Monday, 25 February 2008

Frustrated

C and I have some enormous changes happening this year, and the thought of these changes have been worrying me and getting me down.

At the age of 14 in this country we start talking about transition plans for when your child leaves school. C leaves school some time this year, and there are no transition plans in place.

Over a year ago I found somewhere for C, I didn’t want him vegetating in an out of date day centre or segregated through independent living, these seem to be the 2 main choices. So it took me a couple of years to find somewhere that i felt C would be happy in and continue to grow.

Because they haven’t dotted the I’s and crossed the T's (re the funding) time is slipping by. C finds change incredibly difficult, (When he moved up from Junior to senior school, it took over a year of the most horrendous head banging, till he settled, he is now 2 foot taller and much stronger) and a change this big for him scares me, especially when we could have been using this time to prepare him.
If i am honest I am afraid, I fear for C's safety, of the unknown, the change, etc and it has been doing my head in, not to put it too bluntly!!

C is ready to leave school, he is ready to leave the class room behind and stop being taught how to count to one, he is ready to experience a more adult environment. And I'm sure he will flourish when he has become used to it. It’s the getting used to it bit that I worry for him.

And then I read this, which when I thought about it made some sense to me. So I wanted to share these thoughts with you, and try and reinforce them for myself. Its about fear being an illusion. False Expectations Appearing Real - its all in our imaginations. Which of course it is, as it hasnt happened yet.

As we become more absorbed in fear we strengthen the existence of the very thing that we fear.

So I am trying to think positive!
It may all go smoothly! Sorry - it will all go smoothly.

Would love to hear what you do to distract yourself from worrying about things.

On a completely different note, I was cheered up no end this morning when I opened an email and was met with these words ‘We spotted this cow and thought of you’! Love it! Thank you Elissa!

62 comments:

Chris H said...

Usually we fear the unknown... in your case you kinda know what may happen, but until you and C are in that situation you are not really going to know how it will go... so my only suggestion is to wait and see! Big help ain't I?? LOL Love the cow.

Cait O'Connor said...

I have learned through much reading, but am still reminding myself to conquer fear which in different people comes in many disguises, worry and pessimism, feeling undeserving, lacking in confidence, panic attacks, you name it, they all boil down to fear. I have learned that fear attracts fear and what you imagine (fear) is drawn to you, negatives plus negatives equal negative. Imagine equals I-magic. Whereas the best thing I ever read was that love is the opposite of fear. Fear or anything for that matter dissolves in the light of love. Positive plus negative wipes out the negative. It does work. So change the way you think about a 'problem' and it disappears. A problem only has power if you perceive it as one.

Joker The Lurcher said...

my friend has been through this with her son who is now 25. it was a scary time (he has a lot of medical stuff which adds to the worry and made finding the right place really tricky) but i saw her this week and he is really settled now. he now choses to spend weekends there sometimes rather than coming home which she finds really comforting as it shows he likes it there. good luck with things.

Elizabethd said...

In a very dark room the illumination of a small candle will give light.
Think one day at a time and try not to look too far ahead right now.

Elissa - Managing Autism said...

Cait's comment says it perfectly!

To keep myself from worrying, I usually try and picture things already being how I want them to be... I picture things going smoothly and positively.

It's really hard sometimes, and there are moments where I really struggle with it, but when I persist I usually find that it helps.

We'll be sending lots of 'smooth' and 'positive' thoughts your way!
xx

PS - The cow looks right at home!!

Phil Plasma said...

I grew up seeing my father have bad health events due to stress mostly caused by work. As a result I grew up realizing that if I succumbed to stress my own health would suffer, so I made a decision early on in my life that worrying about things served no useful purpose. What will be will be. Take care of the things that are in your control and for the things that are out of your control, why worry? Worrying does not accomplish anything and it distracts you from taking care of what you can control.

Finally, the helmet will help for when he goes through this next transition stage.

Mima said...

