We’ve been here before.
At this time last year, in fact.
Then, I feel like I cried every day.
I didn’t know what to do to help my Bear.
Every day was so freaking hard with him.
He was kicked out of school, would have tantrums so complete there was no way I could physically restrain him. His outbursts were emotionally and physically draining.
To make it worse, nothing I said or did seemed to help any of it.
Nothing anyone said or did seemed to help.
I felt like I was failing my son.
So we went through the evaluation process for him. Most questions on the pre-appointment questionnaires feeling like another needle prick in my skin, reminding me of how useless I was as a mom.
My pen hesitating before circling the answer that applied to him. Because it all sounded so negative and awful.
And despite it all, he was still my baby and he could be such a caring and sweet kid. What do I circle for that?
But I answered the questions truthfully, heart aching because I hated the picture they painted of my child, wanting to explain his good qualities in there as well.
Reading through his teacher’s evaluation and having my tears turn to sobs as her picture painted an even darker picture of my son.
“That’s not true!” I yelled at the papers after reading her responses to a few of the questions.
Having already felt at the end of my rope, at least I didn’t have any further to fall at that point.
Questionnaires were rated and he went through the entire evaluation process. We were given the results: PDD-NOS and ADHD.
At least from there, we were able to get Bear services and help at school.
Things got somewhat better at his new school- he had an understanding teacher who was willing to work with him as well as support staff from his first day there.
But things were still hard.
Ordinary, every day things that other families take for granted like going to soccer practice or hell… even getting into the van to go somewhere without having it be a whole process.
Then this fall, we started him on medications for his ADHD.
He had new teachers.
We started noticing a huge difference in him. Even his peers started noticing a difference.
Instead of parent-teacher conferences where we heard all the bad, we had one where we heard nothing but good.
There are still challenges. I’m not trying to say that oooh, give him a pill and magically, he’s completely “normal.” Though go a day without and how bad it was comes rushing back.
He still has things he struggles with and he still has quirks. He still needs more one-on-one attention than our other boys do.
But as I fill out these questionnaires this year, my answers are so different. There’s not as much pain in my answers.
I know the teacher questionnaire will look totally different as well.
I don’t know what this new evaluation will tell us. If his diagnosis will stay the same or if it will change.
But I don’t know if I’ll care about what the new diagnosis is.
Because things are so much better.
I wish I could go back to when just trying to make it through the day felt exhausting: like everyday I was being asked to scale the tallest mountain while simultaneously carrying and being crushed by the weight of several elephants. And every day, instead of making progress, I felt like I was going backwards. And each new morning, I had to try to do it over again, without any rest or help.
I don’t wish to go back so I can feel that again. No fucking way.
But I wish I could go back and tell myself that feeling wouldn’t last.
That in a year, our family would still be climbing a mountain but that we’d realize there are bigger mountains than the one we are on. And that the elephants weighing us down would disappear and that on the hardest days, I’d only have to carry a heavy backpack. And that yes, having to do it all over again each morning is just a part of life, but that most mornings, I’d feel like we were starting a little further up the mountain than we had the day before.
Click if you want to find out more about Pour Your Heart Out. Remember, it’s about what you want to pour out: it’s personal, so there isn’t an assigned topic. It’s also about being supportive of others who are sharing: so visit other linkers and be kind with your comments. Please add the button from the sidebar or add a text link to your post if you are joining in