I think it’s safe to say that most parents want the absolute best for their kids. I am no different. I want all my kids to be successful and be the best version of themselves. Sometimes that means work on the parent’s part. Sometimes that means a lot of extra work when it comes to making sure a childlike Kyle gets the absolute best. Like many things that come with Kyle’s diagnosis, it can be exhausting when you have to fight constantly for your child. But it’s a fight worth fighting.
This last month has been a difficult one. Lots of changes are taking place in Kyle’s life which leaves me super emotional. I’m scared and nervous, and anxious and trying to stay hopeful all at the same time. It’s so hard. I have wondered the last month where I’ve found the strength, Why I haven’t gone upstairs and curled up in a ball and cried til I ran out of tears to cry. Well, my strength ran out on Friday.
Usually Fridays are difficult. It’s the start of the weekend (not my favorite), I never know how the transition of James and the two older boys coming home will affect Kyle (will he be excited to see them? will it be too much and will he have a meltdown?). And this Friday was particularly stressful because James was going to come home with the boys, pick up Cody and leave to go camping overnight. I knew Kyle was going to struggle with this, it was way out of the routine. Kyle has a hard time when we are in any type of hurry (super inconvenient)…it causes him great anxiety (this has taught me to NEVER run late, like ever. I know if I’m late I have to play it cool otherwise Kyle goes into shut down mode and won’t budge. Super awesome)! Aaaaaaand to add more chaos, Zack was here, not Erika.
Zack has come in the last couple of weeks by himself and it has been rough. His personality is very different than Erika’s. His personality isn’t as strong. He isn’t a take charge kind of guy. And Kyle has learned this quickly about him. With this knowledge, Kyle has slowly started to run the show with Zack. Every evening after session I have given Zack feedback and he is really good at taking the feedback. He is super nice and tries so hard. To be fair, he came into this with very little experience but was eager to learn and is super smart. But he is still very shy and quiet and not very forceful when it comes to Kyle, despite my urging him to be more commanding with Kyle (because that’s what he needs).
So Friday was hard. I was already frustrated as soon as the session started because he was losing control quickly. And I saw Kyle taking over and Zack doing little to take the reins back. Zack began to panic and Kyle doesn’t do well when you panic, I stepped in several times (which I have no problem doing but I was controlling the session, not Zack). When it was time for the session to end I was more than ready for Zack to leave. I was starting to feel like having Zack here was more stressful and not beneficial to Kyle. James came home and was rushing to get out of the house with the boys and all I wanted was to cry to him. I mentioned my concerns quickly to him and he validated me the best he could with the limited time he had. Out the door he went and instantly the tears started coming.
I decided to call Ciarra and tell her how I was feeling. She listened as I cried and understood all my concerns. She told me that in the end it was my choice whether to keep Zack on or let him go. She told me to take the weekend and think about it, talk it over with James (my voice of reason) and we would talk again on Monday. All weekend I stressed. I talked it over with James when he got home. I knew he had all the same concerns that I did about Zack and he reiterated all of them as we talked. But I still couldn’t make the final decision of letting Zack go.
I knew Zack wasn’t the right fit. I knew he wasn’t the right fit as soon as I met him. But like so many times when having to deal with staff or programs for Kyle, I was told this is the best we can do right now and we can train him. I knew that Erika had put in many hours and lots of hard work training Zack, which added to my anxiety of letting him go. I struggled with the idea of letting Zack go for fear we wouldn’t have services while they scrambled to try to find someone else. I fought myself with voicing my concerns because Zack is a nice guy and he was trying as hard as he could. And I struggled with the thought that maybe they COULDN’T find someone better. I tried to talk myself into keeping Zack because it would be easier on everyone…except Kyle and me!
Monday came, and I knew that the right decision was to let Zack go. He isn’t the right fit for Kyle. I know this. Kyle deserves the very best and unfortunately Zack isn’t the very BEST for Kyle. I called Ciarra and told her my decision. I wrote an email to the offices and explained my position. To which I received a response stating Zack would be pulled from Kyle’s case effective immediately. I felt relief instantly, which confirmed to me that I made the right decision.
I feel like being Kyle’s mom has pushed (shoved) me out of my comfort zone more than I’d like, and probably will continue to do so. I am a people pleaser to some degree, and I don’t like (probably more like HATE) having to “complain” or “fight” for what Kyle deserves.. I want to be liked and I worry about what others will think. I don’t like being “that mom”. It’s hard for me to tell someone that they aren’t the perfect fit for Kyle when they have tried really hard. Come Wednesday its going to be hard to have to explain to Erika, who I have been holding back my feelings about Zack for fear she would get mad because of all her hard work, why I made the decision to let Zack go. Being Kyle’s mom, is hard when he’s having a meltdown. It’s hard when he’s throwing up. It’s hard knowing he can’t form a two word sentence. But it’s also so hard having to go outside of where I am comfortable, and fight for what is best for Kyle. With all that being said, I will continue to “fight” until we find a therapist that is a perfect fit for Kyle….because he deserves it and I want what is best for my son! And because I can do hard things.