my life over the years. Few people can take that kind of time to help another friend. Few people are close enough to even understand how much it means. I am still reeling from her offer. As I write this, she is there now. She will text me and let me know how he’s doing. And for the first time in weeks, I know he’s in good hands. I’m able to breathe. My white knuckle grip on my growing list of things to do, people to call, research to explore is relaxing. My search for that missing piece may never end, but in this moment, I finally feel less alone. I might even take my dog for a walk.
Perhaps if I can find myself again, my inner solid ground, I can help my little man find his.