"Mom," Aidan called out from his bed last night. "I don't know why, but I feel kind of lonely all of a sudden and it's really quiet."
"I think you miss your brother," I called back. "We all do."
Without Conor's presence, our house is deafening in its quiet. I've catapulted past the relief I feel at not having to physically manage his behavior, and have recently crept past missing his happy squeals and snuggle bunny episodes.
(Ok, I’ll admit to still missing him. I miss the big lug.)
Now, I've resorted to wandering around our house, looking for things to occupy my time and fill the silence. It’s funny; I have this whole to-do list but I just can’t seem to get to any of it.
My husband and I tiptoe around each other, around our anger, our sadness, our fear. Conor’s not coming home any time soon. He needs more intervention than we can give right now, and he’s been transferred to a longer-term, inpatient behavioral unit.
We should anticipate a six-month stay, the lead behavioral therapist told us. We both gaped at her.
I really don’t understand my own emotions in all this. For so long, this is what I’ve yearned for--an extended rest, a reprieve from the grueling task of raising this child without sacrificing his treatment and supports.
Yet, when it’s handed to me, I recoil.
“This is really, very excellent news,” the social worker at Sheppard Pratt gushed to me on the phone. “He’ll be at one of the premier treatment centers in the nation!”
That’s the funny thing, you know. Why it’s so hard to accept that my son gets this excellent treatment. It’s because his behavior is so bad, so explosive. Why he’s been accepted, that is. And that’s really not excellent news.
No, not so excellent at all.