18 April 2011, 2:41 PM
Now into the fifth hour of trying to find summer, fall, and life options for Trevor. He is home from school and we are attempting to work together. It’s not easy. I am impatient. The medicated slowness with which Trev approaches the various tasks and research involved in tracking down programs, registering at websites, and making decisions about what interests him and what does not is a lesson for me. Right now I've decided I need some fresh air. I’m off for a fast walk at Mine Hill Preserve. I will drag Trev along and we can air out our brains to prepare for a few more hours of work before dinner time.
Progress? Not much.
20 April 2011, 1:33 PM
Back at my desk. Trev went back to Worcester this morning to pick up his prescriptions. Due to the health insurance restrictions, he couldn't renew them before he returned home last week. Grrrrrrr.
I’m glad for the respite though. We were experiencing communication frustrations and falling into our usual roles. My role: lecturer, enforcer, voice of doom, efficiency expert, organizer, encourager, impatient conscience-like guilt-inducer. Trevor’s role: calm voice, guilt-wracked graduate, fiercely independent/shamefacedly dependent, nervous son, environmental expert, musician, dog-petter, person with several handicaps that serve to bollix up access to resources and manipulation of complicated and often arcane online job/school application processes. We dance this dance and our actions bounce off of each other in an oil-and-water way. An eavesdropper might think we’re fighting and, sometimes, this is the case. I’ve got the voice, the tone you would read disapproval into, the demanding accusatory-sounding one. I think I developed it as a young mother giving my kids instructions on how to clean their room. It’s the listen-up-good voice, the only-way-method voice, the I’m-in-charge-here voice.
Read another way: I fall back onto old habits perpetuating a mother/son dynamic we should have stepped away from years ago. I know I should step back. How? Trev will fall into depression, move home, and play blues guitar in his room for perpetuity if I don’t, ahem, help him. He’s got a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. He’s smart. But he can’t see or drive and needs to take seizure meds that make him operate as if he’s under water. He is often alone. He’s experienced depression to the point of suicide. His absent father is non-participatory and functions more as a sibling than a parent. Friendship – a physical circle of nearby friends who know, understand, and offer support – eludes him. Many people ignore or take advantage of him. I can’t just stand by. I am compelled – hard-wired, to help.
This is a frustrated parent thing. I’m supposed to know what is right – the right path for my child. I sort of do: Trev gets an education, a job, and contributes back to society. Along the way friends and relationships develop. Trev grows apart from me and develops his own life. I fade from parent to advisor to cheerleader to doting and doddering grandparent. Fading hasn't occurred to the extent it should. I know this. I want to let go. Trev wants me to let go. It’s the right thing to do, but it’s also the wrong thing to do. We’re back to what I’m supposed to know: the right path. Truth is I don’t know it. I can’t find it. I’m exhausted looking for it. There are very few highly-educated, fully employed blind people. A lot of them have a spouse serving as life guide and manager/supporter/helper. What is the secret to getting there? How do we get these particular planets to align? This is my heartache. This is my fervent wish.