Wednesday, November 2, 2011

When the parent needs parenting

I've been gone from here for almost a year. Life has been chaotic in many aspects, but has also been good over all. My son has grown in some wonderful areas. He is doing well in school, he has a friend who calls him on the phone and does occasional play dates. In a word, he seems stable.

It has been brought to my attention with a clattering of broken pieces that as I trained all of my efforts on our son, I have allowed another spinning plate to crash. My husband. I find myself advocating for him more than for our son lately. Little clues over the years have made me wonder if he might have Asperger's syndrome, too. Persevering thoughts, OCD tendencies, social anxiety and general anxiety, mis-communications

at work, rigidity with rules, and a host of other hallmark traits have had me suspicious. I have finally arranged to have him tested. He goes for a complete psych eval in December. I am hoping he finds peace and closure for some of the things in his past that seemed to be beyond his control, those disappointments and misunderstandings when people misread his intentions or his abilities or his motivations.

In my mind the diagnosis could be vindicating. It would give a neurological reason for those times when people assumed he didn't want to find work when he couldn't find work, or when others thought he was rude for saying something inappropriate in a social setting. It would prove that he wasn't stupid or lazy or mean or inconsiderate. It would explain why he has poor impulse control at times, why he has so many frustrations. It might help him to forgive himself for not being the financial success he wishes he could be for all of us. I am proud that he continues to try. That he gets up every morning and goes to work with people that have been careless, clueless and sometimes cruel. That he hasn't given in to what others have believed of him, such as the pastor's son who told him he wasn't college material.

Maybe it won't change the fact that he has some difficulty with executive functioning, and maybe he won't ever be able to learn to schmooze like the other Toyota car salesman he tried so hard to be like. But with any luck he will continue to be concrete in his love for family and his dedication to us. Lord willing he will be the same nurturing, loyal man I fell in love with and continue to admire. The intuitive, sensitive, intelligent person that inspires me to be a better wife and mother.

Sometimes a parent needs parenting. And if my maternal instincts are correct, the investment will be worth it.