Fear is horrid, and has been something that I have had to come to terms with. Because of my MS, I will have new episodes, and I don't know what these episodes will bring, it could be my eye sight, it could be my swallowing, or all sorts of other nasty things, there is just no way of knowing, sometimes for me it is just the fear of staying just like this, unable to do much and feeling really trapped. I deal with it as best as I can, trying to live for today as much as possible, and when it gets bad, I try distraction - I do something else, or watch something on TV. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't!

I really hope that all goes well for you and C over the next year, try and hold onto the fact that you know that he will settle, and I hope for you that it all happens in the best way possible.

Mrs. C said...

(((Casdok))) And here I thought you took the weekend off blogging to go get a new helmet with C.

I'm glad that you have some choices. I hope they work out well. Do you have *any* friends in real life who help you through things? I hope so, hon. I'd want some family or friends when things get rough. Unfortunately I find autism to isolate the parents as well as the person affected. Just saying.

Many hugs to you this morning.

buffalodickdy said...

I can offer no help, but can offer my best wishes that all works out for you...

Shrinky said...

Oh Casdock, I am also in your position (no transition plans for when my 15yr old leaves school, despite my efforts over the past two years to put somethng - anything, in place for him.)

It sounds crazy to say I will not worry about it - I find it best to deal with things as they arrive, fix what can be fixed on a day to day basis. Fear paralyses, it is conterproductive to the situation, wasting your enegies and achieves nothing. Try not to be sucked down by it, however hard that might be.

Keep strong, bonny lass. x

Milla said...

Like the others say, Casdok, it's the unknown. And it's the change, and the lack of control. That's what would freak me about what you have to handle, the necessary involvement of so many other people. Am sure when "it" happens, it will be as good as you can get and that you both will cope but good luck to you, it's clearly no walk in the park, all the best xx

KAREN CLARKE said...

The only distractions that truly work for me are reading and writing. Repeating the words, 'have the strength to accept what you cannot change' (which someone said to me years ago and stuck in my mind) and that seems to help a lot. Most of the time :o)

Patti said...

Living one day at a time is the best. Difficult to do, I know.

Niksmom said...

It may sound counterintuitive, but I imagine the worst possible scenario and then map out the ways to handle it. It never comes to fruition and I am usually pretty well prepared for whatever curve balls (surprises) are thrown our way. In addition to that exercise, I also allow myself to visualize the best possible outcome and how we get/got there. The reality of life usually lands somewhere between those extremes, I find.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

I think everyone has already said it really. The things you fear may well not happen and the things you never thought of will - both good and bad. Being positive does attract positive too you and helps to keep the stress levels down.

Of course you fear for C - every parent fears for their child when there is change no mater what the circumstances disabled, or not, the fear is still the same. C needs to grow and yes it will be difficult for him and you - but it is time.

kristina said...

You'll know the right thing to do when the time comes-----I think of making decisions as a process of discernment, of weighing options and turning some down and then going back to them----moving forward maybe by going a little backwards sometimes. Best wishes---

titration said...

I'm all about the positive thinking lately. And it's worked out better than I expected. I also do things like yoga, meditation, reading books that are more positive... This is a great post. We all wrestle with fear and change in our own way and it sounds like you and C are being very brave.

Mrs. Darling said...

My husband and I just had this talk about Tink this weekend. What will happen to her? Can she go to college? Will she stay home forever? Will we be able to mainstream her into a school anywhere? She's only 11 so I pray that by the time we have to face it there will be a solution. Fear is an awful thing and it's one of the things I battle too.

slouching mom said...

i try to keep myself super busy with mundane but time-consuming tasks. and i try to avoid spending too much time alone, because it's when i'm alone that the worries spiral and loom larger.

i am confident that you and he will come out on the other side of this intact -- very much okay.

