They're back. Anxiety and depression. With the short, cold, and dark days they always come. We had been so hopeful those days were over. Naive? Sure. But we wanted to believe that better times were here.
These days, more often than not, Ben cannot leave his bed and face the world without cajoles, promises, assiduous offers of help. These days even the Joy School is a scary place, albeit one he still professes to love.
Benjy is a mass of contradictions. Some of you, Readers, have your own experience with contradictory kids. Kids who are one way on Wednesday morning and completely different people by Wednesday afternoon. Whom you are sure love chicken noodle soup -- they did last night -- but actually hate it and cannot get it down without gagging. Who love school hate school love school. Who have a friend, who are friendless.
It's dizzying, keeping it all straight. It's hard as hell to figure out parenting a child who is a moving target. Sure, all kids are variable, all of them grow and change -- and forget about teenagers. Saskia is a storm cloud in the morning and sheer sunlight in the afternoon. But kids like Benjy can't settle into themselves, can't rest. They are always roiling, always in (sometimes painful) flux. It must be HARD being Benjy. And in many ways, although I love him beyond comprehension, it is hard to be his mother. I want to help him. To cure his pain. make life easier for him. And those are things I cannot do.
I can love him and be there for him. Get him his meds, and make sure they are the right ones. I can take him to therapy and his psychiatrist, try to help him maintain his few friendships. Look ceaselessly for opportunities for him. Things he can do and be successful at. Things he can do and enjoy. There are not a whole lot of those, but I keep trying.
So now he's off to school. Lars took him -- late, because he was struggling, and needed to sit under his SAD light for a while -- and I'm just waiting for the call I know is coming. They won't make me pick him up
unless he is deeply dysregulated and has to get out of there, but they'll call me to let me know he's fragile and falling apart. And then my day will be about him. Worrying and thinking desperately about how I can make things change.
Sometimes I think true maturity is accepting that there are things you do not have the power to change, and maintaining your equanimity in the face of that. I'm trying, Readers, I'm trying.