Hours of sorting through files for information needed to be presented as "evidence" of Virginia's condition leaves me feeling like it's all happened all over again. My beautiful baby girl regressing and her biological father's family making my stresses and worries out to be unjustified. After all his dad only had a PhD in psychology and his mom was only a special needs teacher, they obviously knew better than me, I mean they'd met her twice so it definitely stood more then my day in day out caring for her. I was just over exaggerating and I had no reason to ask them what her biological fathers diagnosis was, that wasn't really my business, especially as there was nothing wrong with my daughter. The day I had Virginia's formal diagnosis I felt just as smug as when the 99.998% chance of paternity arrived two years before. I hadn't planned on becoming pregnant just after becoming a legal adult, I hadn't expected to feel as if I couldn't abort a child if the idea had presented itself at an inconvenient time with some one I could never see myself marrying, I sure hadn't planned to find myself ever watching my child disappear within themselves ever, never mind at 20. I'm sure they thought I had it all mapped out, never mind what I was studying, nevermind how hard I'd worked.
I really did like to make things up didn't I? And now that it all seems so far behind here I am again, not pregnant, not with watching my 18month old disappear or receiving her diagnosis at 2.5yrs, but shifting through paperwork to satisfy the courts of Boulder Colorado. Dredging up bits here and there to formalise child support internationally. Filling in forms about how often Virginia stays with me or her 'father'. How do you put -always from birth, and -never, he killed my mom's goldfish, I'd never trust him with a child, without sounding like an asshole? How do you say yes I expatriated to the United Kingdom but he'd already moved thousands of miles away when she was 6months old so it's not that big of a deal? How do you say it's okay, you'd broken up a couple of weeks after finding out you were pregnant because you never should really have dated? How can you say tactfully say that you had both come out of long term relationships and just ended up together? How can you say that despite it all you have an amicable relationship though he was a complete jerk your entire pregnancy so you'd banned him from the delivery? How do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but when just replaying it in your head it's so awful?
I've never stepped foot in Colorado, Ginny's never visited anywhere in the States outside of Florida. She's been all around the United Kingdom, visited France, Spain, Mallorca. She's an American citizen but she's not lived in US since she was 2yrs 4months old, she's not set foot on American soil since her godmother's wedding in over 2yrs. Some judge out there will still preside over her case while I sit on the other end of the phone answering questions I've probably already done so on paper. He/she will decide how much financial assistance her biological father should give. Decide how much her continued care at nearly 8yrs deems. After all she's no longer a baby, she is now a 7yrs 9mons little girl who can not speak, can not feed herself, can not dress herself, can not use the toilet, can not read, can not write, can not attend mainstream school, can not wash her own hands or handle any other self care needs a child her age 'normally' would. She isn't always in control of her actions, she is destructive and has no sense of self preservation or danger.
Now I wait in for a test run call from the court clerk. A wait and have am reminded of everything I've been though and how hard the past 6yrs have been. I remember how patronising it all was. I remember the anger I felt. I remember the stress. I remember how his family didn't tell me he had sensory integration disorder until ages after she was diagnosed and how irrelevant they said it was to Ginny.
I don't know how all these memories aren't meant to bring it all back. I don't know how I'm not meant to feel the frustration and anger. I had passed this. It was all behind me and yet it's here again and there's no way to hide from it. The past has always been there. No smiles or Easter baskets will abade it. It can't be escaped. It's an ugly truth that stares me down when Ginny stims and affirm I was right. It's there when our elephant stampedes through a room, destroying everything in its path and leaving my little girl in tears.
The truth is there when I have to force Ginny to skype her 'family' abroad. She doesn't enjoy it. It frustrates her greatly and ensures she will sleep terribly that night because of having to partake in such a task for the benefit of others. Had she not been autistic maybe she could have enjoyed these sessions. Had she been 'normal' perhaps she'd look forward to them.
Perhaps then the concept of these people being family would sink in. When the concept of what the purpose of those she is in regular contact with can be distressing how is the presence of those who aren't expected to be welcome.
Ginny spent two years in class 1 to allow her time to settle into her new school, after finally moving up one of her class 1 teachers was shortly moved over to class 2 to ease ensure her 'progress' continued.
Progress that of course is gaged to her abilities. Abilities this family has no concept of considering the inappropriate questions such as "has she learned anything new". I write to show people the extent to which this condition can affect the life of those who have this condition and their families but I suppose I use the word family in terms of those who care for the child physically. I can only speculate as to what it's like for those who are not present. I don't know how it would feel to know that making your child see you through an iPad upsets them or that treating them like someone they've known their whole life when you see them in person every year or two drives them to cover themselves in feces. I can guess it's not great but where as we flex and adjust ourselves to make our autistic child's life copable possibly they don't posses this ability. I've said time and time again that Ginny has molded me into the person that I am but it would seem that's not a biological trait of being a parent, it's born from nurture.