I’m keeping this short because I
really smell like a truck stop fueled by Trump’s lies went hiking this morning and was too busy writing, watching Call the Midwife and getting my house ready for camping to do so earlier. But I had to check in.
As of two weeks ago, I have made a big decision.
No more asking my son if he wants to try CBD oil or change his diet.
No more asking him to be tested for MTFHR in case he’s not properly digesting his food – thus the cause of his gulping, shoulder shrugging, head nodding and eye rolling.
No more going round and round with my husband about “Why don’t you care more about Stink’s noises?” and calling specialists on the sly for naturopath treatments I know I can’t afford anyway (both emotionally when my spouse isn’t on the same page as me and figuratively based on my current employment.)
I wish I could say I came to this conclusion because I’m an angel of serenity.
But the truth is, I had a final conversation with Stink about it a few weeks back.
We had just come home from a trip where, over the course of five days, proceeded to vocally tic approximately 4000 times. (I counted. I’m an donkey hole. I know.) I was really losing it.
Me: “Stink, I know I haven’t brought this up in a while, but do you think maybe, just maybe, you would consider taking a little something for your sounds?”
Stink: “Oh, Mom, I know how hard they are on you. I’m sorry.”
Me: (Sensing hope. I’ll take the CBD oil behind door #3… finally!)
Stink: “Yeah, well, as much as the sounds bug you… and I get it… I won’t take anything – ever – just to make you feel better.”
Ouch… right in the gut.
I was so upset. At myself for asking, but at him for not even be willing to try. How dare he not be co-dependent!
At my weekly call with my sponsors, with Rex by my side, I started sobbing. “Why can’t he at least try?” I cried. “We live as a family. It’s noise pollution! It’s unfair!”
My sponsor, very kindly but directly, said, “Andrea, it’s not your son’s job to make you comfortable.”
But you know what, for whatever reason, hearing it from him (and not my spouse) I got it.
And I felt the feelings.
And I cried for a week.
I mourned the decade long quest for picking up the problem that my kid never wanted me to pick up.
I mourned the years of frustration when, in the end, the tics haven’t changed all that much.
But, if I’m being honest, I also mourned the end of an obsession. Because when I can’t spend my time trying to figure out my kid, I am going to have to shine that laser like focus on me. What are my dreams? What are my fears? How can I live out my best life?
I don’t have all the answers, but I know the answer can’t only be that I get what I want. Sometimes the answer is to lay down and surrender that we lost. But when we get up, we might just find a whole new beautiful life awaits.
And so that’s where I am today. A little less mournful, a little more joyful, and – as always – grateful that my strong boy is showing me that being oneself trumps tics and fear every single time.
Until next time…
May God grant you the serenity to accept the tics you cannot change, the courage to change the tics you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.