On Losing Therapists

[Preface: This post does NOT mean that I do not reap benefit from the support and love that I do get from my family and existing friends.  I love and appreciate you all, for everything that you do have to offer. <3]

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I found out this morning that I am losing the second of Emma’s two original therapists, J1 and J2.  The first ‘left’ when Emma turned three, due to age requirements. The second one is moving to a different facility that will help immensely with her home and family life.

I found myself using all grains of mature and philosophical matter within my being to remain happy and understanding throughout the therapy appointment with J2 this morning. I had to move into a state of denial, at least for the 40 minutes or so after the news.  But after I had dropped Emma off at daycare I found myself sobbing in my car.  Looking for some healing, I bought a venti-cocoa cappuccino from SB and headed to the nearest school computer lab to write-myself-okay. Well, I still find myself in tears.

So Folks, here is a glimpse of my self talk and inner working, all live timed and personal.

I don’t think that I’m just dealing with the loss of J-2. J1 moving on sucked really bad, and I kind of just kept telling myself, “It’s okay, it’s okay, we’ve still got J2…”.  So, now I’m forcing myself to deal with both of them leaving, I guess.

For those that have not experienced this, I’m not crazy and I’m not pre-menstrual. I think the whole deal has to do with the isolating world of parenting a special needs child.  It’s an amazingly solitary act.  When you find yourself a mother of a SN child, you lose all manuals for motherhood.  You no longer have the network of typical child-rearing practices.  All the books, the magazines, TV shows, doctors?  Most of them are useless.  You no longer have satisfaction and trust in the advice and experiences of those around you either.  Your mother, aunts, grandparents, sisters, and friends have very very little to offer in the means of advice and true understanding. It’s what can make me, at times, feel like I’m an alien living on a planet of other people.  And at other times, its the same thing that makes that one or two people that live across oceans seem so close.  It’s true understanding and relating to this wild world of autism.

My therapists are the closest thing I have in my real-physical life to the book-doctor-mother-sister-aunt-manual for how to live my life with my autistic daughter.  I have an overwhelming need for them in my life; who wants to raise a child alone in the forest? Or in my case, in a dry, windy valley at 8,000 feet above sea level?

J1 and J2 stepped into my [at times, and especially then] miserable, confusing life with the grace and compassion of a goddess.  And now they are gone. They both have lives to live of their own, their jobs to do, and other beautiful people to help.

But, oh dear, what in the world am I going to do without them?

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Sweet Nothings

I have a secret.  It’s a guilty, sweet, delicious private joy of motherhood.  My little terror-snugglecakes daughter with autism does have a gift.

How many mothers remember and miss that precious snuggling baby? How many have forgotten or never known?  It’s one of the things that keeps parents going during long nights of crying and long days of dirty diapers.  It’s the tiniest arms that hardly reach around for a proper hug.

Emma, in all of her strangeness, loves babied affection like none other. She wants to be held, lotioned, rolled up in a blanket and rocked.  Sing to her, let her smell in my skin like a lilac bush… she is in heaven.  Wipe away her tears, stroke her cheek, more more more.  It’s never enough for her…

She doesn’t care how badly I sing, that I don’t know the words. She sure doesn’t know them either.  Her knees are tucked up under my arm and legs dangle awkwardly – she’s getting really big. But I can kiss her nose and her cheeks and hold her oh-so-tight. I think its about breathing in joy, you know?

Will she always be this way?  Maybe not.  But, the guilty part, is that she really might be.  Even if she’s 20, maybe I’ll sit her down on my lap and sing the songs we both dont know… and she’ll drink me in, and I’ll love every second of reprieve from what’s really going on.

And I do, love nearly every second of it.

There’s this disaster-mess of parenting that lies all around me, all the time.  It’s called ‘raising an autistic toddler’.  And in the middle of the mess of my life, I can take five and just rock my precious sweet girl.