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.