Riding in Cars with Boys Again


It set him off.  He said, “And now there’s going to be people we don’t know traipsing all over our house again, judging us.  And there you were, making all of these decisions without me.”

Yesterday, Xan and I attended an evaluation for our son, Beast, for entrance into a special preschool for children with special needs.  Our son was diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified in June 2011 while he was receiving Early Intervention Services.  For more information, visit the original post, “Riding in Cars with Boys”.

Needless to say, the evaluation didn’t go well.  They never really do.

I was furious.  I retorted, “I have to make these decisions, because you don’t.  You haven’t been there up until now.”

“I want to wait and think on this.  It’s happening too fast.  I can’t process it.  I don’t think we should start to seek services until November at the earliest.”

I went through the roof.  I threatened, “If you stand between me, our son, and getting him help, I promise you that I will leave you.  He needs these, and I will do anything to get him there.  It’s been too long already.”

“Fine.  Then leave,” he said shortly.

I stated, “I don’t want too, but –“

He interrupted, “No, I don’t want to hear it.  You leave then.  I’m done here.”

There was a long period of silence, where I felt the schism and then the great void opened up.  Something ensnared me, and pulled me by the ankle faster and faster toward the Great Below.  I clawed and scraped, desperately trying to hold on.  But, it was no use. I gave up.  I was dragged into The Hollow, where everything went black around the edges, and the rest of me was numb inside.

It’s as if I were suddenly disembodied, sitting in the back of the car with my son, watching the whole thing play out.  He went on about how this was such a danger to us, and I blankly told him that I didn’t care.  I was beyond caring.  I had a mission, and it no longer involved any real part of me.  It required my participation, in the very least.  Only a presence, just a husk of a woman as a placeholder for what was and what might have been.

“You said we needed a social worker.  I agreed.  Now we have one,” I argued flatly.

“No, this isn’t right,” he angrily disagreed, “I don’t need someone in my own house judging my parenting.  Judging us, wondering exactly how fit of parents we are to raise him.”

I struggled, “And what do you think is going to happen if we don’t get him services?”

“I don’t know, but it has to be better than this.”

I finally found my gusto and returned to myself for a flicker of a second to drive it in, “I’m not going to stand by and let my son turn into a dangerous retard, and end up in a special school, because someone was too afraid and disengaged to get him help!”

“What, like how you stood by when you were going through whatever you were going through?”

It hit me like a wrecking ball, shattering every bone in my body, every bit of what little cohesive world I had remaining.  I couldn’t say anything in return.  The knife had to be sturdily wedged between my ribs, and my life’s blood gurgled and oozed out.  The life drained from me, and I was once again driven backward, ears ringing violently with silence.

And then there was this great nothingness that emanated from within and saturated the air around us.  Instead of choking, I breathed it in eagerly, letting the numbness wash over me.  I was already far over the Precipice, eyes wide open, watching the ground come at me at the speed of sound.  I would end it all in one tiny little snip of an already fraying thread.

We sped over the hills and the valleys of our hometown, and I gazed out the window to stare at the autumn-colored trees as they passed.  I’m in the autumn of my existence, a voice narrated, echoing the caverns of my empty mind.  I watched from outside myself as he glanced over at me.  I never met his eyes.  I just continued to stare, the whole world muted into something unintelligible.

I could hardly make it out, “I’m sorry.  I’m just so scared about what this means for him.  Today, when I saw him being evaluated, I see an entirely different boy from the little boy I see to be my son.”

“I understand,” I murmured almost robotically.  In truth, I did.  He went on to explain his position, but the world remained too washed out.  The sound was distorted by static.  He went on to describe our son’s awful behavior during our session, and all I could manage was a whisper.  “Now you know how I felt when I did this alone.”

He had finally come to understand my position.  He was finally seeing the seriousness of the situation, and the dire need to get our son the help that he requires for his special needs.  “I’ve seen this significant backslide in the last few months.  He was doing so well.”  But, I was too exhausted and disconnected to explain it again when he asked.  I provided minimal answers.

The apology came too little too late.  If only there was an answering service for when I checked out completely.

It was completely unfair to him.  It was unjust to let him continue to sit in the dark while he was obviously trying to come back into the light, where truth and hope awaited him.  But, I couldn’t return when the threat still existed.  I had been knifed into oblivion, my soul spilling out onto the jagged rocks beneath me.  If I came back too soon, the voices would emerge and tell me lies.  Sweet, angry little lies, and play me like the fiddle that I am.

I slipped a Lamictal into my mouth and took a big swig of the strange vitamin water I picked up at the convenience store.  My soul is already partially deadened.  I might as well keep going.

It’s the only way.  It’s the only way to cope and deal with what I have at hand.  I may have lost my ability to remember, but maybe it is better this way.  Maybe, I have to forget the pain and the fear in order to switch tracks.  Maybe, I have to forget myself completely to surrender myself to the others.  Either way, I know what I have to do, even if I don’t know how to go about doing it.

Couples fight.  Even the best of couples.  We don’t see eye to eye, and we’re often to proud to admit to the other when we’re scared and vulnerable.  I’ve learned that over the last year.  We’re not supposed to be perfect, because we are imperfect beings.  Our marriage is perfect because it is imperfect.  And I know that we’ll get through this together.

