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Just Breathe (A Sigh of Relief) and a Disclaimer

Just Breathe (A Sigh of Relief) and a Disclaimer

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

That first sigh of relief

Some days and I mean some, you can breathe a sigh of relief when you are a parent of a child with Special Needs. You see, we often feel, the hubby and I, as if we are walking on eggshells. This is not something we do because we are scared of our child or wanting to make his life perfect. No, that is laughable. We walk on eggshells every day because anything and everything sets him off, it’s just how it is. I am happy to say that at school, he has gotten much better at coping with his extreme feelings and whatever else he is dealing with that we are still working on figuring out. But seriously, can you imagine how exhausting that must feel for him, repressing what he really wants to do and how he is feeling? I can. And let me tell you, it is exhausting. Some could argue that they have to do this every day, it’s life. But, do you have to do this while having extreme feelings of angst and distraction? The challenges that severe emotions can bring.

We are lucky, but…

We try to remind each other and I often find myself saying it in my mind over and over again, “We are lucky, it could be so much worse.”

Shannon and I get that, we do. However, it does not make the “looks” and unwarranted advice any easier. I mean, yes I am much better at not letting it bother me for long. I have learned and I guess that I, too, am coping. It does not make the internal cringing any easier when a well-meaning person tries to give us advice in our everyday parenting skills. Believe me, we have tried a lot of different things. However, the method that works the best for us, which is also the hardest, is ignoring the undesired behavior. Imagine that? It is very hard to do when sometimes you just want to scream “Shut the F@%* up!” at the top of our lungs because he is screaming for the millionth time because of a mini quarrel between him and his brother that was once again caused by him pick, pick, picking, as we say. But, as hard as it is, we usually choose to ignore.

mental health, children's mental health, psychologist

Photo by Michelle on Unsplash

The sigh of relief continued

My sigh of relief and acceptance came today. It felt really flipping good. I had been sitting and talking to Grayson’s new Clinical Psychologist.  Grayson was not afraid to pull out all of the stops this time. This is great, because that is exactly what you want when you are trying to have your child diagnosed. You know, instead of him acting on his best behavior, which is desired in most instances but not played out. I handled the situation how I normally would at home. I continued talking to the psychologist when Grayson kept carrying on and vying for my attention in undesirable ways. I only gave his behavior attention when it was affecting others or causing harm. Do you know what happened? She praised me!! Someone actually praised me for how I was handling my son’s behavior. No one was fighting with me and telling me that I am not hard enough or consistent enough with him, nope she was telling me that I was handling the situation exactly as she would have. A Clinical Psychologist with years of training and thousands of patients praised ME for how I was handling my son. You guys, I felt a weight lifted. I try not to seem like I don’t know what I am doing, but with Grayson sometimes I just don’t know if we are doing the right thing. He is a puzzle that still has some missing pieces scattered about and we are trying to find them to help to see the whole picture. We have been trying for over three years and we are beat down. To say the least. We feel defeated most days and we worry about him and what his future holds. We want him to be happy. We want him to be okay. I mean, don’t we all wish this for our children?

The second one (sigh of relief, that is)

This is actually the second sigh of relief I have felt when talking to this specific Psychologist. The first came when we were able to talk for the first time on the phone. I have talked to many professionals for myself and also for my child.  I do not always have this feeling of certainty, as if everything is going to be okay.

I won’t go into too much detail but let’s just say we tried for a few years to have Grayson diagnosed through the school district.  Unfortunately,  it hasn’t happened yet, even with a formal evaluation, however, he is still struggling academically and emotionally. It’s frustrating, to say the least.

We were told when we started the whole process that that was the route we should go and reluctantly we did as we were told. And believe me, lots of persisting and pushing was done by this Mama Bear (okay, fine. Momma Bird). The poor kid has gone through extensive Reading intervention with barely any improvement in 20 weeks…not good and something is missing. I will just keep pushing until we figure it out.

The next step we took was to try to get a recommendation through the kids’ doctor’s office. That didn’t go so well and to say the least, I was extremely disappointed. It was minimal paperwork (one sheet for the teacher and one for mom and for dad) to fill out. I don’t feel like it was any indication of what we were dealing with, there was not even a section to write about the behavior we were dealing with. Seriously? Let’s just say that appointment made me start looking for another pediatrician’s office when they started giving me parenting advice, as if I had never done this before. It was actually laughable, although I really just wanted to cry.

Flash forward a few more, not so easy months, and I mentioned again that this time I would like a referral for another formal evaluation. They did as I was told and the doctor seemed pretty annoyed with me, but I did not give one shit.

When I left an e-mail with the Psychologist she called me back the next day and the phone call made me breathe that wonderful sigh of relief that I am referring to. I have a pretty perceptive gut feeling that I am starting to rely on and even though it was my first phone conversation with her, I had a feeling that she would be the one to get us on the right track. I could hear her baby babbling in the background because it was her day off and that made me feel the most comfortable. She understood what I was saying, she validated how I was feeling about our situation and made me feel like we were not alone. We would figure this out together. She may not have all of the answers but I think that she will guide us all in the right direction. Call it a mother’s intuition or whatever you like, I don’t even know, but I feel like something is churning and happening. Until then, follow along on our mental health journey for my sweet boy.

As always, thank you for supporting me and my family on this journey. I hope that you can sometimes breathe these certain sighs of relief in whatever challenges you are facing. I promise that you are not alone.

Here’s the disclaimer for our fellow readers

P.S. I was troubled by a comment that I had seen by chance from a past reader. It went something like,” I feel bad for bloggers’ kids that publicize their children’s shortcomings and let all be known about their lives. It will make it so much harder for them later in life….”

And something along those lines.

Because of that comment, I decided to talk to my children again about what their thoughts are about their Mommy writing about Mental Health and the challenges we face in our family. I also told them that if at any time they are uncomfortable with me talking about them, that I will stop including them in my writing. They know that Mommy writes about things to help others and to spread awareness (or terms that are appropriate for them to understand). They know that I would never want to hurt their feelings or make them feel embarrassed (well, at least about their mental health, we all have a sense of humor in our family and have fun with it).

Anyways, I just needed to clarify that I tell my children what I write about and I want them to know when I write about our struggles. I do not want them to be ashamed for being different and I want them to embrace their emotions as well as their triumphs of getting through these hard stages of life.

sibling love, mental health, kid's mental health, love, siblings, mental health awareness

Sibling love

My babies are my world (my wonderful husband, too) and I would never want anyone to be under the impression that I am exploiting my children for the sake of popularity or exposing their shortcomings.

Mental Health Awareness is my goal and I hope that we can all be open about what we are experiencing and how we have overcome our obstacles.

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