Monday, May 20, 2013

Hey...Think HOPE

I've always been a pain in the rear.  A "little different"...I probably would have been given a label as a child, as it was, I'm just remembering what my mother used to say:

There was a little girl
who had a little curl,
right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good, she was very, very good.
But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Now...I'm not saying she meant it directly towards me...but I sure do remember hearing it a lot.  Don't you imagine I'd have been a better child if I had been weened on mood-stabilizers?  It might have been fun to have been the one everybody in the family walked on eggshells around because I couldn't help my bi-polar.  Instead of getting sent to my room until I could cool off, I could have become a  little tyrant.  If only I had been born a few decades later.  Born too soon.

I've been thinking about my son.  I've been thinking about how I would have done things differently.  One thing that I day I had a beautiful little buddah who sang all the time...the next day my son was autistic and had no understanding of language, and needed $60,000 a year ABA therapy to have a 50% chance of being normal.  Why did I fall for it?  Because, within us is a fear of being a bad parent.  Strange thing is, I didn't become a bad parent until I gave in to that fear.

In time, I came back to my senses.  But it took a good 7 years for me to say that maybe I was wrong to believe the hype.  Maybe I should have understood much sooner that only I (and his Daddy) were responsible for the upbringing of our child.

I remember going into Target, where 4 year old Ben screamed and laid down on the floor.  The noise must have been beyond his ability to take. A clerk said mildly, not to hurt, but the wisdom she had to give:  "You know, we've got to figure out our children before they hit the age of 7." Tears welled up in my eyes:  "She doesn't know he's autistic".   For 3 more years, I felt sorry for myself as a parent.  People just didn't know, I told myself.

But neither did I.  I resented my son.  I never tried to find a way.  I listened to the experts, as I grew farther and farther away. Drugs for school...of course.  Poor, poor Rose.

Then, one day, I had enough. 

"You do that again, it's gonna cost you."
Damn.  He quit.
"Go ahead, if it's worth $20 from your savings."  POWER...parent power.
"You know, if you do that, it's gonna cost you $100, but go ahead, if it's worth it to you. Your choice."

Thank you Jesus.

All of a sudden, this messed up little child on the road to perdition became a likable kid with a big personality. My favorite child.  (My only child).  My emotional twin.

Still, he has dyslexia, which I never did.  Made school real difficult for him, he hated it, felt "bullied by the curriculum." (No matter how hard you try, you will not get it.  Now, get used to it.)

I want those years back. I can't give them back to Ben, but I can make things better.  I can quit judging him, quit seeing everything as a product of autism/adhd/dyslexia.  I can see Ben.  Only Ben.


Happy Elf Mom said...

How is everything now? It sounds like such a dramatic improvement. I wonder how much of it was testing and what else was going on. Does Ben remember?

usethebrains godgiveyou said...

Hey, Miss Happy...things are going really good. Ben is still stubborn as a mule, like his mother, but we are able to work things out and get along. It's like he never understood my anger before. Now, I just channel it into the amount. Threatening to charge him $100 means he has really, really done it. I don't know why it works, but it does, for us.

Ben is going to Tech school. He has accommodations for classes...turns out he either is LD or Autistic, or you can take your pick.

When I homeschooled him, I SAW that he was delayed in some areas, although he is a great reader. Turns out there is a "stealth dyslexia" in math/writing/ other stuff. It is a Learning Disability. Dyslexic Advantage was where I discovered it. So I paid $600 for a psychological, had to fight with the darn psychiatrist (I DON"T WANT A LABEL OF AUTISM, BUDDY...I WANT TO KNOW if he has LEARNING DISABILITIES, which by that time I knew he did. Extra time for tests...extra time to complete a's been nice.

He is a fighter. Seems like he just doesn't give up.

I have missed you so...ha...don't get on your blog much anymore.

Take care, dearheart!!!!!

usethebrains godgiveyou said...

Does he remember? I'm trying to get him to talk about the old days. He's a good writer, Happy. If he ever does, I'll put it here.

I made a lot of mistakes, many things I wish I could take back and start all over again, but we all do the best we can.