“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”
― Oprah Winfrey
Things happen for a reason. And this week I think even more so. The series of events that happened made it so that instead of a 30 min call, I ended up with a private 1 hour call to my daughter’s therapist. She had to make a sudden change to the schedule, her dad was en route to the Cayman Islands so he had to give his time to me. Most informative, bittersweet and enlightening Mother’s Day gift I think I’ve had in my life as a mother. But one full of new insight, understanding and perhaps even compasion.
J had her psychiatric evaluation this week on Monday. The doctor shared her dad’s responses and my responses with J’s therapist. The therapist has been meeting with us for five weeks now. We write letters, we tell our stories, we listen and on a sidenote, she asked me for insight as to my relationship with her dad. Our inner workings. Our past history.
Part of that story is that he has three children with autism- specifically, Asperger’s. Funny thing is that all three look exactly like him. Her dad confessed to me one day that one of his ex-wives who is in the medical field told him he was autistic; that he showed all the markers for it and that he should attend therapy to work through some issues.
Coincidentally, J looks just like me. Nothing of his on the exterior. Thankfully, J dodged that bullet if I may say it that way. But what came to light made it all click. I had my suspicions especially in the last 6-10 years as he has gotten older because his behavior is textbook Asperger’s but never thought anything else of it even though I did mention it to the doctors who are now with my daughter.
Yesterday without confirming a diagnosis, she said after knowing what she knows, especially his history as a teen, how he talks to her, how he acts with J, and how he relates stories, he sure appears to be someone who would and could be classified as someone who could be within the spectrum. A diagnosis that at his age, would be difficult to accept and since he’s highly functioning and succesful in business, not worth the angst it would bring him but instead to teach J and I to better understand and work with what we have.
To say that the confirmation of this information crushed me a little is an understatement. Even though I had thought it, it was hard to hear someone else actually say it. But it would explain a lot and it made me incredibly sad and glad. Sad that my daughter has lived this long feeling pain when had there been understanding maybe things would have been different. Glad his mother never knew. He was by far her favorite- and she would have been crushed by the news. But now I sit here with this information in my head- does the sadness ever go away? Sometimes I feel yes, but then something new comes along and brings me back to a place where I don’t want to be. I’m able to enjoy some moments of happiness and joy but just little reminders that my daughter is not with me, hurt.
I can’t wait until my daughter’s absence stops hurting; I still haven’t visited her room. Our letter writing has been therapeutic to me and I’m finally in a place where I’m ok as to where she is. But the circumstances still seem unreal as to why she’s there or how she got there. I see prom pictures, college tours, and it all hurts. A constant reminder of what’s missing in my life. I know I will be ok. I know my daughter will also be ok.
So this week, my daughter and I both have to read The Way I See It– a look into autism and asperger’s. And I also have to read Not By Chance which is actually quite interesting so far. It’s about how to transition after coming out of wilderness therapy. Lots to digest this week. And hopefully turn a new leaf.
Peace & love