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

...Noticed the writer of the piece is an NLP practitioner; don't know if you are familiar with Neuro Linguistic Processing but both that and cognitive therapy give valuable insights into changing thought patterns. Plenty of info available on the Net.

Billy said...

I loved the article on unnecessary fear, and how it is an illusion. Yes, fear becomes an self-fulfilling prophecy. We are what we think. I printed it so I can re-read later. (And I loved the cow.) I hope you can find the right place for C.

teeni said...

You might consider doing some positive affirmations to help you think positively. It is said that you don't have to believe in them for them to work so you don't even have to worry about that but then you will start seeing positive things and attracting even more positive things. It can't hurt. Oh, and I love the cow! A friend of mine was able to get lots of photos of them when they were on display in Boston. Love them! :)

Ivy said...

I am terrible with fears for my children I always imagine the worst to happen but than you can only get a positive surprise.... Hope the change goes swiftly and you soon can relax (both of you that is!)

Ron said...

Morning Casdok~

Thank you for expressing total honesty here! Your words are like an echo of my dear friend, who has said this to me many times.

I mean, how can you NOT worry and fear? Anybody would, ya know?

Whenever I go through a time of deep fear or worry, I always find that if I spend a little quite time walking in nature, it's healing energy seems to calm me and give me great clarity.

(and I LOVE talking to the squirrels!)

Sharing much good energy with you....

Ellee Seymour said...

It's tough for you and C, some days will be better than others as you bide your time. You need reassurance that you are getting through to the right people and being heard. You know we are all here for you. Good luck.

Honeysuckle said...

Hi, scary time, transition, for both the parent(s) and young people. But there are a lot of dedicated people out there doing some really good and innovative work with young people with disabilities. Can only hope it goes okay for you and C. Sometimes they surprise us!

leslie said...

It sounds as though you're doing everything possible for your son. So now you have to trust that things will work out. When my husband took his life, both my daughters (independently) confessed that they were scared they'd turn out just like him. I told them that you can't go through life worrying about something that may never happen. I think the same goes for you in your situation. As others have said, think positively - and don't let your own fears radiate to your son. He will absorb your confidence, which will ease his transition. And trust in the Lord. Pray for His guidance and that He will give you the strength to deal with whatever comes.

Omega Mum said...

I am not good at distracting myself. I find that the only thing that works is by concentrating about something else I'm worrying about, but I'm not convinced that's healthy.....

Maddy said...

Transitions big and small are still huge hurdles over here.

I certainly think that fear can take us over and spiral down pretty quickly. Positive thinking is hard [for me at least] I always start off at the half empty position and it's tough to flip it around to a half full view. [it gets easier with constant practice]
Cheers

Slow Panic said...

we will all hold you in our hearts as you face this huge transition for C. I admire so much your constant thoughtfulness and carefulness with your son.

graceunderautism said...

What do I do? I blog about the fear...you've done step 1. I bask in the comment love and encouragement...you are in step 2.
and then I let it go...on to step 3. Nothing is accomplished through worry and fear. You are a great mom and will meet any challenge that comes your way...just wait for it don't go chasiing after it.

VAB said...

If that article was helpful, you might also get some millage out of How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable About Anything: Yes, Anything

captain corky said...

I generally spend my entire life distracting myself from the things I worry about. Sometimes it comes back to haunt me though... The other day I looked in the mirror and realized that I was 37 for the first time. Yikes!!! Oh well, back to television. ;)

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I think fear is a main factor of living with a child with a disability - fear of the unknown, perhaps not so much for you but for the child. They are oblivious to the horror or the trauma that may lie ahead yet they are also unknowing of the wonderful moments they may experience throughout their lives.

You have friends, support and a strength I have never found elsewhere.

Crystal xx

Teachin' this mommy new tricks! said...

Love the shrek cow!

Tom Foolery said...

Casdok, Sometimes, like the early adventurers, we feel all at sea -like them we see only the sea and believe, temporarily that there is no land. Take care (((HUG))) TFX

motherx said...

