I invented a new word – Thrilledevastated.  Ok technically it might be considered a new term, or perhaps expression??  Regardless, I think we should introduce it into our everyday vocabulary and I want to see it popping up in dictionaries!!

But, maybe it is just parents of kids with issues that would have any use for it?  Maybe it is just us who experience that feeling of being so thrilled and grateful, and so utterly devastated at the exact same time?

I know over the past few years I have had many occasions where “thrilledevastated” was the best way to describe how I felt.  Like that moment when I opened up the Government letter and the first line said: “Upon reviewing your case we have determined that your child meets the disability criteria and you are eligible to receive the Disability Tax Credits.”   Cue -thrilledevastated.  Thrilled – because we REALLY NEEDED that financial break as Sara’s medical costs were exorbitant,  and devastated – because it is now in black and white that my child is considered disabled.  Disabled.  That takes a while to sink in even though you have seen it with your own eyes.

Or when we enrolled Sara in a new school.  I was both hopeful that they would see her limitations and just BELIEVE me, and scared that I would spend the year trying to convince her teachers that she really is trying her best.  But then, we actually got to the new school and no one batted an eye.  No one.  They all looked at her medical files and test results and essentially rolled out the “red carpet of special“.   We got all the accommodations we asked for, and more, because they felt she really needed them.  Thrilledevastated.

Or that day that she was falling apart with anxiety about going to that new school,  and I brought her up in spite of the tears and protests.  All the office staff swooped in and helped pull her off me like we were back in kindergarten (which by the way she did not do even in kindergarten -this is all new!).   As, I walked away (in spite of her screaming for mein the background) I heard them talking to her like she is “special” and fragile.  It was the first time that I really heard others speak to her like she was not able to understand what was happening.  It is the first time I saw her through stranger’s eyes and realized what she had become – a high needs student.  The girl who is special.  Special needs.  I was thrilled that she was in such capable hands, with people who were doing everything they could to support her (and me) and yet it was so devastating to walk away wondering “how did things get so bad?  What happened?  How did we get here?!?”

Or the time that I sat in on a meeting about how to accommodate her education to meet her abilities – or in this case disabilities.  They proposed a math curriculum that was based around “life skills” –  figuring how to order off menus, or scenarios like going to the mall with $75 to spend.  I sat there thrilled and amazed that FINALLY people were seeing that she is truly struggling to keep up!  Finally, some one is willing to validate what I was seeing.  And then BOOM the devastation hits at the same moment because – she is so bright.  She was always the top of her class.  She used to be the one who kept me on my toes.  Now…I am having a conversation about “life skills” math.  All that potential seemed robbed from me.  From her.  By whatever chaos had taken over her body.  And there I sat – thrilledevastated.

So there is your new word of the day.  I hope you never need to use it.



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