Friday, August 12, 2011

Denial, Depression, and Dilemmas.

   Sometimes denial can help protect a person from misery, sadness and depression. To me denial was my best friend. It went with Cody and I everywhere. I thought being in denial, would keep all my hopes and dreams for Cody alive. I mean he was going to play pro football, and get married and give me a bunch of Grandchildren. This was still very real, since the only person that thought Cody didn't seem right was that babysitter.
   Don't get me wrong there were somethings I thought were different about Cody that didn't seem to jive with the other babies his age. For example the way he played with his toys. He really had little to no interest in playing with them. He mostly would just put them in his mouth. I contributed this to teething, but it went way beyond that. He would have whatever toy, in his mouth, sometimes shaking a bit when he would clinch down on it, his eyes were cross or going side to side, and he would make the Eeeeeeeee sound. This believe it or not, made him happy. It was also evident he was very much in his own world, or alternate universe.  Physically he seemed normal except for his droopy eyes, and he always had dark circles under his eyes, even though he had plenty of sleep. Everywhere we'd go, someone would point out how sleepy Cody looked. The grocery lady would say "looks like you have a tired baby that needs a little nappy time" or " oh is your baby sick?"  I always responded with the excuse "he has an ear infection" or just agree with whoever and skip the subject.
    If Cody was around friends or family (on his dad's side), I would constantly ask for reinsurance.  For instance, "hey he's smiling and giggling that's normal, see there's nothing wrong with him, right?"  Usually, I would get a positive response, which made it so easy to stay in denial, until finally one day someone decided to not agree.
I had on several occasions brought Cody to meetings at work or to get my paycheck or see the schedule, so for the most part everyone from work had been around Cody.  They all heard the story about my former babysitter telling me Cody was possibly Autistic, and knew how much it upset me at the time, so no one was about to express their concerns about Cody's behavior.  Well I was wrong.  Our head foodserver, who I had known since we opened the restaurant in 1984, was holding Cody, and said "Gisele, have you had Cody tested to see if he may be mildly retarded?"  She went on to say, she had worked with mentally handicap kids at the YMCA, that had the same characteristics as Cody, and I really needed to have him evaluated ASAP.  In my mind, I was thinking " Fuck you and your herpies, cause you've slept with every guy that works here, Bitch, what do you know?"  Really, I did think that when she expressed her concerns, which showed my immaturity at that time.  But with a smile and a thanks for the advise I told her as soon as I got home, I would make an appointment with Cody's pediatrician, and request whatever tests they do to check if a baby has mental abnormalities.  "Had to prove that Bitch wrong calling my baby retarded," I said to myself as I drove home crying.  After putting Cody down for a nap, I convinced myself once again he was fine, no need to call the doctor.  Instead I rolled a big fat doobie and got high.
Sidebar....I don't recommend using any recreational drug to escape reality like I did.  It was 1991, and anti-depression medicine just began to surface, and insurance didn't cover most of them, so I self medicated myself.  I would have done things so differently now. Remember, besides the obvious Love and Protection,  children also need a parent that is mentally strong and able to make responsible decisions. Who's going to be there for the child if the parent needs help kicking a habit, or goes to jail.  I was lucky to realize this early on and probably avoided something far worst, and I thank Cody for that.  Although I have to admit it did help me get through Barney and Blues Clues.  If by chance you know someone who is dealing with a drug or alcohol  addiction and they are raising kids, don't look the other way, do something!

Next Post..... Let the tests begin!

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