It’s been more than 72 hours now since we said our good-bye’s and drove away, leaving N to begin his extended residential treatment program. It's not the one we thought he would be going to, but we feel it's right for him, for us.
All the paperwork completed,
the signing on dotted lines here
It has been five long months since we started working toward this end. So many emails, endless phone calls, paperwork, doctor visits, psychologist, psychiatrists, and counselors, combined with unending prayers and countless tears.
I woke up this morning knowing that I didn’t have to brace myself and jump back into the routine of crazy. This isn’t just a respite break……………. this is for real.
I can’t explain the relief, I feel a weight lifted that I would say is physical, if I didn’t know that that is impossible. But the sense of physical weight being removed is there.
This realization of the reality of a long term break hits me again and again, I whisper a “Thank you, God” sometimes through blurry eyes.
I knew in my head that God heard our desperate prayers, but sometimes I doubted. Oh sometimes, far more often than I would like to admit, I felt like I had fallen into an invisible hole and had been forgotten. Other times I felt like there was rock on my chest that was slowly squeezing the life out of me, that it was only a matter of time. I felt like nobody knew, they didn’t understand that I was literally dying with each breathe I drew.
To go from those feelings of desperation and hopelessness back into the sunshine, unfettered and free is almost beyond imagination.
But here I am, and I can’t begin to explain what I feel.
I can breathe again,
I can relax,
I am not on high alert.
The difference is staggering.
The change in our home atmosphere has shifted dramatically, and instantly. Several times dh and I have whispered to each other, “Do you see?” “Did you notice?” and even we are speechless and left wondering, “Is it really possible for one child to make that much difference?” It IS, sad but true!
I hate the well meaning questions, and I don’t feel like being with people. I suppose I am afraid to be completely honest. Several phone calls, and church this morning.
“Are you okay?”
“How are you making out, you have been in my thoughts a lot?”
I am still tired, but really……………….. I am freakin awesome people!!!!!!
For instance, last night I slept for 10 hours like a baby! We All slept with our bedrooms doors wide open and unlocked every single night so far, just because we could!
I suppose my real feelings are mirrored in my almost 11 yr old. He came to me asking, “Am I supposed to be sad?” To which I answered, “Honey, you aren’t supposed to be anything you aren’t. Everything has been so crazy, there isn’t one right way to feel. How do you Really feel inside?” With eyes on the floor he answers, “Really happy, and glad. But I just keep thinking that I should feel bad because I would feel really feel bad if it was A. or L. I feel bad that I don't feel bad.”
Yeah, I know…………I know…………and sometimes those feelings of guilt wash over me, too. Plus, of course, the next thought for me that goes something like. “If they (house parents/workers in residential facility) can do _____ then what is wrong with me?” Uh, huh! Yeah. I know.
I just hug him tight, and hug myself, too. I whisper to both of us that “God knows what He is doing and after everything that has gone down, it makes sense to feel glad, relieved, happy, and grateful. It also makes sense to feel guilty, too. I reminded him (and me) that N was happy to go. He was excited and he didn’t feel bad when he said goodbye either.”
Little Mr. A. isn’t quite that old yet. He is cool with just being happy and not worrying if that is okay or not. He has hugged me repeatedly saying, “I am so happy and I don’t know why, but this day is just a good day for everyone.” or “I am so happy my door doesn’t have to be locked, it just makes me sing and I feel like hugging everyone.” Hug away my friend, we all need it!!!!
I know it isn’t over yet, that thought lurks at the back of my mind and haunts me.
I don’t know what the end results are going to be, the ride isn’t finished and how I wish I had a permanent answer.
But for now, for this very moment, the pressure has been relieved. We have space to heal around here, to normalize, to breathe and smile and sing and dance and enjoy family life.
So this is me being happy,
living in this here very moment
with abandonment and joy.
If you think this is weird, or psycho, let me guess,
You have not lived with an individual who has a diagnosis of RAD, ODD, severe CD, and ADHD. You might not even know what those letters stand for. : ) Lucky you! I am happy for you, I really am!