I worked on a research paper with my favorite professor in college. Part of our hypothesis was that behavior doesn’t change language. After showing that no matter how integrated Spanish-speaking people became in American culture, their ties to their native language did not change, I became a believer in the idea that language changes behavior as opposed to the other way around. While I wouldn’t go as far as saying the book The Secret is truth and gospel, I do believe there is much power in the thoughts and words we chose to believe and use.
That probably explains my attempts to constantly see the upside for everything going on in our lives. Husband getting downsized last spring? The initial freak-out was replaced by the thought that it was an opportunity for him to find the perfect job, since the other one was clearly not. C getting picked on at school? He will grow up to be a much more sensitive person. My own health going off the deep end? It’s an opportunity to really change the course of how I will feel in 20 years and take stock in both my physical and emotional well-being.
However, to be totally honest, there are huge gaps of simple, utter frustration and stress. While I think we’ve certainly accepted what is with C and actually take quite a bit of joy in the things his diagnosis brings both him and us, it does take its toll. Some days, within 15 minutes of his being home from school I’m ready to jump out the proverbial window, despite living in a one-story house. I wonder if I have the patience or stamina to give this child what he needs, because I often think what he needs is so much bigger than what I can give him. And sometimes that frankly just sucks. Raising a child with a diagnosis is hard, and it’s a lot of work. It takes its toll on me as a parent, and no matter how much I love C just the way he is, I can’t stop the gray hair from coming, my heart from being weary, and my head from sometimes craving an escape to somewhere, anywhere, but here.