Do you ever think you are different? Do you sometimes think you don’t fit it? Do you feel misunderstood?
The sad truth is simple. We live in a state of perception and misperceptions.
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Imagine for a moment what it would be like if you had a weekly meeting where you had to sit quietly in a corner while your supervisor talked to the CEO critiquing every action you’d taken this week, how many times you made an error, your thought process behind your work, and exactly what made you different from other employees.
I doubt that any adult would sit still for this. Yet, that seems to be what is expected in our mental health system.
As an adult, we know when to stand up for ourselves. Most adults accept feedback when it’s provided in an open forum but dislike criticism that is one-sided.
For a child though, emotions and belief systems are still forming.
Any competent parent will admit that they made mistakes. However, it saddens me that some of the mistakes we make are at the will of the healthcare industry.
Our story began when my son had a seizure from a fever at 22 months. Suddenly, our life was no longer normal. It began with mild comments from friends and relatives. Was there a medical issue that the doctors had over-looked?
Then as early as pre-school, I began getting calls from his teachers about my son’s unusual behavior. My son overreacted in class. He was mad when he should have been excited, and he was sad when they talked about happy things such as birthday parties,
Not only did the teachers make me feel my son was not “normal”, but they constantly made him feel like he was different, he didn’t fit in, and he wasn’t worthy of their attention.
Things began to really unravel in kindergarten when my son had a horrible time keeping up with the other children. I wanted to hold him back a year. The school denied this request.
Our Jobs as Parents
Part of our job as a parent is to listen to our child’s education and medical team.
I scheduled a series of tests with Behaviorists, Therapists, and Psychiatrists who all agreed that my son was on the Autism Spectrum
I was at risk of losing my job due to the number of times I had to leave work to get my son from school.
I was a single mom who received virtually no support.
I was trying to work a full-time job, go to school full-time in the hopes of earning a better living at a more secure job, and taking care of my ailing sister.
I was burnt out!
My son was given a myriad of diagnoses, and I felt lost as to how to help him.
Out of desperation, I agree to the medication which was prescribed to help alleviate the symptoms of aggression and supposed to help him focus. I also agreed to counseling with licensed therapists.
I agreed to counseling out of love, to find answers, and to make my child’s life better.
At every appointment, these therapists would talk to me about what was “wrong” with my son while he sat there impatiently waiting to leave.
The reality was that I perpetuated and solidified my son’s belief system that he was not enough (and never would be) through this constant rehashing of my child’s faults.
People have negative thoughts to keep them from repeating the same mistakes. It’s simple self-preservation!
Let’s say you’re 5 years old, and you’re learning addition. You might think to yourself, “This is hard.” (Negative Thought)
Suddenly, your upset and frustrated (Negative Feeling).
Then, your classmates start teasing you because it’s taking you so long to get the answer. This causes you to think, “I’ll never get this.”
Next thing you know, you are pushing your paper away and yelling at your teacher that you can’t do it! (Negative action)
Your initial thought has gone from just a thought to a feeling, to an action or behavior, and now, it becomes your belief. You believe that you are horrible at math and will never be any better because you couldn’t finish your work. (Negative belief)
Now, look at the scenario differently. You can replace those negative thoughts with positive thoughts and have a completely different experience.
Let’s say you’re 5 years old, and you’re learning addition. You might think to yourself, “This is hard.” (Negative thought).
Then, you have someone encourage you with positive words. You are not afraid of students ridiculing you. In fact, they help you find the answer.
Now, you might think, “I can do this. I can figure it out.” (Positive Thought)
You are motivated and determined (Positive Feeling).
You complete your assignment knowing that you may get a few answers wrong. After all, you are human. (Positive Action)
You know you can do it! (Positive Belief)
The idea that math is hard was just a passing thought.
Sometimes, you need to look deeply into yourself and recognize the needs of others. The most important thing is being there for my son.
My son didn’t need money. His kid brain could care less if the bills got paid.
My son needed his mom. He needed love. He needed encouragement.
He did not need a weekly recap of all the things he did wrong. He knew he hurt the little girl’s feelings when he said she was pushy. He knew that throwing the book across the room was a poor decision.
The human mind gravitates towards acceptance. But- this also means we fear rejection.
Look into yourself and think about all the times you were uncomfortable in a situation. Maybe it was a new job and you wondered if you would ever fit in? Were you as competent as the other employees? Did you have the same background? Would you ever learn how to do the tasks assigned to you?
Our life is our own reality. The words and pictures you put in your head, become your reality!
In 2019, I ditched the advice given by my son’s medical team. With the support of only his psychiatrist, I took a leap. I trained in hypnotherapy and began the process of detox.
I communicate with him. I play him. I enjoy his company.
I make him feel and understand that he is enough!
After only 4 months of surrounding my son with positive thoughts, he no longer needs medication and has found friends that understand him. I am one proud momma.
You can find more information on the process I used to help my son and about RTT™ here.
The point is that we are all different. We are all brought into this life with a unique skill set. No one is exactly like you.
Sometimes we need to look deeper than the obvious. There is no one-size-fits-all in this life.