I’m halfway home when the tears start to fall. It’s not pretty. Giant sobs echo through my car, and Hagrid nudges me with his nose, concerned. I can’t go home like this. Crap. The shadow of a headache is turning into a full blown migraine. I can’t think, except to know I can not go home in this state. I want to turn around, drive back to Bea’s office. I don’t do that; I would never. I could call her, but I won’t. I just left there. I should have done this there. But…crap. This is Bea’s fault. Kind of. She told me in session she knew I had to stay in my okay place right now, and she was all right with that, but she did want to check in on how I was feeling.
It went like this.
We were talking about Kat, and how Kat is doing and what she is doing and where she is at with transitions and how she is dealing and plans for changes in her life, when Bea looks at me and says, “I know you need to be okay right now, and I am all right with that.I do want to check in and see how you are feeling about all these changes though. This is your space to process everything. To have the feelings.”
I shifted on the couch, pulled Hagrid into my lap and sighed. “I haven’t thought about it. I can’t think about it. I just…I think about what I need to get done. What Kat needs packed for lunch, what hubby needs for work. What stuff Kat will need for school, plans to make, how the schedule needs to be. I don’t think about the rest. I can’t.”
“With the nanny leaving, you are losing a big support.”
I nod. She’s right. Our nanny has been with us since Kat was 2 1/2 and I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. That’s a long time. She is part of our family. I have been able to call her on bad days– mental health or physical health– and ask her to come over or stay longer. She has called me when she has had problems. Hubby has helped her through legal trouble (that had nothing to really do with her at all but is still her personal business so I won’t post about it). She’s been with us through so many of the ups and downs of Kat’s life. She validated all of my beliefs that Kat was not developing like a neurotypical child. She was there through Kat’s sensory processing disorder diagnosis, her generalized anxiety diagnosis, her sleep disorder diagnosis and finally her autism diagnosis. She watched hubby and I fight for autism insurance coverage, and cheered (and cried out of joy) when we won. I’ve sat with her through boyfriend break ups. I know about her battle with depression, and her not so great childhood and how her mom is not really a mom. I feel like a mom, or a big sister towards her. So, yes. Losing her is a big deal. But it’s bittersweet. She is going back to college. She is growing up, moving on. I am so very proud of her. She has found a path in life, a career she wants, a goal to follow. I’m glad for this.
I don’t say any of this out loud. I just shrug, shake my head. I don’t really have words right then.
Bea says, “What comes to my mind is it might feel scary to lose such a big support.” I think she says something else, but I don’t really hear her.
She’s right, maybe. But not exactly. I mean, I have a schedule for the rest of the summer. I have a plan. If I really need, I can call hubby and tell him I need him to come home. I could call one of my friends. I could call Bea to help ground me and talk me out of my closet. “I don’t know. Maybe. It’s okay.”
“Yes. This can be a good thing. We never want to push too much, but maybe this is time to start using other coping skills and not hiding in the closet.” Bea smiles at me.
I nod. “If I really need to, I could call hubby. I’m not trapped.”
“No, you aren’t trapped.” She sounds pleased, like I have said something good. Maybe I have, I don’t know.
We talk about some random things, a friend I worry about, the new ABA tech, easy simple stuff. And then I say goodbye and leave. I feel okay. I am okay.
I’m halfway home when it hits me. Everything is a mess. It’s all changing. Kat is going to school. I’m trusting her with people I do not know. I will not be in charge. And I still am not able to really pretend play with her, and even though Bea says it is good because it pushes her to play with other kids, I feel like I have lost the part of myself that Kat loves. I have caused a giant tear in the fabric of hubby’s relationship with his mother, and even though he says he is not angry with me, now can he not hate me for not being whatever I needed to be to get along with her? But I tried and tried and it was never going to work. But maybe he feels deep down I should have tried harder. And after all the hateful awful things she said about me, I feel equally hateful toward her and hurt and angry. Because as much as I hate her, I still find myself thinking of nice things to do for her, like I have always done throughout the time I have been with Hubby. Which makes me hate her even more. Ugh. And I rode the Ferris wheel and haven’t talked about it and it was really kind of awful. And I still haven’t talked to my grandma and that feels really lonely and sad and like she is gone forever. And I miss my grandpa a lot. And everything is changing and I feel, deep down really not stable at all. So I have to stay in this okay place, because as long as I am here then I feel stable and content and happy and it’s okay and I am in control and I can believe everything is okay.
Somehow, I manage to talk myself back into the okay place and stop the tears. I walk in my front door, say hi to everyone, take my migraine meds and go lay down.