Im a terrible worrier, so not the best person to ask but on a good day I tend to read stuff by paul mckenna. He is great about teaching confidence and positive thinking. On a bad day I can be in tears thinking about the long term future for my boys so hate to say this but tend to reach for St Johns Wort, Valerian, Serotonin tablets....basically anything to stop me from being a misery. Im pretty happy go lucky a lot of the time but do have low moments which can be very black. Normally find though if you are determind to be happy on a day...you prob will be!

J said...

A Three word prescription for anxiety: Stop thought, block. or Block, stop thought. Either combo works for me. Then divert to thinking about something more positive or quirky like a green and white cow.

Will be thinking about you and C. Hope the funding comes through soon and the transition process can begin soon.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I literally distract myself. I read, write, clean, watch a movie; anything to change the mind's focus.

Vi said...

Has someone been defacing the concrete cows in Milton Keynes again? ;P

Anne said...

Hello Casdok:

I do not think fear for a child ever goes away. Correction: I know fear for a child never goes away.

Here in the US, we also start "Transition" talks in 10th or 11th grade. You said you have located a place for C to go. Can you get the school he is in to work a plan for the school you want him to go to?

I sued the school district because my son was not ready to go out in the world and function. So their answer was to keep him in high school Life Lessons classes for two more years. NOPE. I wanted something better for him, not repeat of what he had.

I sued for two years at a local college for their "transitional living" class. He did well there and after a year didn't want to go back. He wanted to work at a real job. I've detailed this more on my blog but suffice it to say, I never stop worrying about how he perceives things, if he is in trouble at work, if he is with someone who is not ridiculing him, if he is with someone who knows enough to pull him away from a bad situation.

I worry for his safety. I worry that he is going to get hurt. I just plain worry.

My hubby says I have to let him go and let him get hurt so he can grow. I try to explain that it is a "Mom" thing, but is it really? Is it just an "Anne" thing?

I hope you get some results with the place you have found for C, that it is all that you expect it to be.

As far as fear goes, the day I stop being afraid for him will be the day that I die. I'm his mother and I'm entitled to be afraid for him and to worry about him.

And so are you.
Take care,
Anne

DJ Kirkby said...

You would ahve to be a magician to stop worying about your beautiful boy. Change is awful but you are right he needs a more adult enviornment, he isn't a boy anymore, he is a young man...

Angela said...

Awww...transition. I think I hate the thought of it as much as my little guy does. I don't think moms stop worrying...ever, do they? It sounds like you have realistic expectations and I know you will bring him through this transition beautifully.

And I love the Shrek cow...

Jade said...

Man...I'm sorry to hear about of all that is on your mind as of late. Its a tough job being a mom, I'm glad C has you! And I'm hoping that you are allowing those in your life to support you through this all. No need in taking it on all by your lonesome when you have friends to stand by and with ya, eh?

As for me, lately the gym has been my main distraction from life. Its getting me in great shape, exerting all my extra energy and allowing me to work out my frustration in a healthy way.

Sending you tons of strength and love!

Joy said...

You know me Casdok...I don't distract myself from worry and fear, I just participate in it. Best of luck.

dawn224 said...

This all sounds very hard. In the US, transition begins at 14 as well, however students can stay in the public school system until they are 21.

I hope this transition goes well.

Sweet Irene said...

I suffer from free floating anxiety myself often that very quickly changes into fear of just about anything. I have recently discovered that the best remedy is to have a large reservoir of courage and when you have courage, you have believe in yourself and you know that no matter what happens, you will come out of it alright in the end.

It has taken me this long in life to discover this, but I can not give this courage to your son, nor can I tell him about it.

I hope you have courage, but I believe you do, I think you are a courageous woman. Many would have floundered by the wayside and you haven't. That is the proof.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I too find change scary, worry about preparing my son for transitions and get frustrated when I can't get the information I need from other people that would help me help my son. But I think you've got the right attitude -- stay positive, focus on the present -- C's got your love to help him and that's what counts.

