Monday, February 11, 2013


lennon quote

When I was a kid, I was very good at school. I learned to read very early, was in the gifted program, and was an ideal student. I was also a completely miserable child even though I may have been perceived otherwise. I had very few friends, was horribly bullied, and felt like a freak for enjoying to read more than playing with other children. I had very low self-esteem, felt ugly and lonely, and learned that being invisible was easier than being who I really was.

So, as successful as I seemed to the outside world, I was a mess of insecurity and shyness. That is what I remember from my childhood. I remember feeling isolated and sad and never quite finding a place of my own.

My son is the exact opposite. He is a difficult student, argumentative and combative. He struggles greatly with reading and would probably happily choose to be kicked in the crotch than have to read. He needs a lot of redirection to stay on task and often forgets what he’s supposed to be doing due to his tics. However, he has more friends at 9 years old than I have ever had and is a mostly happy kid with confidence and self-esteem most kids would love to have. He knows he’s badass and has accepted his tics as a part of him. You love him or you don’t. He doesn’t really mind either way.

I’m slowly coming to the realization that happiness and a strong sense of self is something I have the power to nurture in him. When we are having a difficult day, or he is not grasping a concept that is a grade level below where he should be, I need to step back and look at the larger picture. What do I want his childhood memories to be made of? Being brilliant but lonely? Or having fun and being content?

He will be free of the torture of battling bullies on the playground. He will be free of the stress of beating the clock during timed tests. He will not be measured and found lacking compared to his peers. He can just be who he is. And learn to be happy in this world. In his world.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Why I haven't updated

I haven't written a post in awhile, and I'll try to explain why there's been such a lull. When the Newtown tragedy happened, there was a blog post that was circulated around the universe called, "I Am Adam Lanza's mother." In this post, a mother of a child with a mental illness talked about how she could relate to the mother of the child who grew up to kill a large number of children after killing his own mother. And let me tell you what struck me very hard in reading the comments and numerous counter-blog posts - the amount of people who railed against this mother for speaking about her child's struggles in a public forum. I was devastated to read that so many people thought she was exploiting her son or embellishing his troubles for attention. There were other mothers of special needs children who scolded her for painting her child in a negative light or for publicly humiliating him. And I brooded on this for a very long time. And then I read my previous blog posts as if I were Perrin reading about how difficult some of his behaviors are. I pictured him reading about his psychotic episodes that he very likely doesn't remember happening. And I weighed his possible reaction against my desire to not only chronicle our lives for our own record but to possibly help other families that may be living with a child with Tourette's. Or a family who has been fighting the losing end of a public school battle and may need some encouragement to pull that plug and homeschool. And I honestly don't know where to go from here? Perrin already resents me for pulling him out of school because he doesn't fully understand what went wrong there and sees me as the mean mom who took him away from his friends. He gets very angry with me if I try to guide him to a place where he is able to work through his tics so that he can do schoolwork. I am already the bad guy. I don't know if there is anyone that I have helped or if it's worth continuing to write about our family if it means potentially embarrassing or upsetting our son when he's able to read this on his own. My hope is that, at some point, he would want to be a contributor and be able to speak with his own voice what he goes through. But that time is not here yet. And I'm not sure I have the right to speak for him. John never told any of his friends in high school or college about his Tourette's, and he doesn't speak openly about it at work. Is it fair of me to publicly display Perrin's disorders for the world to see before he is mature enough to consent? I would honestly love to hear any opinions from those who have read this blog. In the meantime, I'll brood a little more.