Do you really listen?

I have had depression for 22 years.  Well, that is when I was diagnosed.  I have tried many different techniques to coexist with this state of being.  Meds, diet, exercise, therapy, vitamins etc.  As we age, our bodies change and sometimes things that have worked for years may one day not be as effective and the darkness creeps back in.  I believe my greatest gift with living with depression is exactly that.  Living WITH it.  Acknowledging it, being mindfully aware, and proactively tweaking my lifestyle to keep it at bay.

It is now a time in my life where I need to switch things up a bit because what once was working, isn’t any longer.  I sought out medical advice first when my regular “go-to” ways failed.  I am new to the area we live in and had to start all over again.  Explaining my history & knowledge of me.  When I got back home I was discouraged and frustrated because it turns out the intake person wasn’t listening.  I was given a folder of my new “case plan”.  It had information about me in addition to this woman’s suggestions in care.  She documented halves of what I tried explaining to her.  She suggested techniques that I specifically told her haven’t worked in the past.  It felt like I was up against the “Textbook” knowledge of what a counselor’s action plan SHOULD be.  I was floored at this because she had told me she has been doing this for many many years.   I’m not saying I know more about her profession than she does, what I AM saying is that I know more about ME than she does.

Lessons come in multiples for me until I learn them.  Here is the 2nd lesson presented.

My youngest son has been on a waiting list for early intervention for over a year and we finally got a call.  The appointment is this morning.  He is now too old for early intervention for Autism being over 3, but we can jump into phase two with getting him an IEP (Individual Education Plan) and into therapy.  If you do not know me, I should share that I have two other autistic children so this isn’t my first rodeo.

My husband, bless his heart, was derailed off of our first game plan before we moved to this state.  We had talked about our littlest littles delays and I was sharing with him the similarities with my other two.  (He is not the birth dad of my older two so this is a whole new experience for him.)  While at the doctors visit, he was persuaded that it really isn’t anything to worry about.  X.D. might just be a little behind and will catch up soon enough no cause for concern.  I was not able to attend this visit so I was furious to find this out.  I rescheduled an appointment and I took X.D. this time.  At the second visit, I expressed concerns about our child.  I pointed out dozens of clues that pointed loud and clear to being spectrum related.  I shared history, my husband did as well, of X.D.’s siblings being autistic so why wouldn’t you recommend early intervention to give this child a fighting chance in case he too is on the spectrum.   He then says “You are absolutly correct and I will get you a refferral today”.

I have seen/heard so many instances where people aren’t really listened to.  They think they “know” what I mean and just phase out the details that might just make me different than the patient you had before me.  Today’s appointment for X.D. I will not be attending and I have full faith in my husband.  We are both in sync with our “Truth” and what is best for X.D.  I am praying for an open mind and listening ears.  I am hoping their experience doesn’t discredit my 15 years of living with Autism.  I pray they are accepting with what we are willing and not willing to have our son go through.

To you: yes anyone reading this.

Please never let anyone discredit your knowledge of you.  Keep asking for help until you find someone who will listen.  When working with kids on the spectrum, they might do a 1 hour test to diagnose or set up a plan, but that 1 hour in no way gives them the lifetime of knowledge YOU have.  Let your voice be heard, you aren’t there to make friends, but to give your child the chance they deserve.  If you have mental health issues as I do, make yourself a priority.  You need to be the best version of you to provide the best care and give/receive the truest love.  No, I do not know you personally nor do I know your story, but I do know that you are somebody who matters.  YOU are important if to nobody else, you are important to yourself.  YOU are the only person who has to live with you the rest of your life so make yourself the best you that you can!  oxox

One response to “Do you really listen?

  1. Tiffany, you should be broadcasting as headlines! Honey, you are speaking the truth that So Manypeople need to hear. You are a blessing!

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