Stimey said...

Like some others, I also think it helps to think out an action plan for a variety of scenarios. For me it's hard not to act; I feel better when I'm taking some kind of action. Which I guess is one reason it would help to be able to prepare him. Take care.

Anne Brooke said...

I do hope it all goes well for you both - nothing I can do or say really, but just sending hugs.

A
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Attila The Mom said...

I simply cannot tell you enough how much I admire you.

xo

Debs said...

Worry and fear are horrible emotions and I feel for you. It is hard to deal with the unknown. You are an incredible mother.

vivavavoom said...

I understand the idea of positive though and fear generating more fear, but I do think your apprehensions and fears are valid. My son in no ways has the difficulties C has. he has a sensory issue coupled with a recently cognitive auditory disorder. But from outside impressions won would never know until he speaks backwards or stumbles while thinking for words. But I worry now for him in middle school and that is 3 years away. he does not do well with change, but I have also realized I do not so well with change. So I try hard to not bring that to the table but it is hard!

MY OWN WOMAN... said...

Since I've been reading your blog, I don't think I've ever read a negative or fearful thing on your blog. Generally, you seem to meet challenges head on and prevail. I'm worried that you're worried. I'm a good worrier, so don't worry, I'll do it for you. I'll also pray (which is probably what I'll really do) that the transition goes smoother than you could possibly imagine.

Angela said...

Fear is one of the things that keeps us mothers going I think.
I eat chocolate to calm and I read.

kristi said...

When I stress, I eat...hence the size of my rather large behind!
I am thinking of you in this time, I think you are wonderful!

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Just to say I'm thinking of you both, and hope you get some resolution soon. You'll always have support from your blogging friends, BG x

Billy Boy said...

I hear a little song coming on....just think of that little film "The life of Brian" when they where all up on their cross at the end....So whats the song.....!!!
Yep I hope you are hearing the music in your head and your thinking of the words....
"LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE"...........many of the above are soo true
YOUR OLD BUDDY UP THE ROAD WILL BE THERE FOR YOU BOTH.....HOPE YOU KNOW AND REMEMBER THAT.....!
as I will keep reminding you if you dont.....!!

deb said...

My fears if Katie moving out and her adjusting to the changes were huge, much bigger than the actual stuff that went on. Katie had a tough two weeks and then started to settle down. She still gets upset when I leave her house but it's getting better and I know it only lasts a few minutes, until she can't see my van anymore.

When I call there I can hear her laughing in the background. She's happy and I'm surprised.

Pacha said...

I worry about not being worried. Hence, I am never allowed not to worry. Lane sent me the link to this post. Am going through anxiety issues myself and reading your post has been such a help! Thanks Casdok!

Yes, it will go smoothly. Good luck!

Pacha said...

I worry about NOT worrying. Hence I never stop worrying.

Lane suggested I read this post since I am going through anxiety issues myself (ha! who am I fooling? I always have done!) and it's been so helpful. Thanks Casdok!

Yes, everything will go smoothly for you and C. Good luck!

Randy said...

I'm a chronic worrier, but I tend to distract myself by diverting my attention into futile, meaningless projects like re-painting and re-flooring our house or searching for my biological parents. Talk about futile and meaningless! I mean, what the fuck do I do when I find out who those people are?

Some of my worrying was alieviated when we got our wills written up. We wanted to make sure that my batshit crazy family didn't get their hands on our boys, and now it is written.

Also, my kids' residential school has several on-campus group homes for adults, and the job coach up there is super-duper fantastic at finding acceptable local employment for the adult residents. I hope they keep that guy around a long time.

In the end, though, I can't help but worry about how our boys will be after we're gone. Sure, their physical needs will always be looked after, but I'm still frightened about how they'll fare emotionally in the 40 or 50 years by which they should outlive me.