A controlling mother, a missing daughter, and a family who is desperate for love. This post was inspired by the the psychological thriller Mother, Mother by Zoren Zailckas.
This month's bookclub hit pretty close to home. E was diagnosed several years ago with a high functioning autism spectrum disorder, PDD-NOS (pervasive development disorder). She has always leaned more on the Aspe side of things, so when I read one of the characters in the book was diagnosed with Aspergers, I knew I was going to somehow relate. I was just shocked at who I related to.
E started 1st grade this year and I've been a mess making sure things go smoothly for her. I had her retested over the summer so her new diagnosis (still the same) could help her teacher understand and help her. My biggest fear is for her to hate school and for her to give up. Or for her to get bored and begin making trouble. I worked with the school beforehand to make sure she was placed in the right classroom, and when I heard from several moms that her new teacher had a communication problem, my control issues set in.
I swore after last year I wasn't going to sign up to be the room mom and I wasn't going to overbook myself with volunteering. So, what do I do at the meet the teacher day- I signed up to be the room mom and a handful of class parties and such. As I walked out of the classroom I was yelling at myself for doing it, but I felt like I needed to be somewhat in control. I needed an insiders view to make sure things are running properly and E is getting the best education possible. I couldn't let someone else handle it.
After 4 weeks of school, it's taking every bit of me not to pull her from public school and to homeschool her myself. There is a serious lack of communication with her teacher and I have no idea what is missing from other things in the classroom. I'm trying to relinquish control, and after reading Mother, Mother I even more want to learn how to let go because I don't want to end up hurting her in the long run. I know she needs the social piece to school and I have to keep reminding myself of that. She doesn't need a controlling mom making her choices for her.
I think most parents have the best intentions and want the best for their kids. Not many mean to manipulate or control their children in a harmful way. I know I often don't see my mistakes until way after. Life is hard without a disorder, I can only imagine what it must be like for E. I want to raise her to think for herself and to do things her way- not mine. I just wish letting go is as easy as it sounds!
Join From Left to Write on September 19 as we discuss Mother, Mother. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.