Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Opening doors

So last night was our first night of family counseling.  Having never been to therapy before I had no idea what to expect.  I made it clear over the phone that we were there for my son's autism.  My husband, not seeing the benefit in therapy at all, grudgingly agreed to go with us.  After two information booth stops and a lot of circling we finally find a place to park.  I used to work on a college campus but even I was unprepared for the chaos of trying to park.  Then for some reason in the parking lot my seat belt locked up on me.  It was like my car was like nooooooo this is a bad idea I will not let you go type of situation.  Finally I was free but I was already getting flustered.  Ok where is the stupid pay thingy for the parking?  I found that and then I know I can read.  I can follow directions quite well.  Enter your license number and then hit valid.  Ok, easy enough.  BEEP BEEP BEEP followed by please wait and then the same message over and over again.  After 5 mins I finally said well I guess we will just get a ticket because we were going to be late.

So by this time I am beyond flustered and we still had to find the therapy clinic.  Once we got there and got settled in we got all the paperwork.  That is when my husband started glareing at me.  Even though we were not here for marriage counseling they wanted all sorts of information about our marriage and about our childhood tramus etc.  "We are NOT here for this", he hissed at me.  I know I know I said.  It is just silly paperwork fill it out.  So then she takes us back one by one first.  And she wants to know about what conflict looks like in our house.  Uhm.....blank stare.  I fumbled for a bit and was like I am confused.  We are here for my child's autism.  And then she was like she knew that but they needed to find out a bit about the home environment first.  Then it dawned on me she was checking for domestic violence.  Sigh,  I thought man my husband is going to be pissed when he gets in here.  I warned her that he was not going to be happy about this and how he was already annoyed with the personal questions on the paperwork.

Finally we all got in the room together.  And boy what an awkward first 15 mins that was.  I know we were being watched because I could hear the person on the other side of the two way mirror.  I know from the beginning that we would be used as a teaching guide etc so I wasn't upset about it.  My son, having no idea what to expect, shut down.  Wouldn't look at the therapist.  Wouldn't talk to her.  Finally she pointed him to some toys.  After we got past the whole what do you hope to get from therapy business she was able to draw my son out some.  After about 30 mins I thought well this isn't toooo bad.  She was able to get my son to express how his mind is like a hallway full of doors.  He keeps things behind each door in groups.  Behind one door is his fun stuff like video games and computer things.  I have a feeling that door is the one that is open the most.  Behind other doors are things that scare him or upset etc.  This was a analogy he had never told me before.   So just when I thought things were going good our time was up.  I could tell my husband was not a fan of what had just happened.   He wanted to wait a month and then come back. I wanted to come back in two weeks.  I had a feeling we needed to go in weekly, but even with the sliding scale twice a month is what our budget will allow.  So we go back in two weeks.  Maybe eventually I will learn how to open all those doors in my son's mind.

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