I am a muller. At least with the big stuff. As a parent of an autistic child-and a naturally impulsive person, I’ve had to learn to be. I research and I worry and I debate until finally I hit a point where I realize the decision is already made-and then that’s it. There’s no going back.
Last night I had one of those realizations after getting yet another tone deaf message from my son’s school, and it literally made me sick. Seriously, I vomited. But then I felt this relief that just settled into my whole body. I had been stressing over this one particular decision for so long that settling it felt like the 100 pound tumor that had built up on my back and shoulders had finally fallen off.
After a few hours, with the kids in bed and the house quiet, I couldn’t stop thinking about how crazy it was that making this one decision could affect me so deeply. I was still pretty emotional, even after my trusty concoction that I’ve named Oily Xanax, and I was still feeling the physical relief that had washed over me. That was when I realized that I was so affected because this decision hadn’t been about me. At all. In fact, it may very well end up being detrimental to me (although I really, really hope not).
This decision was entirely about my son, and it was going to have lasting implications for him with no real way to know if I was doing the right thing. And that, my friends, is Parenting with a Capital P. And it is hard.
I know that people are going to disagree with my decision, and some of them will outright judge me. There’s no need, I already know that it may turn out that I’ve made the wrong call, and I should’ve…well, if I knew what else I should’ve done then I would have done it. I also know that there will be people who will support me, and know that it was a really hard decision that they are glad they didn’t have to make.
I’m not trying to be intentionally vague, or writing this to get a bunch of sympathy comments from people wanting to know what’s going on. I’m not getting into what the actual decision was because that isn’t the point of this post- and it would take over if I started talking about it. My point is all about the decision making process, and how it can take over our lives and actually make us physically ill. There is absolutely a place for caution- and researching your options before rashly making major decisions- but there comes a point when you have to make a decision and take action. Otherwise you’re just letting the stress build up like that horrible tumor.
I delayed that moment for far too long on this particular issue, and I hope to learn from that. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have paperwork to fill out before I lose my nerve again.