~"Form follows function-that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union."~Frank Lloyd Wright
This past week was Spring break..ten full days of staying up late, sleeping in...a time where we went at our own pace, did things in our own way-our own time. There were absolutely no expectations. it has been lovely-especially because they are all old enough now to get their own breakfast-find their own shoes! Entertain themselves! And with the minor exception of the daily brawl between our girls, it has been wonderful. We have all had time to relax and unwind-and although they aren't looking forward to it, the kids are ready to go back to school on Monday. Well, all of them except for one of my girls. She has already declared that Monday will be a "personal" day for her. *sigh* My girl has become queen of taking "personal" days this year. I really don't know what to do. Sure, I can be tough-insist that she go...even take her in myself (instead of the bus)..I have done that. Dragged my tear stained girl to school-only to be told later.."She was fine!" And there lies the problem..
My girl has some issues-the biggest being that she appears to really not have any. Yes, her anxiety is recognizable..However, she is a model student..quiet, sweet-meek. She follows the rules, does everything expected of her, no more, no less. She is exact. At home, it is a different story. She can be loud-boisterous-her humor rivals Oscar's. But there is a down side as well. At home she can be mean-sometimes even cruel...mostly towards her sister, but we have all been at the end of her very sharp tongue. After which she breaks down-totally and completely. Crying, berating herself...and sometimes even slapping herself in the face.
At school, she holds herself so tightly together. She WILL NOT make a mistake, take a misstep, stand out. She holds herself so bound up, that, by the time she gets home, she is exhausted. Worn out-wrung. Sometimes she screams, sometimes she cries, sometimes she puts a blanket over her head and crawls on to my lap just needing to be held..and sometimes she just goes to sleep. She has told us that "school is too loud" or "voices sound like scribbles" that she "doesn't like the sound of her own voice" and at the worst of times she has cried out "I am just a weird freak!" .."Oh baby girl-why do you say that?" .."I don't know!"...because she doesn't-and neither do we.
It is not an easy thing for me to ask for help-especially when it comes to my girl. We have been down this road so many times since diagnosis. But, that is a whole other blog post.. The thing is-sometimes I feel(when it comes to her) as though I'm seen as some sort of Munchhausen Autism by proxy mother. Academically my girl is fine-great even...socially, she passes..so what's the problem? If she were like her brothers-who, are more "noticeably" different-I'd have no issue getting help. But she isn't. Her behavior issues are at home-so it must be a home problem-right? Even though she begs to stay here-begs to be home schooled. Which frankly I'm not sure if I am up to the task of doing (I'm afraid we'll just sit on the couch all day eating candy and watching "Ellen") or if being home all the time is even good for her. It is school that she doesn't want to go to. So I ask for help.
It has been suggested that we start her in some kind of therapy. Fine. If this person can help her sort things out, help her to navigate what is so difficult for her...I'm game. We will do anything for our girl!...almost. On Wednesday, the therapist called. He was eager to start working with our girl..we just needed to fill out the paperwork, discuss what we would like to see happening for her..you know, the usual stuff..until he suggested (in order to get a jump start on things) he come to the house to do this. My first thought was "crap-I'll have to vacuum." It has been a long time since we have had home visits from any kind of therapist. (it used to be that I had a house cleaning schedule based solely on therapy visits-it kept my house clean for years!) My second thought was..."*Sigh*-he just wants to see what our home environment is." Are we crackheads? Abusive? Is the house a mess?Do they still have Halloween decorations up? (no, no, ummm we're renovating!..sigh..yes) Which pisses me off.
But hey-I could be wrong...We weren't able to meet with him (at the time he had available), so we settled on meeting at school. But then...I got a voice mail from him saying that he had another open slot! Could he come to the house? We ignored it. It is spring break. I vacuum for no one.
As a mother,you wear a lot of different hats. Cook, chauffeur, general fixer of all things. I am the person that is supposed to make things good and right and above all else-safe. They trust me. Trust me to tell them what is right and wrong, trust me to help them navigate this very confusing world, trust me when I tell them to do something because it will help them. I'm a firm believer in letting them make their own mistakes-in falling and letting them get up on their own. But right now, I feel as though I am failing my girl. She is falling- and this time, I have to catch her. Have to try and make her world better and safe..I have to build her self esteem..to reassure her, let her know that she is magnificent just the way that she is.. Have to-even if it means dealing with home visits or donning a "teacher" hat. Either way, the house will be cleaned...as I would definitely include vacuuming as part of her school curriculum.