Once upon a time, a long time ago I had three children. I still have them. My middle son had heart surgery. He was four at the time and after wards his behavior went, “Wow” very explosive. There were a lot of melt downs and he just couldn’t bounce back. The preschool gave us all sorts of problems about keeping him there. We refer to it as the year from hell.
I remember a counselor trying to tell us that there was something wrong with him and that my son wasn’t in the right place. That the school couldn’t help him. They wouldn’t tell me what it was, it was all very confusing. It was awful. I kept arguing with them so that what they said wouldn’t be true. It was interesting, on my way here I was listening to NPR and they were doing a bit on the paradox of information and how people can dig in despite evidence when you challenge something that is really important to them. They will double down. That is what was happening to me. I was getting information from people about my son that I really didn’t want to be true.
So, I was really buying into making excuses and avoiding the situation. It was just getting worse and he wasn’t doing any better. I remember very vividly a moment when I just saw, the way other people saw my son and the blinders came off. I had to accept something was really wrong with him. It didn’t change anything about the circumstances but that acceptance helped us move out of that stale place.
Things then started to get better, just from that place of acceptance. He had autism and he didn’t have the resilience to recover well after his surgery. The surgery uncovered something that was already there. The acceptance started us on a journey and it goes on to this day.
Debra Wuliger, figurative artist working with color, texture and pattern to celebrate life.
Image silhouetted with story. Ready for hanging.