Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Damage Done

I was finally able to get Ashley's blood work done this morning - just in time for the neurologist's visit this afternoon. Ever since the school staff person injured her Ashley's arm, Ashley would freak out if anyone touched her. And of course to get blood drawn, someone has to hold her arm, put the blue tourniquet on her, and then stick her with a needle.

Before the arm injury, she was very good about getting blood work done. She would hold her arm out, point to the back of her hand indicating that's where she wanted to be stuck, and would then point out the color of her veins and the blood that was coming out. When the draw was finished, she would always sign to the technician, "good work."

Though today wasn't as bad as the previous two times I had tried to get it done post-injury, she was still hesitant. And that indicates to me that her sense of trust has really been damaged.

This is one of the things that drives me crazy about having to have so many people in the lives of our children with special needs. As parents, we rely on and truly hope that all the adults that move in and out of our childrens' lives are worthy of our trust, and more important, our child's trust. For the most part in Ashley's life, that has been the case. But often it hasn't.

And this injury inflicted by a staff person - a person who has been by Ashley's side for several years - a person she trusted completely - has really hurt her, and I don't mean just physically. I'm really not sure if the emotional damage can be fully repaired. I hope with time, and with a lot of trustworthy, caring adults in her life, that it can. But I just don't know...

And equally as distressing as Ashley's loss of trust is my realization that I cannot always keep her safe. No matter how close I stay near her - no matter how involved I am in her education - no matter how OCD I get about her care, there will always be those times when I cannot be there.

I told her when I adopted her that I would keep her safe always. I lied, though I didn't realize or fully accept that it was a lie at that point. I can't always keep her safe. I can't always be there. And that breaks my heart...

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