Facing a new demon

Oxymoron: noun. A figure of speech in which two opposite words are joined to create an effect. It is two contrasting ideas. Ex: a tragic comedy, killing him with kindness, and my personal favorite, the Walking Dead.

Here we go.

… It is so quiet right now. The only sound I can hear is the clock ticking on my mantel. As I put Willy on the school bus this morning, I was reminded for the first time in a while what it was like to have alone time; to not feel rushed, to sip my coffee at my own pace, and to actually write to you without multiple disturbances or distractions.

Silence is golden!

But I have a new demon following me now and I think I’m going to be fighting it for a little while. Or at least until I come to terms with it. Let me explain. Last Friday, we had a visit from the BCBA (board certified behavioral analyst) from the company that will be providing Willy with home services. This is been a hard pill for me to swallow, because from my perspective, this is what I do for a living! I work for a company (a different one) that does the exact same thing. I work with families and help their kids with learning difficulties succeed in every day tasks at home and in the community. I absolutely LOVE my job, but the fact that I can’t help my own child… well… it just eats at me.

I learned a long time ago that I cannot be a mom and a therapist at the same time, and that was a very valuable lesson the moment that I learned it. There are some things that I can maneuver with behavior modification techniques, but there are also many things that I can’t. Sometimes I have to coach my husband from across the room and tell him what to do, because I simply can’t be both people at the same time. And when I do… it blows up in my face EACH. AND. EVERY. TIME.

So now I have to let someone else take over where I simply cannot. And it kills me that it has to be this way. I was explaining to my husband last night that this person coming into our home is going to be like another family member. She’s going to walk around her house like she owns it, going into cabinets and drawers to gather what she needs, to determine the appropriate action to take when Willy is having a hard time, to hug and tickle our child like he’s hers, etc.

I told Jason to not interfere unless it’s ABSOLUTELY necessary. I told him to just be there like a wallflower.

And then of course I think to myself, I do the EXACT same thing for a living, and I wonder what the family that I work with thinks of me? Do they mind that I just walk into their house every afternoon? Do they mind that I go into their cabinets to get a cup so I can have water when ever I want? Do they mind that I use every possible moment as a teaching moment for their son? Even if it means interrupting them in mid-sentence (sometimes) because their son doesn’t understand what they’re trying to tell him?

Do they hate me for the mere fact that I am succeeding with her child and they aren’t?

I wonder if I’m going to feel these things when my time comes. Right now I feel like a walking oxymoron. I feel like I can help everyone else’s child but I can’t help my own. That doesn’t make me a bad mother, it just means that I need to relinquish my control and let someone else step in and take over. And for me that is going to be the hardest part of all. Watching someone else help my son succeed when I couldn’t do it to begin with.

And that’s the part that kills me.

I know that I’m a good mom, I never said I wasn’t, but the fact that it has to be this way just makes it so much harder for me. I feel like I’m joining yet another club that I never asked to join to begin with. Oy yoy yoy!

I took this picture this morning as I was about to wake him up to get ready for school. This is the face of an angel. These are the cheeks that I get to kiss as much as I want, and I know that I will always be “Mommy” to him. I know that this new therapist will not replace me, and that the help that we are getting is much needed. I just have to let this woman do her job, and let us feel joy in our son’s success, because this is not the end of the world for me. This is only the beginning.

2 thoughts on “Facing a new demon

  1. What a journey you are on! I admire your bravery and willingness to sacrifice your emotional needs to do what’s best for your son. Before I was a mom, I used to say the most stupid and arrogant things to parents. Then when I tried to teach my own son, I learned a lesson: emotional distance can be a teacher’s best friend. Not that I don;t love my students, but there’s a distance that moms and kids don’t typically have. When I had to pay my niece to teach my son to tie his shoes, which she accomplished in 5 minutes after he and I had been at each other’s throats, I could see why being a teacher was often easier than being a parent. Kudos to you, and may this be a gentle process.

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