Saturday, April 4, 2015

Denial Sucks




I saw the signs at 14 months old but I would tell myself "No, I'm being ridiculous, she's my second child, of course she's going to be different."

I believed people when they told me that she would "catch up."

I thought she liked playing alone and was just becoming "shy."

"No, she's tired and she's just rocking herself to sleep, she's fine."

Denial. Denial. Denial.

Evaluations, Testing, and then Diagnosis Day! 

Denial sucks, because it hangs on tight and attaches itself to you long after you think it has left. 

Blame and Grief come hand in hand and they too rest somewhere inside you, and they make themselves  known just like Denial does...they creep up on you when you least expect them to. 

Intensive in Home Therapy started when she was 19 months old, the diagnosis was official when she was 21 months old. For 20 hours a week my home is not my home, it is a school for Zoey and for me. I sit down on the floor and I participate and learn from all of her 4 Specialists/Therapists...they are her teachers, and I became her Teacher, Advocate, Caretaker...Always her Mommy that loves her. 

Now here it comes....

I treated her like a fragile piece of fine china...a porcelain doll that I didn't want to break, because the Denial, Grief, and the Blame...oh how I Blamed myself! I let those emotions take over me and I treated her differently! 

I babied her, I let her get away with things that I would never let my 5 year old get away with...Why, I don't know? 

When Blame, Grief, and Denial attach themselves to you, they take over at times and you hear yourself say "She doesn't know any better...She can't help but throw that cup across the room...She doesn't understand the word No!" 

Oh but she does, she most definitely does!

Denial, Blame and Grief...you had me, for a long time! 

Zoey is just like my 5 year old, she needs to hear the word "No" and she needs to be told "Get Down" and "Not Nice" She needs discipline and I wasn't doing that!

I treated her differently!

Behavior is speech and I didn't know that, I sure know it now!

My daughter's diagnosis has taught me that though she is "wired" or learns differently, she is not different and she is not a fragile porcelain doll that will break! I noticed that when I said "No!" she looked at me and smiled, as if to say

 "yup, I've been testing you this whole time...I'm busted!"

So, I'm different now, I'm a changed Mom. I see what and where I made mistakes and I'm working hard on fixing those mistakes, it's not easy but it's working! And now I'm learning whether or not she's testing me OR she really can't help it! 

So there's my confession, I'm not perfect! I sure did learn more about Autism from my child than I ever thought I would! 

© 2016
Melissa Cote
Life With Zoey



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