Clouds, May 2010

Clouds, May 2010

Friday, September 14, 2018


To You,
 You know who you are...

"... after everything you've done
I can thank you for how strong I have become

'Cause you brought the flames & you put me through hell 
I had to learn how to fight for myself 
And we both know all the truth I could tell 
I'll just say this is 'I wish you farewell' 

I hope you're somewhere prayin', prayin'
I hope your soul is changin', changin' 
I hope you find your peace 
Falling on your knees, prayin'...

I am proud of who I am
No more monsters, I can breath again..." 

Kesha, who would not even be anywhere near my top ten list of favorite artists, happened to release this song in early summer of 2017. Some of the lyrics nearly brought me to tears... the timing was too close to one of the most difficult times in our life as a family.

As you know it was nothing that we brought upon ourselves... nothing that any one of us (meaning me, my spouse or my child) could have done differently... nothing that we could have seen coming. None of us-- especially my child-- deserved to have our lives turned upside down. And I may never know the root of it, because we certainly can't blame it on an innocent kid who was born with a genetic disability.

All of these excuses fly around in my mind sometimes... was it a knee-jerk reaction? I don't think so, because then it would have only happened once. Was it unpreparedness? I don't think so, because I could not have possibly handed you more-- or better-- preparation than what I (and others trying to help) had shared with you. Some people tried to offer us comfort by saying you just liked to make your position known. But having lust for authority never made me feel any better back then and it doesn't now. Others suggested plain old inexperience... ignorance... or immaturity. A former colleague of yours labeled you arrogant. As for me when I think about your decisions the word inexcusable comes to mind.

If you never made the decisions you made... if you chose to act as a helper instead of an enforcer... who would have gotten hurt? Who would have reprimanded you for doing the right thing? Would you have regretted choosing kindness over code?

If I had to guess, I would say you have zero idea of the amount of time I have invested to consider your perspective. To try and make myself feel less hopeless... to try and force my brain to find a shred of evidence that there was no other way to have a better resolution. Am I supposed to convince myself that although it was horrific, it simply had to happen the way it did? Is that what you've done?

Someone who happens to know all of us once said they believed-- that one day-- you would have your aha moment. I however feel sorry for you that you missed out on an incredible opportunity, to learn from someone with one of the purest hearts on this planet. And when given a choice you failed to do right by that child, and others, when they needed it most.


To the Other Person Who Didn't Make Anything Better When They Could Have,
You know who you are...

In the interest of transparency I will tack on my parting words for you too. You once said to a group of parents, in so many words, that even though it doesn't always seem like you're advocating you are. You are almost right-- it rarely seemed like you were ever advocating.

You once told me I was an anomaly because I tend to be rational. You were making a majority assumption about something-- do you remember? I said I would never do that, because it wouldn't make sense, because it wouldn't solve the problem. And you believed me that I would never do that but you also believed other parents would. That is when you said I am an anomaly. Clearly it never helped me much but you did say it.

Do you also remember when things were at their worst? You told us that there needs to be some amount of accountability with regards to our son's behaviors. I remember when you said it and I remember who else was in the room. Perhaps your initial refusal to acknowledge that his behaviors are a manifestation of his disability makes you an anomaly. For crying out loud even he knows they are. He is very aware when this is happening to him, and is further painfully aware of the struggle to regulate himself (to stop the behavior). He may be the one diagnosed with the intellectual disability but he is not the one lacking intuitiveness.

You would often have a way of ending curt messages with "thanks and have a great day." Maybe you were being sincere but so am I. With any luck may our paths never cross again.

The legacy you both leave behind is one of relief that you've chosen to move on. With all sincerity, my prayers go out to those who have to work with you in the future. May they understand your decisions better than I ever could.