Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Admissions in Disheartening Decisions

I don't want to write about it because
I'm afraid to be judged.

I don't want to write about it because
I'm afraid you'll judge him.

I don't want to write about it because
it makes me feel sad.

And anxious.

And like we've failed in some way.

People have always had opinions
when it came to my children.

From the women sharing their
labor stories with me in an elevator,
to my well meaning mother
chasing after me with the boys' sweaters.

I still remember bursting into tears
when the daycare provider convinced me
that my then 2 year old Lucas was speech delayed.

No speech delay here...
the kid barely draws
a single silent breath.

Sometimes I take the advice
and sometimes I don't.

Sometimes it angers me
or leaves me feeling insecure;
and sometimes it doesn't.

My non-speech delayed son
walked at nine months
and was climbing trees
and playing in mud
and hanging upside
pretty quickly afterward.

Nimble fingers and quick-mind,
taking things apart
and putting them back together;
working to figure out
how this world worked.

His Pre-K teacher told us he had
problems focusing and staying on task;
we felt he was just bored.

How many worksheets can a 4 year old do?

His Kindergarten teacher said the same thing.

He's just a boy we thought.  Boys are hyper.

His first grade teacher said it again.

She doesn't like him. He's being bullied.

His second grade teachers (all 3 of them)
said it too.

We have to do something.  Third grade is hard.

It was at the end of last school year
that we decided to look further
into the causes and conditions
of ADHD.

We felt it was over-diagnosed.

We didn't want to medicate our son
(he's already on one for his epilepsy).

We didn't want him to feel different.

We didn't want the eternal thems and yous
to treat him differently,
but it was all becoming more and more

And after conferencing with his
phenomenal teachers last year
and meeting with a great
behavioral science team,
we knew we had to do everything
we could to set him up for success.

Which is why last week
we started our son on medication.

And I felt like a failure.

I felt like I hadn't tried hard enough
to help him in other ways.

I felt terrible for putting a
chemical in my perfect son's body.

I cried because I gave myself
5 minutes to feel really fucking guilty
and really fucking sad
and even sort of angry.

I still don't know how I feel
other than ferociously protective
which is why I'm writing this
even though I don't want to.

It's a letter to the universe
asking Lucas' future self
for forgiveness.

We really are trying to do
what's best.

The medicine is not a cure all
and I refuse to believe it is
a forever thing.

I'm trying to do best by my kid,
but that can be so difficult
when the water seems so murky.

Be gentle with us

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