Acclimated that is what my son has become to his school. Or should I say his “home” now. It’s odd to think of your child calling somewhere other than your home *their* home. I’m not complaining and surprisingly not upset about it. But my son is most likely more comfortable at his school/home than here where his family lives. I noticed this past week that when Thomas is asking to come here, he doesn’t ask to “come home” he asks for “a visit”. I respond in the way he asks, that yes he can have a visit. I notice I don’t say he’s “coming home” either.
So this is probably item number 856 of things you should know as a parent of a special needs child who needs residential placement. Some days I wish I journaled the first time Thomas was in residential. There are many instances that stand out bright and unmistakable but I wonder what didn’t make it in the memory banks. I know we felt very empty when he went the first time. This time it wasn’t emptiness. Relief was there as well as disbelief and I know I was glad to be able to feel safe in my own home and know Thomas was in a safe place as well. The first time he was so young but back then I wasn’t worried about his age as much as his behavior. We just wanted him “fixed”, make him well that he can come home again. And they did.
This time, residential is not to fix Thomas it’s permanent, we cannot provide for him in our home. He isn’t safe to live here anymore. Heavy huh? Again, I’m ok with this. I don’t like it, not one bit. I’m still his mother. But things are what they are.
So I guess one could say we are acclimated to Thomas in residential too. We’ve made our home very comfortable for “us” who live here at this home. We’ve shifted and adjusted and have become acclimated to one of our family living elsewhere. Almost dare I say “normal”? Or whatever normal is. One of my favorite people used to say, “Normal is just a setting on a dryer” and I would laugh. But it’s true.