"Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything
but I'm still waiting."
Not Ready To Make Nice by the Dixie Chicks
It starts with such an innocent interaction but once again I had to play bomb squad and diffuse a situation about his old school. It's rather astounding that as much as we try to push forward and move on from it, we can get dragged right back to that horrible time in an instant. All it took today was the sweet high school aged student that works the cash register at the local pizza joint to ask "Do you go to "W" middle school?"
We go this pizzeria every week after speech therapy. It's our thing. Probably started because I brought him there once and because autism, we are going there infinity. I use the routine to our advantage. Making the Kiddo request what he wants and pay. The staff has gotten used to us and is patient with him. I consider this a walking autism awareness educational opportunity. So it wasn't odd for this young employee to want to ask him questions to be friendly but I'm betting she wasn't expecting his eyes to bug out of his head and yell "NO "W" SCHOOL!!!!!" in a sheer panic. I quickly jump in and explain how he goes to a private school in another town and Boy, it's getting late, we got to get going and get home and Gee, it looks like rain. Better hustle. Thanks again! See you later! and I pretty much bum rush the Kiddo out of there to my car hoping like Hell we won't get into it about the school.
The ride home was a bit dicey. Him, constantly repeating that he doesn't go "THERE" anymore. Me, reassuring him that he won't and also trying to explain that the question from the girl wasn't mean or really that out of line. Let's move forward. We were able to get home and he tucked into his pizza and I did some deep breathing in the kitchen that I narrowly avoided a rather explosive meltdown.
It also made me incredibly mad and upset. He left that place in November and yet the fear is still there. The pain is still very much raw, for the both of us. I'm emotionally exhausted from when I have to play not only his Kiddo to English interrupter but also his "fixer". I never realized how many times I would have to be explaining his emotions to someone or in this case not so much explaining them but just trying to redirect the whole exchange. The gal at the pizza place is nice but explaining that whole story to her? Yeah, not happening. Wrong time and place.
And I can't help but wonder when will I or Kiddo for the matter stop getting upset from these innocent exchanges. It's really hard to teach the Kiddo the idea of "forgive and forget" when I'm pretty sure he'll never forget. While I'll most likely forget to do the simplest tasks like switching the wet clothes from the washer to the dryer, how my son was terrified of a school and that look on his face is etched in my brain. It's kind of hard to forgive a place that traumatized your heart that walks outside of your body.
All these months I have been purposely driving out of my way NOT to drive by the old middle school with the Kiddo in the car. I guess I'll keep doing that.
I however, have no problem when I am alone in the car to give it the proper one finger salute it deserves. ;-)