Thursday, June 10, 2010

Musings of an angry Mom at Midnight

My daughter was poisoned for $4. Four dollars. The difference in cost between a mercury free single dose vial of vaccine and a multidose vial with the mercury based preservative, thimerosal. Four dollars. My prefect, already talking, funny baby disappeared before my eyes. In her place was a child who did not speak, make eye contact, smile at you, play with you or even play at all. She preferred to be in her room alone. In the dark. Alone.

I have often said that Maisie was not on this planet when she had autism. Just joking of course. I certainly remember cleaning poop off the walls and hours and hours in therapy offices waiting and worrying. However, as I learn more about the Anthroposophical Waldorf model of development, I wonder about the theory of children "not being fully in their bodies". It was as though Maisie had left her body completely. Her soul or spirit or whatever just floated out during that time. Where did it go? Why, when so many children don't recover from autism, did Maisie make a full recovery?

The Waldorf teachers talk about choice. Children choosing to come to a particular family from the angels. I can't say I really understand it, but still. The idea that Maisie left and then chose to come back - it just floors me. She came back. Somehow, by choice or luck or faith or Divine intervention, my daughter came back from her personal black hole. She came back. To chronic stomach pain. To a family stressed and wrung out from the unthinkable of having a tragedy explode with the diagnosis - "incurable, untreatable autism". She came back to a mother who had become a completely different person. She came back. And I feel, as the one who dragged her back down into her body, back to this planet and tied her feet to the earth, so much responsibility to make sure that she does not regret it. I am her mother. It is my job.

Maisie's teacher and I had a very circular conversation this afternoon. For the first time ever, Maisie has a teacher who does not "get" her. She just doesn't. Waldorf teachers stay with their class from 1st to 8th grade, so this is a big problem. Maisie's teacher told me today that the first time she saw me, I was angry. And she feels I've been a flood of negativity ever since. She's kind of right. I was angry the first time she saw me. I have not been steadily mad since then, but nearly. This woman and I do not speak the same language. She is hearing dolphin clicks and squeals when I talk. And I am completely unable to find a way to explain anything to her. The teacher feels that the problems come from my relationship with her - she and I don't get on, so Maisie is suffering. I feel that she and I would not have a problem if she an Maisie did not. Chicken or egg, which is it?

So now what? It seems I ask that a lot. I don't have a plan B for educating Maisie. She is not an easy child. She's an opinionated old lady, mother hen, stalwart soldier with an iron will and a little girl. I am starting an attempt to move her up a grade to another class. I don't know if it will be successful or not. In some ways, Maisie would be fine - she is almost certainly a genius. Literally. She's amazingly gifted in math, she reading fluently, and thinks much farther outside "the box" than most adults could dream of. But I worry about her socially. She is fiercely loyal but has a low tolerance for groups. She always has. She loves 1 really good friend at a time, with casual friends occasionally thrown in. Would she be able to bond with the older kids? In which way will I do her the least harm? Move her? Or leave her where she is?

Julia's class studied Native Americans of the Willamette Valley as part of her curriculum this year. One of the topics was "totem animals" (look it up - google can explain it better than I can, I bet). I was with some friends last weekend and someone said something about weasels. Out of my mouth came the spontaneous thought "weasels are my totem animal". We looked it up. Whoa. "The weasel is the most ferocious of all mammals and will even attack humans when it's young are threatened". Guess I was right.

I wrote a chapter in a book called "Mother Warriors". I am the weasel. And I am going to keep fighting for my daughter. I am her mother. Angry or not, it's my job.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Mel - who would have ever thought that being a weasel would be a good thing? :)