When You Get Your Answer…

A few weeks ago I wrote about having Wallace tested for a whole slew of behavioral and learning differences/disabilities.

This has dragged on longer because of Hurricane Matthew, so I’m meeting with the psychologist this afternoon. I am a hot anxious disaster right now. I’ve been listening to Violent Femmes on repeat for the past two days — my go-to stress jams.

Gil has been slow to warm to the reality that Wallace truly IS having trouble at school, likely because Gil also has dyslexia. His mom dropped that bomb back in September when she came for his birthday, along with the fact that she and Gil’s dad elected to keep this information from Gil and his teachers for…his entire life.

Yeah. S0, Gil got his results on his 43rd birthday.

Thanks, Mom. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard him refer to himself as “a fucked-up dumb-ass” since his mom dropped the news.

I somewhat relate and imagine that Gil feels a bit like I did when I learned at age 31 that I had ADHD. There was a mourning of what I knew, and I went through the gamut of emotions. There were a lot of “what ifs” and “if only I’d knowns.”

So after Marie left and we were alone with this “news,” I asked Gil what his thoughts were now in regards to our children. Did he feel more convinced that we need to do this testing to determine the best way to help them? (We’re doing the testing whether he wants to or not, but I was curious as to his thoughts on all of it after this new information.)

He basically said that now he “knows they have it” and doesn’t see the point in spending a ton of money on what we know.

I asked if he would like to go with me when we get the results.

He said that he would.

Part of me felt like this was a step in the right direction; the other part wasn’t so sure.

I gave him the pertinent details, and he agreed to show up. With Gil though, I don’t believe it until he’s sitting in the office. We’ve done this drill many times. He is king of something suddenly came up.

Last week was especially busy. We’re still putting our lives back together after evacuating and playing catch-up at school and work.

During the busyness I began having second thoughts about whether I really wanted Gil to join me for this test results appointment. He can be so difficult when it comes to therapy, mental health, or what he calls “soft sciences.” To say it is not his thing is a massive understatement.

I began waking up during the night with all this anxiety about all of it. So I started mediating anytime I’d wake up.

During the day if it popped into my head, my mantra became, “I’m turning this over.” “It will work out as it needs to work out.”

And yes, I prayed. “I’m giving this to you, God.”

In other words, ruminating and examining it over and over was only making me a nervous wreck. I had to wash my hands of it.

So this past Friday, Gil called from work and asked what time the appointment was. When I told him, he said, “Did you remember that I have jury duty that day? I don’t know that I’ll be done in time to make the appointment.” I had completely forgotten that he had jury duty.

Again, I repeated my mantra, “I’m turning this over.” In other words, it’s yours, Universe, God, etc. Yes, I’m a bit new-agey like that. I believe in something bigger than myself, but I’m not exactly attached to absolutes and dogma.

I woke up this morning with a lot of anxiety about all of this — what we’re going to learn, what I’m going to do with this knowledge, fear that we might not learn anything helpful and Gil will be right — we’ve wasted time and money and gained nothing.

So I meditated. I started to nap but then decided meditating might be better. I couldn’t get comfortable, so I lay down on the floor and breathed in and out for thirty minutes.

When I was done I checked my phone and had a message from Gil.

“I won’t be done until 4:30, so I’m not going to make the appointment.”

And there it is. My answer.

On one hand I’m not happy. I would like a partner to help navigate some of this. At the same time, I’m relieved. I honestly think it has worked out exactly as it is supposed to. This is a situation I’m going to be handling alone either way, and very likely, having Gil there would make me less pushy. I know when I’m alone, I’ll ask the right questions, whereas in the past, Gil just wants to get in and get out, and I can sense his edginess, and end up feeling rushed. I think it’s better this way.

And then we can all go trick-or-treating! Happy Halloween! Thank you for letting me air that out. Peace, love, and way too many KitKats, my friends. I hope to be back with less heavy posts in the very near future!








12 thoughts on “When You Get Your Answer…

  1. I agree with Mark’s line “As for you, you are doing very well, under the circumstances,” my dear Viv, although I’m going to add several more “verys”: I think you’re doing very, very, very well.

    I love how you used meditation and prayer to get through this. I’ve been using prayer during tough times despite being agnostic, and it helps.

    I hope the appointment went as well as possible and I’m glad Gil was able to communicate so helpfully with you.

    Please never hold back on writing “heavy” posts here – they help us followers navigate our own challenges, and writing them are cathartic.

    I founded & facilitated several support groups for moms with mood disorders over the past 9 years. I can tell you they can be profoundly helpful. I’ve seen women form friendships, and feel less isolated.But don’t force yourself if the fit doesn’t seem right – as you can imagine, every group is different. Give it a couple tries….

    I think you’re an absolutely amazing mom. You inspire me with how you’re taking care of your son with such love and proactive care.Thinking of you, and I’m looking forward to learning about the latest when you have time to post.


