Our First Psych Visit

We arrived at KPC at 3:25 after taking Jari to play at Bokrijk for an hour. Our appointment with the psychologist was at 3:30 and we were immediately sent to the waiting room and quickly received. As we entered the therapy room, my nerves were standing on end. And just as I was wondering what brought us to this point, we were seated and the therapist asked "So, what's brought you to this point in your family and with Kaeden that you're now sitting here with me?" Good question I thought, as all the reasons bounced from one end of my brain to the other. And then, as fast as they bounced through my head, those reasons came bounding forth, out of my mouth, spit-fire reasons all of which I wasn't even aware.

Our session lasted an hour. An hour recreating the havok in our home, the pain and toil of dealing with each other and our son, the problems we each see within our family unit, all the possible reasons for the pain and fear and anger that brought us to those seats at an inpatient psychiatric hospital. It was mind-boggling, but freeing. It brought more to the top than I ever even previously considered. How does our son deal with his feelings? It isn't in words, as he ins't much of a talker...and I'm not sure he could be even if he wished it so. Autism causes putting words together in coherent thoughts to be nearly mind-shattering. And understanding words just as much a game within your head. So, how does Kaeden release his feelings? He doesn't, unless it is in his tantrums, his angry words, his brittle moods and shattering outlashes.

And then, after all was said and done, the stage set for his stay and what needs to be addressed during his treatment, they brought Kaeden into us, to discuss what we had discussed. It broke my heart, as he sat across from us, his eyes never focusing on our faces, his breath a sigh and his "Oh, GAWD" as he entered the room and saw us seated in the chairs. It wasn't the reunion I was hoping to have with my first-born after relesing him to a treatment center for a month. It wasn't the reunion I hoped to have as I imagined a big hug and him falling into my arms, the needy little boy I once knew replaced by a tough and yet unsure teenager. And instead, I sat on the chair, stroking Jari's hair, feeling his body comfort mine , as I watched Kaeden from across the room, wishing that he was again 6 years old, when the numerous problems were just beginning to manifest and show their destructive side. And grateful that I had yet another son, one just as precious, just as 100% mine, to keep me centered, keep me focused on why we have to do this, why we were sitting there in those chairs with a psychologist and counselor invading our family unit, helping us to speak about all the evils we need assistance in fixing, dealing with, and moving forward.

We had the chance to visit Kaeden in his room after the appointment. I cleaned up his mess a bit and then lay on his bed as the background music of my family playing a card game rang through my ears. And I fell into a peaceful sleep there on his bed, laying on his blankie from that time long ago when just the two of us were a family and we stayed in a shelter for battered women, and when we left he received a handmade patchwork quilt with ducks, which has been carried with us everywhere we go since. And the music of my family together in that little room gave me hope for our future, a chance encounter with what can be our future; peaceful, easy, laughter and the four of us, no longer scared, no longer in pain, but comfy and secure in being together.


We're Home

Hello! We made it home just as a taxi crashed into Dusseldorf airport. Erwin and my in-laws saw it just after it happened. We were lucky to have gotten off the plane and out of Germany. It was a strange sight to see, ending our trip on an exciting note.

As for home, yes, we are. We haven't gotten our normal sleep patterns back, but I suppose that is bound to change in the coming day, as we're getting back into the reality of life. Today we watched Jari win his soccer game with his new team, we celebrated opa's birthday with a BBQ, and tomorrow Erwin heads back to work for the first day in a month. And, tomorrow I send my baby off to the hospital for his inpatient treatment for a month. I was excited about it until now, and now all I feel is numb. I was packing his suitcase and can't even begin to describe how very lonely I felt. I am glad Kaeden is excited about his newest adventure, because at this moment in time I can't even begin to fathom it being an exciting journey. I guess all I can do is hope for a positive outcome for him and our family. But it makes me sad that this child I have carried in my womb, given life and love to, is taking his wings and flying off into the great big world for the first time, but heading off to a psychiatric facility for treatment. I am going to need strength in the coming days as I try to erase this worry from my mind and face. Hopefully as I see help and changes occurring, I will find peace with our decision. Still, as I tucked his stuffed animals into his suitcase, I couldn't help but feel empty, abandoned, and scared. And, he's not even yet gone.

Anyway, I have so much more to tell and share and assess from my 7 weeks away from home. But yes, I am home, and I will be back soon.


46 Degrees F/ 8 Degrees C

Hard to believe, but I am wearing a sweatshirt, long pants, and a jacket today. BRRRRRRR. It is cold! How can it be that 2 days ago my kids were running around on the top of the rocks where Erwin and I married with just a tank top, and today it's freezing and we need jackets. Amazing, the weather pattern. But, I am not about to complain, because this vacation has been 100% good. I am happy, my family is happy, my friends are happy, and life is good. So, no way I'm gonna let a little ole bit of cold weather damper my spirits.

Our trip on the houseboat at Lake Powell? Oh my gosh, that is a story times 3 in itself. Let's just mention a boat crashing, SOS calls, and no gas. And then, to top it all off, it was a complete and total blast. Even Erwin, who was most hesitant about our boating adventures, wouldn't mind a repeat expedition. Yes, it was terrific. Truly an unforgettable vacation. No, we won't be forgetting any of it. And yes, it seems that my brother and his family and ours is reunited, which may be the best experience I have had on this trip to the US. In any case, it was terrific.

And then, Erwin and I shared our 5th Anniversary trip to Vegas, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion Park. And we had a great time just the two of us. Eating out at Subway one night, our actual anniversary dinner, we had the added bonus of a mouse who came right to us. I finished the evening standing on the table with a squeal. But I can't even begin to descibe how much a trip like this rekindled our relationship and made me fall in love with my husband all over again. The views were beautiful and it was a wonderful way to spend some alone time together. In Vegas, we came out $20 behind, but that was good enough for us. Too bad Erwin was winning and I lost...but he was thrilled with winning his Hooters owl.

As for the rest, I'll leave it for another day. We have only a few days of vacation left and I plan to enjoy it to the fullest. Spending time with my parents has been a treat, and I love watching my boys and them play and laugh together. Soon we'll be home once again and back to the routine of life. I'll be in touch then. But for now, Happy Autumn from Wyoming. BRRRRR!