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11 thoughts on “Riding in Cars with Boys Again

  1. You are so strong to make that last statement…”And I know that we’ll get through this together.” There is a sense of security in that statement. I am so, so glad that you have that in such an emotional situation. That’s always the first thing that I lose.

    XX

    • I didn’t mean what I said when I told him I was going to leave. It was an ultimatum, and I was wrong. I know that.

      I want so much for him to want to be a part of this. I don’t want him to feel like I’m making all of the decisions. But, I can’t help but feel like we should move forward with all of this.

      Disagreements are hard for me. Especially disagreements with him. I usually feel tugged in two different directions. But, in times where I know I’m right, I have such difficulty asserting myself in the right way.

  2. Lulu, I kind of see both sides here. I understand wanting to do anything and everything to help your child. But It would be really hard for me to let some stranger in to analyse and judge how well I was ensuring that the child gets what he needs. I am too scared of the system to trust anyone to judge. I will be praying that whatever is best will happen. xx

    • I see it too, undoubtedly. I don’t like strangers in my house. I don’t like to deal with psychologists or social workers. I don’t like letting anyone into my life that could hold anything over me, or has the potential to threaten or harm me. Believe me, I have intense anxiety over it.

      But, when I sat there feeling like a terrible parent because I let his treatment lapse, and then having him confirm it… I don’t know. I lost it. I was already dead set on making this right, because BP had claimed almost this entire year. And there he was, standing in my way and calling me out as the bad parent.

      There was an exchange I didn’t put in there where I eventually came back at him in a non-heated, detached way. I stated, “You’re his parent and you let it lapse too. Don’t put this all on me.” Exasperated, he retorted, “Don’t put this all on me either!” “I’m not. Not at all. I know what happened with me, and you don’t need to point it out.”

      I took a lot of medication yesterday. Nothing more than I’m prescribed, but more than I usually take. It’s those behaviors that get me into a bad position.

      I’m wrong about the way I behaved. But, I’m not wrong about doing whatever it takes.

      • you are right. There comes a time when you must chose your child over any personal anxieties or privacy. I would do the same thing if I were in your shoes I am sure. Sorry I didn’t see it at first. I think likea guy sometimes xx

        • No, it’s okay. I think like a guy too, but I’m also a mama bear. I will do anything to protect and nurture my loved ones, boys or men. And I feel awful when that projects to Xan. I know that the fight that happened was really my fault. I should have been more supportive to Xan. But, it was too hard for me to not take it all personally. It opened up a lot of wounds from the past.

  3. I would react in the exact same way you did. Remember we are lionesses looking after our children. I find if I am fighting for something for my child, I turn into a different person, something primal comes over me. You are definitely not wrong for doing whatever it takes to get your chilld the help he needs. You are an awesome mum! And couples do fight; sparks fly, things pop, but the bigger picture soon comes back into focus and you are on exactly the same page as each other again. Well done for having the strength to get through this. Karen xx

    • Something primal comes over me too, and I start to see everyone and anyone as a threat. It’s a little paranoid, I know. And I know that my husband and I are supposed to be working as a team.

      I conceded yesterday to wait a couple of weeks before we initiate any further services. The whole thing was causing Xan so much distress, and I can never bear to watch him suffer. He told me that he was already under too much stress at work, and hopefully they’ll have someone hired by then. That way, he can take more of an active role.

      I think he thought I was trying to leave him out of this. I realize he has a lot of responsibility at work, but I still feel angry, like family should come first. But, his time off comes in drips and drabs, and I know he doesn’t have a lot to give at one time. I want to encourage him to be a part of this, so I told him I’ll concede on the condition that this can’t turn into last time where we’re waiting months for his work to settle down (because it never really does).

      I do think we need to have some further dialogue about this, because I had a serious breakdown yesterday over it. It’s so overwhelming. And I am getting to the point where I have no idea how to raise my kid. I felt like a failure as a mother. And I know we need a lot of help. I just felt like my hands were tied, you know? I felt so helpless.

  4. Lu, you need to get some support. There are people out there who know what you’re going through. A mother is crazed when it comes to her children and that will wear on any relationship no matter how strong.
    I’m thinking of you. xoxoxo

    I’m thinking of you. xo

  5. I am so sorry to hear about all of this. You are under tremendous pressure at the moment, and I wish there was some way that you could get more support. I don’t like strangers in my house, so that part I understand. Women do get extremely protective of their children, it’s natural. I wish Xan could see it from your perspective, but he has his own fears to deal with. Bottom line, your child needs help, and there is nothing wrong with that. You are doing your best to get him help, and you are a great mom. Don’t ever think otherwise.

    • I have conceded and let Xan wait until November, much to my chagrin. I guess I had to compromise somewhere. It’s the very least I could do.

      I don’t like strangers in the house as much, if not more, than he does. That’s the last thing I need is someone in the house, judging me, judging my parenting and the way I keep house. It’s agonizing. My house is my only place of refuge. And when there are professionals in and out at any given time, I feel like I’m caged in some kind of glass house, on display for the world, like I live at the zoo or something.

      At the very least, Xan came to the same conclusions. He explained that the boy he sees and the boy he sees when Beast is under the microscope are two different boys. I know he’s having trouble accepting it. I know I was too. It’s hard to see it, but it has to happen.

      I just wish he’d be a little more open about it. But then again, I’m murmuring the mantra of every married woman, right?

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