It’s weird how a day can haunt you.
Navy has her first appointment tomorrow. I’m not entirely sure if I’m even taking her to the right kind of doctor ... but we got a referral, it’s covered by insurance; It’s a starting place, at the very least.
I have all these hopes for how I’ll behave. In my mind, I’ll be assertive and confident in my experiences. I’ll read from my (very long) list of concerns, and will evoke compassion while providing important detail. I’ll find my girl the help/relief/answers she very much deserves. But ... some part of me feels nervous. Afraid I’ll be unhinged, vulnerable and that the appointment will leave me feeling raw, emotional, disappointed and empty handed.
I have long suspected Navy may be somewhere on the Autistic Spectrum. I’ve read all the internet can provide me with on three year old girls and ASD - and well, my girl fits the bill. It could be something else - but, I’m not a doctor. Autism is a sticky word - Navy could have a less known disorder/challenge that I haven’t been able to research - because well, I’m not a doctor.
The last several months I have holed up. I’ve no longer desired to deal with the adventures of public scrutiny. The few times I’ve veered out of our safety net have been - exhausting disasters. But the truth is - our home is no longer affording us any relief. Yesterday, Navy drew on the wall on 4 separate occasions. She also mashed a whole stick of butter under the stove, and sprayed my entire house with Thieves cleaner. This was mixed in with the normal challenges of figuring out what she’d eat, what she’d drink out of (colors matter, immensely) what she wanted to play with/watch/wear - and mind you, I have 2 other kids I need to care for. Today I felt my spirit completely dissolve because the madness didn’t decrease - it was instead just more of the same. Today’s chaos du jour: accruing scissors from locked drawers (3 occasions) and stomping goldfish crackers and popcorn until reduced to dust. I know these don’t sound overly traumatic, and they wouldn’t be in an isolated incidence. But it’s a marathon of madness, one I was not equipped with the endurance to run. Our lives are peppered with broken boundaries, piercing screams, and tears of frustration, anger, sadness and despair. (This is not to say we don’t have joy and happiness as well - of course we do!)
(And in case you are wondering: I do discipline her. I’ve tried everthing from calm conversation, spankings, time outs, reward based training, etc. I’m not negligent - every single mishap is done in the seconds when my back is turned while cooking/folding laundry/going to the bathroom/caring for the baby/dog/son. I have two different kinds of locks on every single drawer/cabinet in my home. We have gates in every doorway, and those are tied shut because she figured out how to bulldoze through them. Navy may be feral AF, but she’s brilliant in the process. This is not a matter of locking markers/butter/scissors up. It’s a matter of boundaries being crossed, with no (current) possibility of correction. Which is why we desperately need help! In an emptied room the girl would find a nail pop and pluck it out, or punch holes in the walls. She is a FORCE!)
It took all I had to make the first call - just to set up the darn appointment. I’ve felt polarized between two extreme possibilities: “She’s perfectly fine” (the scariest of all possible realities) and “Everything must change to accommodate Navy’s issues”. The thing is ... I’ve been living like both of these are true - and it’s been a disaster. Everything is not fine, and it’s extraordinarily taxing to have a family of 5 revolve around one maniacal toddler.
I’m mentally prepping myself for whatever tomorrow brings. I hope I can play the part I want to play - composed, factual, strong. Navy needs this from me. I pray that answers, and beginnings are delivered ... I’ve been fearful of changing everything, but I’ve found ... I’m much more fearful of nothing changing at all.
Wish us luck!