Sweet Sweet Denial

I admit wholeheartedly that denial is one of my strongest coping strategies.

Denial often gets a bad rap, people berate themselves for living in denial and people judge each other about states of denial.

Denial and me – we are like that (you can’t see me but I am crossing my fingers together to connote that we are very very close). I am good with that. Denial is a welcome friend at times.

Unfortunately I also have too much insider knowledge sometimes. Having worked for over 15 years in early intervention with a focus on mental health and for quite some time as an advocate and resource to families of children with disabilities – sometimes I have way too much information inside this brain to be able to deny the path we are on or what something might mean. That’s hard. When I am dealing with an agency in town I can try to only go by the experiences we directly have with that agency but I cannot, and should not, ignore other people and family experiences with that same agency. If I have sat in a meeting where a professional for that agency acted reprehensibly and then when the parent appealed to higher powers and was rebuked – then I need to take that into account for my own family. If an agency acted in (what I think is) an abusive way to a child in their care – I NEED to take that into account when considering options for my own child.

But sometimes that knowledge and experience can make you hyper vigilant and it becomes very hard to trust. You cannot take people at their word – you find that you need them to prove to you over and over that in the end they will do what is right and do the least harm possible. That, as many of you know, is exhausting all on its own. I am already exhausted by the time I drop off C every morning – to then spend the day trying not to worry and the nights going over and over the events of that day – beyond exhausting.

That makes me sad. That is how my son lives and now I follow in his footsteps. I don’t worry that my son will be misunderstood or hurt (emotionally more than physically) in some way. I assume that he will. Instead I hope that the occurrence will be minimal and that the people involved will be able to repair their relationship with him AND me.

C had a very difficult day yesterday in his day treatment program. From all accounts (even from C) it seems as though they handled it quite well. Of course there are things that I would have done differently. Of course I only have part of the story and will never get the whole story as I was not there. Of course there are a couple of items from the day that give me pause and concern but no alarm bells are screeching. At least not yet. A is counselling me to go in on Monday and focus with them about all the things they did right – much like the approach we would take with C himself. Focus on the positive. I know he is right, I had the same thought. But I also feel worried that I might reinforce the negative aspects of what I understood occurred. There aren’t many (that I know of) but they feel important to me because they are important to C.

So as we head into this weekend I am inviting sweet denial to come on over and hang out at my house. She did a great job around the whole domestic duties issue (my house is a mess and I have been blissfully able to ignore it) and now that I have emerged from denial about the house there should be plenty of time and room for her to work her magic as far as C and agency issues. A healthy dose of denial for even just a few days would be welcome.

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