Never let your guard down
Not ever. As a Mom of two boys in general, I just never let my guard down. With boys you never know what they’ll get into. But as a Mom of a boy with SPD, I really can’t afford to.
Recently though, I made the mistake of thinking I could let certain people in his life. I made the mistake of thinking in their presence it was a safe haven for my son. Make no mistake that I didn’t let my guard down. My eyes were on him like always, anticipating every move, every ounce of anxiety he was feeling, and responding as needed.
You see, I thought these people understood what we’ve been through the past 3 years. I thought they recognized the growth, the hurdles, the hardships, and the positive change in my son. I also thought they knew the struggle since they too are dealing with it on a much higher level. We are at different places in our journeys, but both of us are familiar with this struggle. We know it all too well.
You see, my son had a sensory meltdown due to the sensory seeking acts of the other. Nobody knew what was happening when it happened, but me. I was fully aware and responded to my son and removed him accordingly from the situation. Nobody else knew. Nobody else noticed. Nobody was wiser to the situation. Nobody saw what the one was doing to my son that set him off, not once, but twice. And this was after he had already had a meltdown over another thing that happened that was totally separate with a different child. Again, nobody knew what the situations were and nobody was tuned in, but me.
But, the next day when I chose to speak to the parents and request that my son be allowed to apologize to theirs for his behavior, they were shocked that it had happened. They didn’t know anything had taken place for reasons I choose not to call out. They had no idea. I brought it to their attention. I asked for my son to have the chance to make his side of things right. Imagine my surprise when he did that and was shamed by the parents for his behavior. No responsibility was taken by them or their child(ren) for their part in the situation. Instead my child was shamed. He was made to feel bad. He was made to take the full blame for the entire situation. A situation that the parents had no knowledge had even occurred.
Both children in this situation were victims of their symptoms. Both children in this situation were guilty of wronging the other. Both children needed to take responsibility for their actions. My son was terrified to do so. He was afraid of this very thing happening. I assured him it wouldn’t. Imagine my shock when it did.
NEVER LET YOUR GUARD DOWN! I know I won’t. Never again. Never will I put my child in a position where this will happen. Never will I go into a situation blind and unprepared. Never will I trust that my relationship with the parent will matter. Never will he carry the burden alone again.
But I sure was proud of him for conquering that fear and taking responsibility for his actions that night. That’s growth! That’s improvement. That’s worth fighting for!