Thursday, September 30, 2010

When Your Best Isn't Enough

I find this to be a recurrent destination in life, both as a person with TS+ and as the father of an Asperger's/Tourette's child.  All of us face it at one time or another.  For parents of "special" children, it seems to be one of life's "lap markers".  Rather than a "pit stop" where I refuel and go back to merrily racing around the track, it's a "toll booth" where my very soul is taxed. 

The tax I pay is my delusions.  Sounds reasonable enough, right?  We like to believe that we don't need those anyway.  Truth is, I like my delusions.  They keep me happily zooming down life's track.   "My best will someday be good enough."  "Important people in my life will eventually come around and value me for who I am."  "If I work hard enough, sacrifice enough, and give freely of myself, I can ensure that my kids will turn out ok."  I don't give these up easily. 

Unfortunately, none of these line up with reality.  When raising a special child, our best is completely insufficient.  The endless therapy sessions, countless hours of at home study, and fearsome medical expenses carry no guarantee.  If, in 43 years, "important people" haven't seen my value, probability says they won't.  Most people with whom I attempt to connect will eventually declare me "too much" and walk away.  All my beliefs in control and self-sufficiency are delusional and therefore not worth keeping.  My best will continue to be insufficient for most of life's biggest challenges.

Once my tax has been paid, I leave with a strange peace.  Having "said uncle" to the cruel face of reality, there is freedom in a fresh reminder that "fair" is a place with greasy food, rigged games, and rickety rides.  I consider myself blessed to be taxed regularly.  Many in life are allowed to keep their delusions until the tax bill is too great to bear.  I fear for them.  The bill always comes due.   

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