We’ve calmed down a bit in the last few days. Well, I know I have because now I have some textbooks and I’m the kind of person who feels better with a textbook in hand.
In the last few years, the bloke and I have started collecting things called mental illnesses. I was originally signed up for depression and then it turned out six months ago that I should sign up for the bipolar class as well. The bloke took a short detour through depression before going into bipolar in a pretty big way. You sign up for life you know, which takes a bit of getting used to. And then you look back on your life and think, Oh, that’s what it was? Quite a few things get explained that way – what happened in high school, various screw ups, and the good things like hyperfocus and creativity.
Then the kids start growing up and you remember the bit in the textbooks about genetics. And that’s why February was the month from hell. Dyslexia has now faded into the background. Not because it’s insignificant but because it’s defined, has treatment strategies and off you go. Compared to what came after the dyslexia confirmation, it’s easy. Anxiety was clearly a problem and we started reading up and the bloke and I agreed to start a cognitive behaviour management program with the lad based on some really good resources from Macquarie University. We could do that while we waited for the educational psychologist’s report and recommendations.
Then the lad went through a classic bipolar cycle over ten days and is slowly and bumpily recovering. It’s been a long time since I felt such rage and sadness. I don’t want my ten year old son to start sobbing on my shoulder, explaining he doesn’t know why he’s so sad. And I really don’t like sitting in our GP’s rooms as we’re guided through a mental health plan. And I don’t like listening to the ed psychologist gently explaining that dyslexia doesn’t seem to explain everything and that she’s seeing soft signs of Asperger’s Syndrome. And I really don’t like reading through the literature to find out the Asperger’s is usually associated with an underlying mood disorder. And I don’t like reading that textbook on Asperger’s when it describes my inner life as a child, adolescent and adult.
Which is why it’s really, really important for us to get a nickname and start laughing at it as much as we can. We figure the lad probably has plain hamburgers, while it sounds like I have hamburgers with bacon and eggs. The bloke reckons the academic department he works in may as well be a fast food outlet.