Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Thin Line

As most of you know, my daughter is special. For those of you just joining us, she is a fourteen-year-old anomaly that no child psychiatrist has been able to diagnose. I know we shouldn't live and die by a diagnosis, but as a parent, having answers is important. Her current label is one with a form of autism and emotionally disturbed with severe anxiety, but she's run the gamet of labels in the nine years since we realized we had a bigger problem than we thought. Sure, at the time she was born she was tested for Down's Syndrome, but chromosomal issues have been deemed irrelevant in her case. Genetics don't play in the picture at all. Even still, for a child to have the peaks and valleys that she does in terms of abilities is rare, and she has turned into quite an adventure.
Lately, as you know, she has gotten into a fictious world. I listen to her talking to herself, having full blown conversations with herself, and I also listen to her talking to her friends on the phone. Remember now, her friends are in her special class at school so they will go around and around about nothing--consider them the Seinfelds of Special Education. Listening in on them makes me dizzy sometimes. So I'm listening to her talk to herself in the bathroom, holding only one side of the conversation but clearly responding to someone as she answers questions (questions that I can't hear, I can only hear her giving answers which come out of nowhere and make no sense. Sometimes she'll just agree "oh yeah, uh-huh"...she gets along so well with herself. Refreshing.) I finally asked if she could hear voices--that's how in depth her self-talk gets. No, she says, she's just talking to her pretend friend. Oookaay. She gets into these fabricated worlds with her friend Allidrama too. I can hear them planning their adult lives--minivans, houses, and all. They get into such delusions that they start talking as though they are in the present with their different issues. I listen in, feeling some concern as I wonder how much of it she realizes is her imagination. I talk to my parents about it and friends and they say, "Oh, you know how kids like to fantasize about their grown-up lives." So true, so true..until she demanded that my husband take her to see her kids the other night. She wasn't talking on the phone, she was quite adamant and certain. I heard her say, "Dad, you have to take me to my kids so I can see them." Greg looks at her questionably...what kids? "My six kids! You need to take me so I can see them." So, what you are telling me is you have kids? "Yes, we need to go." Did you actually give birth to the kids, do you remember having a baby in your stomach? "No, I did not have them, I adopted them and my rich boyfriend has them. Now take me to see them. I'm going to be so mad!" You don't have kids, Kindsay. You don't have kids. "Yes I do! Alli says their at my boyfriend's house!" Her temper is flaring. Mind you, when she talks to Greg she starts out with level tones, but when I so much as ask her how her day was...SNAP! "Why is my mom asking me that? Oh, I just don't know if I should answer her. Just shut your mouth!" Ah, nothing like mother-daughter bonds.
In any case, Greg refused to drive her to see her six children, or should I say, my six grandchildren. But children aren't the only topics of interest to Kindsay and her friends. Oh no, they also like to be sweet and cute and loving to each other. Why just last night Kindsay had Allidrama on the speaker phone and this was their conversation, verbatim:
"You shut your mouth!"
"No, YOU shut your mouth!"
"No, you shut YOUR mouth!"
"No, you shut YOUR MOUTH!"
"No, you shut your mouth!"
"No, you...
well, I think you can see the pattern. It was only until Greg and I stepped in and directed the stimulating conversation elsewhere that the need to shut each other's mouth soon became old news. Back to the talk about boyfriends, children, and minivans. Perhaps I need to create a make-believe world of my own that I can visit instead of listening to non-stop banter between Kindsay and her friends. A world where chocolate grows on trees, rivers flow of Diet Pepsi, and french fries bloom every spring...oh, and there aren't any children...reproducing is against the law. I suppose that also removes men from the picture since the only legal activities are reading, napping, and taking long hot baths. Back to reality as I hear Kindsay in the next room crying over some terrible news about a boyfriend that she doesn't have and her six children that don't exist. Huh, there's no consoling her so what am I to do? Off to Yvetopia I go...until next time...


Rachel Petrich said...

I love reading your posts, Yvette. You are so amazing to handle things so well. One day, this blog is going to be a bestselling book! Can't wait to read what happens next. ;-)

Michelle said...

I am so coming to your world. Except in my world, it's diet Coke, not diet Pepsi.