Writing has always been how I sort out my feelings and express myself, even as a little girl. But sometimes life is full of big feeling after big feeling and you can’t catch your breath. And sometimes it’s full of so many little feelings that they all tangle together inside and can’t get out. That is where I have found myself lately. In fact, I don’t even know if the writers’ block is coming from the tangle of small feelings or the suffocation of the big ones, or maybe all of the above.
I have so much fear as a mom. This fear stems from what is wrong with me. I mean, I think there’s actually something clinically undiagnosed, legit WRONG. As we have been going through this journey with Micah, it has been eye opening to say the least. We have seen professional after professional and we are learning more and more things just aren’t “normal” with him. And now that Levi is almost 3, we’re turning to each other and going, “Wait… is that what toddlers are supposed to do?” Micah is our first child so while we knew something was “off”, it was hard to know the extent. Yes, he has sensory processing disorder, yes he is gifted which has led to gross motor and social delays. Maybe he’s on the spectrum, and we’re starting another 15-month process to get a second opinion on that. But the more and more “stuff” that we discover isn’t “status quo” the more and more I realize, “Um, hi, that’s also me.”
And guys, I don’t think it would be an understatement, if you know my full history (which few people do), to say my life kinda SUCKED. Like, don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t all bad, but O.M.G. you guys, you don’t even know. I was SO bullied, by both kids AND teachers. I was completely lost on what was happening in life. I remember being SO confused with what was going on ALL of the time. I once got lost in a snowstorm when I was 6 on a field trip because I was confused what was happening and why we were outside and why we were leaving the school. I would have teachers come over and tap me on the shoulder during assembly and be like, “Pssssttt!!! You’re supposed to CLAP right now. Stop being rude.” Every Friday I had to take a different bus home from school, and I couldn’t figure out what line it was and would get lost every week. (Guys, the lines were numbered 1-7. I was 9. This shouldn’t have been rocket science, but it was beyond me). Like I just couldn’t PROCESS life. Continuously. I never got past the first few lessons of swimming because, to this day, I would pretty much rather be cut with a knife than put my face in the water. I had sensory issues (and HAVE sensory issues) up the whazoo. But that wasn’t a thing 30 years ago.
To compound issues, my parents were a little bit of the generation that children should be seen and not heard, and obedience was paramount, and here I was – unable to pick up on social cues. (Fun fact, I just recently found out that other adults do not run through a script of behaviour protocol every time they walk into a room to appear normal. Who knew?). Even just this Sunday someone was like, “Are you sick?” And I was like, “No… why?” And they’re like, You’re crossing your arms and physically backing away from me. I thought you were avoiding a hug because you were sick.” And I was like, “Oh! No, sorry. Here, have a hug.” What I didn’t say was, “That’s just my defaults and I forgot to run my script to make sure I interacted with you like a normal person. I remember what to do now.”
I just remember feeling misunderstood, not understanding what was going on, and having huge triggers off tiny things that incapacitated my ability to do normal things with my peers. And it got worse and worse and the anxiety built, and I was suicidal for probably about 10 years.
And now that I see myself in Micah, I freak out. Because he’s too special needs to not thrive without an EA, but he’s not special needs enough to have funding for one, we’re starting to get our first rejections as we look for schools for him, and it’s killing me. I just want my boy to NOT have my life. I don’t want him to have my school experience. I don’t want him to realize how. so. very. hard. and how much freaking energy it takes to adapt in social situations. I want him to just find his people. The people I never found until I was in my 30s. The people that cheer him on and bring him life. I know he has us, and I know we caught it early, and I know so many things are going to be different for him. But I also know I can’t save him from it all, and it kills me that I can’t do that for my little boy. So, currently I balance deep sadness and tenacious hope. The two don’t share space well so I am usually fully in one camp or the other. Sometimes I switch back and forth within the hour. I’m a super fun person to be around right now! But tomorrow is another day, and we just do the best one can one step at a time.