Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Emotional Ricochet

Every one of us experience emotions that shift and bounce from situation to situation and day to day.  As a caregiver I would say the bounces are more like ricochets.  When you think of an old western shootout the ricochet comes flying without warning, from any direction, at high speeds, and you can't react to it until its already zipped past your head.  

Even without caring for Tyler on a daily basis the ricochets can happen.  Today provided one such moment.  

I had to go to the doctor for a minor item and I really wasn't overly concerned or anxious, just basically going about the process.  As it turns out there were a couple of moms, each with special needs boys.  I'm guessing that both were on the autism spectrum.  One was somewhat higher functioning from what I could tell, but very vocal.  As I listened to him and his mom in the waiting room I started to recognize Tyler and I.  He started to get wound up and louder.  Mom was doing her best to keep him somewhat subdued.  **Now....I am going to let you in on a little secret...she KNOWS she isn't going to soothe him.  She is doing it to show she feels bad if he is disrupting anyone else**.  I was impressed by her and the doctor's office because they processed him and got him back to a room quickly.  

The second mom walked her son back the hall as I was leaving the doctor's office.  He was a fairly big kid and I would say fairly limited in his development.  They bounced from side to side against the walls, he ducked into every open door, and mom was basically wrangling him back the hallway.  All the while she was trying to appear to be in control, and glance up at us to apologize for needing the time to get him through.  **Now...I am going to let you in on a second secret...she is barely holding it together at this point.  She is praying nothing gets broken, nobody gets hurt, and she gets the appointment done and gets home without anyone needing an ambulance**.  

All the while the first boy was screaming in another room.

Suddenly the bullet whizzed by my ear.  This was us.  I could FEEL that first mom's anxiety as she hoped her son didn't cause too much anxiety on anyone else.  I could imagine how terrible she was feeling each time her son screamed.  The look on the face of the second mom drilled straight into my heart.  Like a time machine I was propelled back to the anxieties of the past.  Its incredible how real those memories can be.  Its like walking through a dream and not knowing if it really is a dream.  

So tonight I simply bow my head to those who serve with dedication on the front lines, and to all of us who still hear the ricochets..

Be well and God bless.   Tom 

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