Why is it so hard to hear what you already know?

imageSometimes you already know something. Your mind has already gathered all the facts and knowledge and came to its own conclusion. Circumstances have been leading up to things and you *think* you have it all worked out.

That is until someone else says what you have been thinking out loud. Then suddenly your world crumbles and you go to pieces, even though you kind of knew it anyway!

In one of our many meetings this last week a professional who has seen my children regularly for over six years voiced out loud my inner thoughts on the subject of my sons inability to speak. Isaac is now six and a half. And he still has no speech. He makes noises, he screams, he takes me by the hand to things he wants, and now he is older he sometimes just helps himself. He has only been pointing for around a year.

I swallowed hard and asked her for her honest opinion. “Will Isaac ever speak?” I *thought* I was ready for what she would say. I already know deep down that the older he gets the more unlikely it is he will talk. I live with his frustrations and anger everyday and hold him while he cries every night. I celebrate all his efforts at communication in every form yet still long to one day hear his voice. But the realist in me knows that time is passing and he still has yet to master the tiniest of words that babies less than a year say with ease. We haven’t had the ‘ta’ or ‘hiya’ or even the basic ‘goo’ and ‘gaaa’. We have no waving goodbye or clapping in glee. Eye contact and joint attention that comes naturally to the youngest of children is still a mystery to my six-year-old. I am not in denial.

Yet when she told me my boy is unlikely to ever speak to me it still broke me.

Why is it so hard to hear what you already know?

Next month marks the three-year anniversary of his first major diagnosis: Classic autism with global developmental delay and severe learning difficulties. He had only recently mastered walking at that point, had no language and was very much locked in his own world. We had been told he had autism since he was 21 months and had yet to meet any professionals who disagreed with this in any way.

Yet on the day we took him to that clinic assessment there was still a tiny part of me hoping everyone was wrong. My world fell apart when I left that appointment hearing what I already knew spoken back to me by someone else.

Isn’t it strange how hard it is to hear someone else say what you already know?

Maybe when no-one else confirms it we just try to somehow forget about it? Maybe we don’t really face our own worst thoughts? Maybe the reality of someone else saying it just makes us realise it is true after all. But then they add to the pain and harsh reality by sending it to you in writing. And we find ourselves mourning in our darkest moments all over again.

I sort of knew deep down there was more going on. He had other ‘symptoms’ children with autism didn’t really have. But I never wanted to hear someone mention that out loud. At least not to my face. Yet one day five months later we heard the doctor tell us our baby also had neurofibromatosis type 1. Combined with his other conditions (and we may yet hear more as we wait for full genetic blood results to come back) the future is not the brightest for my son.

I know he will need care throughout his life. I know it is unlikely he will ever drive, own a house, have a successful career or go to university. But am I still not quite ready for someone to voice those things to me.

Why is it so hard to hear what you already know? Because it means you have to finally face up to it. It means others know your worst fears and concerns. It makes you vulnerable. It brings emotions to the forefront you would rather others never got to see. It is like stealing away that tiny shred of hope you held on to for dear life.

Someone asked me how the meeting went. I told them we were just told some stuff we already knew. They looked at me in wonder as the tears ran down my face.

Why is it so hard to hear what you already know?

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8 thoughts on “Why is it so hard to hear what you already know?

  1. Miriam when I had Danielle assessed I knew the outcome and thought I was prepared, I just wanted to know. When I got the diagonosis it was like I was hearing it for the first time and I totally regressed and spent all I could raising awareness just to take my mind off the truth that I already knew. Hugs for you, another fantastic, heart felt post xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We can trick ourselves to believe we may have it wrong, maybe my child will be okay but when it’s confirmed by a Doctor that what I have been thinking is in fact true, even a professional trained Doctor says so is completely and truly devastating 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m heading towards having a third child diagnosed. I know he’s autistic, and yet I’m certain the “reality” of someone else saying he is will hit me like a brick. Much understanding from here xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just the title sums it up, we are on the journey of realising all is not well with our son and I cry just having people confirm the suspicions he may be on the autism spectrum. I cannot imagine what a diagnosis will be like. Thanks for writing and sharing a piece that speaks to my heart right now. The timing is surreal.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hear exactly what your saying… my little girl is nearly 3. Diagnosed with a complex chromosomal rearrangement at 9 mths. Just words really… severe learning disability…. and now severe epilepsy. Im a doctor myself – i know the score – she doesnt walk, talk etc but it kills me every time someone actually says it to me 😢

    Liked by 1 person

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