Kate's Motel

What you don't know about your bedspread won't hurt you.

Single-Handedly, I Have Fought My Way Into This Hopeless Situation

There have been many nights that I’ve prayed myself to sleep, asking just what it is that I’m doing wrong. If I just knew what it was that I was doing to make everything keep turning out exactly the way it should if I WANTED to be miserable and live just on the wrong side of the welfare eligibility requirements, then maybe I could change it and start working for something better.

Dear God,
I’m screwing it up.
Please send reinforcements.


How often have you found yourself backed into a corner, tears streaming, wondering how you could have possibly ended up in this situation, how could any “loving” God let something this horrible and life-changing happen to you? If God REALLY loved me as the bible says, WHY WHY WHY would He let me get into a situation where the only way out is complete and total heartbreak?

Is it any wonder that so many people have decided that they don’t believe in God anymore? It’s so easy to feel betrayed. Let down. Prayers aren’t answered and help never comes.

The thing is…shit happens. You have two options. Sit and wallow in it; poor, pitiful me, everyone look at me and tell me how sorry you are for me. Or you can get up and go wash the shit off. Smells bad, fix it.

I found out this morning that Ryan may have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I can hear your thoughts right now: “OMGWTF KATE?!?!?!? How could that impossibly sweet 9 year old boy have Post Traumatic Stress?!??? What in God’s Holy Name could have happened to him that would have caused something like this, AND YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT IT?????????”

I know. I’ve been agonizing over the same thing. I just don’t know what could have caused it. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even realize that the symptoms of PTSD that he was suffering from were actually symptoms of something. I honestly just thought that those were his quirks. His inability to remember what I said 5 minutes ago. His extreme outbursts of anger. His night terrors. His extreme fear of bounce houses and merry-go-rounds or anything else that has even a remote possibility of physical harm to his body. The child doesn’t even want to go anywhere near a fairground. It took forever to convince him that it was okay to climb onto the top bunk of his bunk bed.

All children are afraid of things. All children don’t do their homework sometimes and all children try to get out of brushing their teeth. Why should I think that these issues could be caused by a much more serious problem? It’s easy to see why I didn’t know.

All I DID know is that SOMETHING was wrong, so about 4 months ago I started him in therapy. He was evaluated by a psychologist who determined that Ryan, despite his I.Q. of 121, was a depressed child. A loner. Difficulty making and maintaining friendships with children his own age. She recommended us to a therapist.

Until today, I wasn’t even sure that therapy was helping. Ryan just wasn’t opening up. I figured he had the therapist snowed, just like I’m positive he has every adult that’s ever met him snowed. She thought he was the cutest, sweetest child to ever grace the planet with his presence.

But he said something this morning during the session that made all the pieces of the puzzle that is his mind, fit.

“Doo scares me.”


I know how that looks.

A more accurate word for him to have used is ‘startles’.

But it’s not just Doo. Anyone can startle Ryan. If Ryan is doing something that he is totally engrossed in, such as watching cartoons, playing a video game, or coloring a picture, he is completely in his own world. I could have been standing there for 10 minutes and say in a normal tone of voice, “Ryan can you come and help me with something?” and Ryan will jump out of his skin 10 feet into the air. Then he’ll scream at me that I scared him, sometimes getting teary eyed.

When I explained to the therapist that’s what he meant, I could see the light go on in her face. We talked, set up another appointment, and I took Ryan to school.

So this afternoon, I decided to explain to Ryan, in terms that he could understand, what the matter was. I explained the difference between conscious and subconscious mind, and that his subconscious was keeping him from doing things that all children love to do. Because he’s not getting to do those things, he’s not happy. His subconscious is afraid of everything. And I MEAN EVERYTHING. His subconscious makes him shut down when he thinks that something is too hard for him to do, rather than allowing him to TRY. I felt that by explaining these things to him, he would be able to better control some of it because now he would know more about what’s going on.

After our little talk, Ryan said, “So um, now we’re going to make my subconsious stop taking over my body?”

I’m glad that he does have a basic concept…
God doesn’t “let” bad things happen.

He allows it so that you will learn.

You made it out on the other side, didn’t you?


November 11, 2009 - Posted by | advice | , , , , , , , ,


  1. I wonder when he’s older, whether he’ll realize just how lucky he is that God gave him you to help him learn. Always a great write, Kate.

    Comment by Maria | November 12, 2009 | Reply

    • I can only hope that I can help him learn as much as he’s helped me learn.

      Thank you 🙂

      Comment by Kate | November 12, 2009 | Reply

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