Everybody says that Victor looks just like me...I personally don't see it but I am glad he does. I have always secretly felt like the illegal alien working as a nanny of my own children because they look nothing like me, well, except for Victor! He reminds me of my brothers in his looks (all three of them!) but more and more I can see myself in his ways. When he smiles, his whole face lites up and it reminds me of someone else...YES, me! It's like looking into a mirror, just better.
Victor is a kind soul who truly enjoys other people; his is such a warm and engaging personality that's emerging now even more because the noise inside is no longer there. I will never regret helping our son find his "better self" with the help of medication. I can't believe I delayed his treatment for months because I was scared to be judged as the lazy mother who didn't want to "work" or handle the hyperactive kid God sent to her. Nobody understands hyperactivity better than I do I'm an undiagnosed/untreated adult with ADHD and I'm aware of it. Everyday is a struggle for me to keep things in perspective and under control. Struggling to finish what I start, in the organized chaos I call MY LIFE, is only my everyday story. I know how painful it can be to have so much noise inside your head that it's impossible to hear yourself thinking...I know how it feels to speak super fast because of the fear that your thoughts will be gone if you don't...it's exhausting! When I was little, my mother had to give me Valium so I could sleep but I don't blame her, it was the 70's, everyone was on something!
All joke aside, as Victor hit four and 1/2, I could see all the signs that screamed ADHD but I waited it out. I figured, I would handle it until it affected his schooling, perhaps it wouldn't, who knew...? but it did. And when his preschool teacher told me I should have him evaluated, I broke down crying. It probably wasn't a big deal in the light of dealing with another child being ASD and going through intense early intervention but at that moment, I just felt like such a failure. I felt like I had neglected my other child. I felt like I was in denial because I didn't want to face that my perfect little boy, the one who was not "broken," also needed my special attention, at a time when I was already overextended as it was. It was a shock but it woke me up. After all the evaluations, we chose to go with therapy instead of medication, it seemed more age appropriate and it worked well, but not for long. After the summer, the big Kindergarten transition sent Victor haywire and there we were again, in front of another teacher, telling us our son was out of hand and we needed to help him...now! I stopped making excuses and went for a specialists this time, an expert on school evaluations. When he told us that our son could definitely benefit from medication we probably took a week to weight out the benefits and the downfalls of medicating him. After almost five months and three different kinds of meds, I'm over the shame of seeking help and using pills to help our child. All of these fears and taboos seemed so worthless when I heard my six-year-old son answer the question his pediatrician asked him after only one month of treatment. When asked how the pills made him feel, Victor said: "It makes me a better me." I couldn't agree more. This better Victor can now draw pictures and enjoys coloring...he had never been able to do that before. This better Victor speaks slowly and coherent, he allows himself to breath between words! This better Victor is proud to be a big boy and it shows when he takes upon tasks he never did before. This better Victor seats still and participates in our meals together. He is still Victor, our charming boy, but he is better in so many ways we never thought possible and his true colors can now shine brighter because all the clouds are gone. I'm sorry I didn't help him sooner because I was ashamed but I'm glad I can see how much better his future can be because he is now himself...only better.