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  2. Best of luck navigating this, whether on your own or with Gil’s support. Often it’s the mother who does this heavy lifting in caring for our young, their educations, and their health, including mental health care. Though I’m sure some dad’s are very good at caregiving. As individuals and as genders, we have different gifts and different skills. It helps, though, to have your spouse’s support. Even if he can’t be there. Perhaps you can ask for his appreciation for what you are doing. Gratitude goes far.

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    • Lots of good points, Kitt. I agree that gratitude goes a long way. I need to remember that Gil needs gratitude for his contributions as well. We’ve had some good conversations this week. Gil couldn’t be at the initial intake appointment for Piers, but he did carve out ten minutes where he and I discussed what symtoms/particular challenges he sees in regards to Piers that I was able to communicate with the doctor. It worked well — maybe even better than him being at the appointment. Baby steps…but I’ll take them. Thanks for your wise input!

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  3. Just a thought…by getting these results, he will now see them as a product of himself. So not only is he digesting the dyslexia for himself, (like you did with your learning of your ADHD), but the fact that your (as in you and Gil’s), child may have autism, and that from him being an obvious part of that. And that is being compounded by his coping strategies of the dyslexia AND whatever fears have been compounded by his ability to handle things growing up with that. They tend to have a lot of avoidance issues so that they don’t ‘look’ stupid to others in their actions (and the actions, from an outsiders view, do look outside the normal). Which also brings a slew of ‘low worth’ issues within.
    I’m not trying to excuse his actions but allow enough compassion, as you are obviously doing, and keep him involved in the process. Initially it will be difficult, as all things are in the beginning, but gradually in understanding the situation it can become easier.
    As for you, you are doing very well, under the circumstances. This is your part of the journey. Easy? No! But you are coming from the heart, and that, above all else will guide you.
    And you are doing exactly as you should with the ‘let it go’, because as you have found, it releases you from the 99.9% that actually never happens, so that you can deal with the 0.1% that does…the ‘now’ bit.
    In reality, you can only do the best you can for you…only then does that give you the ability to give to others from the best place. If your curled up on the floor in a mess, you can’t help anyone. And in that, you may now see Gil in why he seems to avoid things…he simply cannot deal with them because of where HE is at.
    But above all else, and as you have been doing, keep the communication lines open. And if possible, go to the heart of it…gently…and keep asking how he really feels within…not the obvious reaction to everything but how it makes him feel inside. And in doing that, you will allow yourself to speak from the heart as well…above all else, and like your writing on this post here, it brings healing, a release of all those pent up stresses because you are being loved, of yourself by expressing it, and in allowing others to respond with love by being open to you also. It is a win win situation, but only by allowing that truth to be shown. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it πŸ™‚
    Take a bow, your journey will be difficult, but it will also be the finding of you both. You are doing well πŸ™‚

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    • Spot on assessment, Mark. Thank you for weighing in. My biggest challenge is remaining calm when Gil and I discuss this knowing everything you mentioned — Gil and his avoidance and is in the process of coming to terms with his own learning challenges. I verbalize my feelings much more easily than Gil, therefore I often expect the same from him, when the reality is that words aren’t his go-to means of expression. If he’s tired, physically or cognitively or both, it’s even more challenging. All in all, it’s been a good week. Wallace was diagnosed with ADHD & dyslexia, so we’ll be looking into some extra tutoring and possibly some classroom accommodations. It will be fine. He’s a great kid, extremely empathetic and creative with lots of strengths in addition to the challenges. Thanks again. πŸ™‚

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      • That is the amazing thing about these incredible children, even though they have difficulties in some aspects of their lives, they always seem to be much more advanced in others.
        Find his gift, it will give him confidence in those times he feels a little low.
        But you are doing the best thing possible, for any time, and that is a mothers love…it is very powerful πŸ™‚
        Best wishes for all your journey’s.

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  4. I get where you’re coming from with being by yourself in appointments and meetings. When my husband is there for some reason there is a shift inside me that wants to defer to him and make him a more active participant and he just isn’t. He won’t ask questions or even speak. Then when the meeting is over he complains about not understanding anything and saying he feels like there is more to it than that, like they are leaving stuff out or something.

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      • It is! Not sure what it is with fathers and why they have to be this way. Denial? Poor coping? Who knows. I just know that in every support group I have ever been in the story is pretty much the same so you’re not alone with this. ❀

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        • I’m coming back to this now — I’ve needed a few days to ponder everything. 1) I think I need a support group. I’ve never loved those but this parenting kids with learning/behavior problems is more isolating and challenging, and 2) we actually had good results this week in terms of our communication — I had Gil tell me what important symptoms he thought I should mention; I took notes and shared them at the doctor’s appointment. It worked much better that way. Now…I feel certain he will still question me and likely accuse me of giving the doctor “skewed” information, because that’s a pattern with him. Still, I think he liked that I made a point to hear his side before going in. We’ll see…

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