The wheels on that bus go round and round, setting my kid apart as “other” in a way we never wanted. We always felt (hoped) that the resources available in the mainstream school programs combined with the resources we access outside of school would be enough. And they were, until they weren’t.
Tomorrow is the last day of the 2021-2022 school year. The kids will say peace out to 9th and 10th grades by lunchtime, and by dinnertime the eldest will also be officially discharged from the outpatient mental heath program that has been that child’s only extracurricular activity since March. To say the least, June 16, 2022 is going to be a bit of a day.
Healing is not linear. Every option available to the kid and to us as parents right now is a rotten option. Nothing makes sense and nothing is clear – actually nothing make sense and the only thing that is clear is our love for this child.
April 5, 2022, 6 years deep into treatment for depression and an anxiety disorder, and just one month into a partial hospitalization program to treat a crisis point in their mental health; my eldest child was officially “stepped down” from the full day program to the afternoon program.
So here’s the thing….if you ask me how I am right now, I will probably answer honestly that I am perpetually exhausted, frustrated by school and insurance systems that make it nearly impossible to get a teenager critical mental health treatment, frightened for my struggling child, worried that my other child is uncomfortable in our home, disheartened by the limited amount of time and energy my husband and I have for each other, and resentful of the fact that our lives are ordered around the schedule of the program. But I’ll also tell you how profoundly thankful I am for the ability to get our child help and how hopeful I remain for brighter days.
Reentry is tricky business and there’s nothing normal about it.
525,600 minutes and we’re still here to see what comes next. That is a gift and a reason for some celebration.
This time last year, the COVID-19 vaccines did not exist. Today, only about 16% of the US population has received a vaccine. The fact that I am lucky enough to be so early in the distribution is both bonkers and humbling. I do not take a moment of this for granted.