“You punch me, I punch back. I do not believe it's good for ones self-respect to be a punching bag.” - Edward Koch
I've been punched around quite bit in my life. (Haven't we all?) But since The Boy's diagnosis, those hits have always been the hardest to bounce back from. It's because those hits give me this sense of overwhelming failure. As if I haven't prepared enough for this moment - how can any expectant mother prepare for a special needs child?
I understand why mothers quit their jobs. It's all consuming. And it never ends. Because unless you are extremely well off financially, your child's services are at the mercy of someone else. And you always need to justify the need of service. For every bit of progress a child makes, the likelihood a service will be taken away. Appropriate becomes an ambiguous word.
So this afternoon, as I made another promising phone call that ended up being just a phone call, I felt like a Bozo the Clown. Punched, pounded, the air kicked out of me. Disappointed. But most of all, defeated.
I can't help but wonder - how many phone calls will it take? How many times can I hear: No, I'm so sorry; No, we can't help; No, try someone else. How many times can a mother expect to be put on a waiting list? And just wait.
I am physically tired. I am emotionally drained. I am special needs spent. I am hoping this moment will pass. Because I can't quit the job that pays me to devote every single waking second to my child. I will need to bounce back. I have more phone calls to make.