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.


Jen said...

This brought tears to my eyes.

Jade said...

Wow Tera, that must have been such a tough experience but from your words it seems very needed. Talking with someone that has an objective view can bring so much healing. Having friends and family are very important for support but having someone with no ties to your life and knows nothing of your background can create room for an amazing amount of healing. They're not there to judge, or put you or your family down, they are there to analyze and create a plan of action to repair the cracks life sometimes has a way of creating.

I work with two very angry little boys and see first hand how it can effect a family. But I'm there to teach them skills and healthy ways of communicating and that is what your little one will be getting there as well.

You have done, and will continue to do everything in your power to help your little man along in the world and you should get a medal for that! Many parents would just throw up their hands and give up. They would just decide that nothing can be done and would just survive. You on the other hand are a fighter and I love to see that. You've been in some pretty damn hard situations that would break many and you continue to fight. You fight because you're a fighter, which is a wonderful thing, not only for your boy, but for you and your family.

If I can just say one thing, dont hold things in. Talk with your husband, keep a journal, keep blogging and know that if you ever want or need to you can always reach me by email whether its to vent or just to write to get things out. I know i'm a "stranger" but please know that I'm a "stranger" that is cheering you and your family along and praying for you all.

And please if you're finding yourself doing a little self-blaming for your little mans situation try not to. You've done the best you could with what you've had. You did not cause his autism and you're and your husband are doing the very best you can to give him a better, more stable life.

You're in my thoughts and prayers girl.

Alison said...

first off...welcome home, I am so glad your trip was so wonderful!!

My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I am glad you are seeking help to heal and strengthen your family. I know there will be a light at the end of your tunnel and one day you will look back on this and be glad you did it...please take care my friend.

V-Grrrl said...

Moving, sad, hopeful.

That last paragraph, a perfect ending, a perfect beginning.