We are on a loop in the roller coaster. Please read this blog of, (can it really be?) over two and a half years ago. I don’t do well with writing when I’m heading uphill on the coaster. I feel downright sick when I am in the loop de loop as I have been for the last two months. I freeze up with fear, bracing myself for what is coming around the bend just seconds away. Should I be scared? excited? freaking out?
Summer was hot but my thoughts were cold. No big long travel adventure to occupy our time and energy. Finbar did one camp. I found myself resentful of the inclusion process required to sign him up for camp, the anxiety I felt everyday dropping him off and picking him up, and the fear that the rest of my life I would be arranging for him to be “included” in camps, college, the workforce and life. How does one write about such fears? My hands froze on the keyboard. Cold.
Finbar did four weeks of swim lessons, 5 days a week. I went with him every time and swam laps in a lane nearby, willing the exercise to increase my serotonin and reduce my anxieties. I hovered; gazing in the direction of his practice lane, hoping my goggles masked my spying activities. As I stood there urging Finbar to get his apology out to his swim instructor 3 days into session, I felt around me the pressure of the normalcy of all the other children, their instructors and parents, and the abnormalcy of my son’s forced apology. “Sorry for not behaving” Finbar eeked out with a nervous squeak. I gave him a squeezy hug trying to reassure him and myself that he could behave. Seth said “that’s OK buddy, let’s go have fun.” I silently thanked Seth’s mother for raising a gracious son. The pool was always cold, and so was I. I couldn't write about this.
The son of some friends introduced Finbar to Minecraft 2 months ago. I want to murder the human being who put this game on Earth. Minecraft ruled the last month of summer. Yes, it is a survival game. It is about my survival of this game at this juncture. Minecraft makes Finbar twitch and yell. We are having a week free of screens and Minecraft right now. Life is peaceful without Minecraft.
The noises came back about 3 weeks before school started. I froze again. How can I write about noises and the distress that they bring with them? Verbal tics they call them. They usually associate them with Tourette’s and OCD. How can I write about facing that possibility? No cause they say, but the cause is obvious to me: Stress. Most people get a headache when they are stressed. My son gets tics. He has outbursts. We’ve had a lot of spills around the house. His hands keep twitching. His body keep jerking. My mind searches for ways to fix this, it freezes with incapacity. I can’t write about this. It hurts too much. Now we are upside down going backwards in the loop. I am scared stiff. Too cold to write.
When I turn to the only help I know right now, our behaviorists, the politicians have gotten in the way and threaten to cut off our services or at least make us pay the $700 a month the therapy costs. Screw liberal policies. They do not help kids like mine or struggling mothers like myself no matter what they say. I thought kids with disabilities qualified as the "little people" that they watch out for. We’re apparently too white and middle class to ask for help, even though my son has outbursts and verbal tics. Even though I am sick to my stomach with worry. Sorry, we need your tax dollars to help other folks whose kids don’t speak English well. “We’ll probably have the FBI at my door if you facebook about that”, my husband says. So I don’t write about it.
My son has been crying a lot, I have been crying a lot. But I am writing again. I couldn't make it to writing class today, so I am writing this. I have been writing a book about hope. I don’t feel very much hope right now. Without hope it is hard to write. I will write again and I will hope again, I know this. I have been on this roller coaster before. It will happen when those darns tics go away, when Finbar finally joins swim team, when we find a straight track...