Three weeks ago, my son, Brandon received a phone call from his previous independent living counselor, Joe. He had worked with Brandon for almost six years. They were really good friends. It was a mutual friendship. Joe really enjoyed spending time with Brandon and Brandon felt the same way about him. So when Brandon got a call from Joe, he was excited. Right away, he called to tell me that his old counselor Joe called and left him a message. He said, “Hi Brandon, this is Joe, I haven’t seen you in a very long time and I would like to make a plan to see you and take you out to lunch next week.”
While Brandon was telling me this message, I could hear lightness in his voice. Brandon said to me, “Mom, he remembered me.” Brandon felt important. I do not hear that elated tone in his voice often so I was extremely happy that Joe took the time out of his busy schedule to reconnect with Brandon.
Brandon called Joe back and left him a message saying he would like to go to lunch with him. They played phone tag back and forth and Joe followed up with a message saying he would call him next week on Monday or Tuesday to make a plan to have lunch with him that week. Brandon was looking forward to seeing him.
That was over two weeks ago and Brandon has not heard back from Joe. If this had happened to Brandon in the past he would have been devastated, but not this time. When I asked if Joe had called, Brandon replied no. He then said, “Mom, I really don’t care I don’t want to be treated that way anymore. If someone says they are going to do something, they need to do it and if they can’t, they need to go away.” He even said if he ever calls me again I am going to tell him I do not want to see him. I did suggest he tell Joe how he feels and then listen to what Joe has to say and then make his decision at that time. He said, “OK.”
Brandon is no longer needy like he used to be. In the past he would tolerate people’s negative behaviors because he had low self-esteem and was very needy. Fortunately, that has all changed. He no longer wants to be around people who do not follow through and I cannot blame him. Brandon is finally able to be in touch with how he feels and then he expresses it. That is a huge breakthrough!
At age thirty-nine, my son continues to grow and develop. If a professional tells you that your child will not be able to do this or that I would suggest you continue to love, support, and guide your child and see what happens. Brandon’s continued progress is nothing short of a miracle and is a ton of hard work. He continues to be my finest teacher.