**If you are new here you might want to know that this post is part of a series on hidden disabilities. I am going to be continuing this series for all of October as part of the 31 Days Challenge. You can see all of the amazing topics over at The Nester’s! To go back to the beginning of this series click on the Alphabet Soup tab and you can see the indexed list of chapters.
Margie’s heart swelled with pride as she sifted through her daughter’s graduation pictures. She’d done it! She had climbed the mountain of high school. Carmen had delivered the little speech she had had to make without fault. She looked stunning in her dress and she had managed her anxiety right up until the dance was underway. She had almost had a melt down because the rules said that all the grads needed to stay until 11:00 but Margie had assured her that she had talked to the principal and it was okay for them to leave.
Then the tears came. Carmen hadn’t gone out with friends and enjoyed herself at a party. They’d gone home and tucked her into bed spent and weary with having to endure crowds and people talking to her all day. Margie had been a social butterfly when she was in high school and lived for the weekends full of friends and fun. That hadn’t been her daughter’s reality. Making friends was difficult for Carmen and her real hero, her brother no longer lived at home. So after the exercises were over, they just came home. But still thought Margie, she had done such a good job.
The next day family had come over and Margie had coached Carmen on how to respond to the gifts she’d been given so that family would feel appreciated. That had been a hard one, but they’d made it through that, too. Family didn’t understand Carmen’s issues. They believed that the anxiety, Aspberger symptoms, ADHD and all the other idiosyncrasies that Carmen had could be cured with proper discipline. Some days it was hard to put up with. They didn’t understand her lack of emotion over events or her over reactions or her inappropriate comments. She was just rude and needed to be trained better. But yesterday had been okay, “Score 1 for Carmen,” thought Margie.
Even summer had gone reasonably well. Margie didn’t want Carmen doing nothing all summer because left to her own devices she’d probably sit in one spot and eat junk food and drink pop all day! They really didn’t need any more dental bills. So Margie had made a list of what needed to be done each day and Carmen, once she got the hang of it, came through with flying colors! “Should have thought of that a lot sooner, ” Margie muttered. Who knew that a simple list of what to do each day would keep Carmen occupied and content.
Summer would soon be over and the plan was for Carmen to go back to the local high school and take a few more classes. She was far from ready to leave home and school was a predictable and safe place for her. It was a hard won safety that Margie had fought valiantly for. Fortunately for Carmen, it was a small school with minimal turn over and the teachers were tuned in to Carmen’s needs. This year would give them some breathing room so that they could make decisions. She would be able to get some work experience at a local business and hopefully that would prepare her for something similar down the road.
Margie sighed and gathered the pictures together and prayed for her daughter’s future. Prayers that someone would love her for the sweet, fun girl she could be. Someone that would understand her needs and love her through it. She breathed a prayer of thanks for the understanding teachers that would continue to keep an eye on Carmen for one more year.
And Carmen could continue to wear her blue headband every single day.