Friday, April 8, 2011

Unloved

The other day I took Austin to speech therapy.  The therapist told me she is done with her recent speech evaluation.  She said that she will do an informal write up, so we can discuss what areas Austin needs to work.  We were sitting in the waiting room and there was another mother present so the therapist did not go into too much detail.  She did say that he is still struggling with the concept of emotions.  He understands "scared" because when she asked, he said he was "scared of thunder".  He does not understand "loved".  This, hit me like a brick in the face.  :(

The therapist explained that she had asked him if he feels "loved" when Mommie hugs him.  He said "no".  That instant my heart shattered!  OH MY GOD!  I cannot believe I am hearing this ... I know that he does not grasp the concept of emotions very well and this is expected with spectrum kids but to be honest, it didn't really help me feel any better about hearing this news.  I said "But he tells me he loves me and I tell him I love him all the time!" (Many times a day.)  Still, he doesn't associate this with being "loved".  I am heartbroken.  I know that my son is loved ... he knows I love him ... why doesn't he "feel loved"?

Later that day, I had to go to my workout class.  The minute I was alone in my car, the tears filled my eyes and I thought "What am I missing?".  "How can I get Austin to understand?"  "He doesn't really feel "unloved" does he?"  I can't even imagine him feeling this way.

The next morning I asked Austin "When Mommie gives you a hug, do you feel loved?".  Austin's reply "No".  'When Grandma gives you a hug, do you feel loved?"  Austin says "No".  I start rhyming off names "When Daddy?"  "No."  "When Kaleigh?"  "No."  "When your teacher?"  "No."  "When Nana?"  "No."  "When Grandpa?"  "No."  So I ask, "Do you hug someone that makes you feel loved?".  "Yes."  GREAT, I thought, so I asked "Who is it?".  Austin's reply, "My teddybear ...".  I was stunned!  (You know, my Father used to say to me, if I didn't want to hear the answer, don't ask the question!  I really need to listen to my Father more!)  I don't really understand this at all.  I am trying but I don't.  So I have started to explain what "loved" means and how Mommie and others show him love.  I think he is starting to understand a little.  It is so strange to me because when Austin is really upset about something, I ask him if he needs a hug and cuddle (he usually starts to cry ... poor little guy ... it's tough some days, he is just upset and can't say why, it's hard ...) and he comes running.  I never put him down or let him go until he is ready.  I always ask him before hand and he will say either "No, I need more cuddles Mommie" or "I'm good Mommie".  This is so tough ... I know he knows we all love him.  I know he will get it someday but it is breaking my heart for now.

The real crazy part of this story, when Austin was telling me he didn't feel loved by anybody but teddy, Kaleigh picked up my sadness immediately.  She ran to me, grabbed a hold of my legs, hugged me as hard as she could and told me "It's okay Mommie, I love you!".  Okay, now my heart is really mush!  Kaleigh is so in tune to people's emotions, it's wild!  Austin and Kaleigh are so different.  Austin is more like me and Kaleigh is so much like her Daddy.  They are both adorable children and I LOVE both of them so very much.  That is what is most important.

I wait for the day when Austin tells me ... "Mommie, I feel loved ..."  The day ...

*HUGS*

4 comments:

Jaxmom said...

Oh, Mommie! I feel your heartbreak. I'm sure your son feels that you love him and that he loves you. He just doesn't understand the concept and can't verbalize it yet. The fact that he gets comfort and reassurance from your hugs is proof to me that he looks to you to refill his love tank. Just keep doing what you're doing. I hope someday he'll be able to tell you that he understands what it feels like to be loved by you! Hang in there! Debbie K.

Mommie That Gets It said...

Thanks Jaxmom! Just yesterday, I was playing Wii with him and he stopped to say "I love you Mommie". That makes me smile. :)

Thanks again! I also appreciate your support and understanding! :) *HUGS*

Victoria said...

This is like the fourth time I've read this one now and even though I'm trying to limit my comments, I just couldn't help myself. It kept rolling through my head even after I got off the computer last night.

Charlotte is the same but on the expressive side rather than receptive (though time might show that she has a problem there too). What I've had to learn to do is read between the lines of her actions to see what she feels. She panics when I leave her sight and demands that she and Daddy come find me, so she's clearly worried. Worry for someone is borne of love, even if she doesn't understand that. And the warm fuzzies Austin gets from cuddles are because he feels love, even if he can't piece that together yet.

Hopefully one day soon he'll put the pieces together and realize that he does know what being loved feels like. :)

Mommie that Gets It said...

Hi Victoria,

No problem at all! I really like your comments and that you are sharing experiences and that some of the posts you find helpful. Thank you so much!

Poor Charlotte! (What a beautiful name by the way.) It is good that you are so in tune to her needs, I am sure it comforts her a great deal.

He did tell me one day, over the summer, that my hugs make him feel "loved" ... I just started to cry! He doesn't consistently express this to me and sometimes when he is questioned about "loved" he is confused. In my heart, I know, I know he knows how much I love him. I am so lucky to have him, so lucky!

One day, one day it will all come together. Verbalizing is the challenge, right? ;)

*HUGS* :) Heather