I got to the gym yesterday. Boy, did I need it! As you are likely well aware, life for me lately has been a bit difficult. And yesterday morning was NO exception....just when I thought things were getting better....listen to this:
So, you may recall I have a child with Down syndrome in my class next year. I've been researching my heart out trying to learn all about DS, how to work with a DS child, how to communicate with a DS child, etc... I decided very early on that what would likely work best with her is what would work best with ANY child who has learning issues/emotional issues/cognitive issues, etc...and that is to build a foundation of RELATIONSHIP with her first. That being said, I knew she would be in our school's care program for the summer and yesterday was to be her first day. I knew from talking to others that she was not a "typical" DS child. She does not like to be touched, she is not very friendly, and is somewhat difficult to approach. (she may have some Autism issues coming into play there...)
Well, in my infinite wisdom, what do I do yesterday? Ha! I see her sitting at a picnic table, reading the phone book, and I decide to introduce myself to her. So, I slide up to her and say "Hi..." Well, I only get the "h" sound out before she makes a noise not unlike a 2 year old who is hording a toy from another 2 year old, while she slides away from me. Undeterred, I begin again, "Hi, M..." and this time I barely get out the "hi" when she says: GO AWAY! LEAVE ME ALONE!
Ohhhhhkkkkaaaaay.... I stand up and say "OK" in a very bland way and walk away.
I wasn't expecting her to hug me and want to talk to me. But I wasn't expecting her to completely reject me, either. I was hoping for something in the middle. No eye contact...no conversation...that's a fine first step. But to figuratively shove me away? Not expecting that.
I left school wondering: Ok, FatMom...what did you do wrong? I decided that she needs to be approached more slowly. So, today I will go back and have one of the other staff members she seems comfortable with introduce me to her. And leave it at that. Walk away. But hang out nearby so she realizes I'm no threat. And I'll do that every day if I have to until she feels comfortable with me.
Now, the already wounded FatMom was a bit disheartened by this event. I sat in my car in front of the gym thinking: Why the f#*& does everything have to be so hard? Shed a couple of tears of self pity and then ran my heart out. Felt better after that.
I'm nervous, though. I'm in a very delicate time mentally. Too many unhappy events sets FatMom off on a spiral of self doubt, depression and paranoia. A regular trifecta of doom. A tornado of shit that sucks up everything in its path. I feel it starting, and I aim to stop that little mental health nightmare from sprouting.
Onward, my friends~