I don’t wanna go
the history of IDWG.
A few thousand years ago I took a summer job as an extended school year special education teacher in charge of attending to the individual education plans and goals of six very special teen age students. The educational, physical (diapers/feeding tubes etc) and emotional needs of theses students were so extensive that they are not able to take the wonderous summer vacation away from school because they would lose the skills they have had to work so hard to get. To deliver these educational, physical and emotional services I was armed with 3 amazing full-time assistants , and a fleet of itinerant staff that delivered intensive services, including but not limited to a: physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech and language therapist, a mobility specialist, a nutrition consultant, and a nurse. This story is dedicated to Corey, one of the students, who is an inspiration to me during big transitions.
Corey’s qualifications for receiving extended school year services are
- blindness since birth
- firmly placed all over the autism spectrum
- mood disorders (temper tantrums) that require an extensive behavior modification plan.
- severe learning disablities that impeded his abilities to make inferences, to grasp the big picture.
- He can play the piano like Nat King Cole He loves to play the piano. He looks forward to playing the piano. In fact, he looks forward to playing the piano so very much that even while thinking about playing the piano he is pained with the idea, the reality that any piano time he starts will come to an end. This ending haunts him. He does not want to go!
In a nut shell Corey’s strength is his biggest weakness. His relationship with the piano, the music, the prowess, the sensations consume him. This passion, this distraction, pulls him off of most every moment. Even when he is playing the piano he often lapses into a reverie of “I don’t wanna go!, I don’t wanna go!”.
Stages of IDWG
- The first few “IDWGs” are nearly internal, barely audible whispers. They are paired with an also nearly impercievalbe and yet very distinctive head twist.
- “IDWG” becomes louder the head twist is stronger and more frequent. Begins to tap the back of his hand on his chest.
- “IDWG” becomes louder and the tapping becomes full force hitting with the back of his hand and wrist onto his chest. The head twist becomes stronger to the point that it looks like a chiropcter is invisably cracking his top joint. Head twist becomes body swaying with some random air punches and grabs
- “IDWG” at the top of his lungs with thrashing of body , spitting, grabbing, punching and instead of hitting his chest he bangs his head with the back of his hand until it bleeds. Head thrashing moves into his entire body.
- Vocalization stops. Body thrashing becomes full tazmanian devil dervishing! It looks like he is wrestling 3 invinsible demons.
“I don’t wanna go”
No fracking joke, he doesn’t want to go! He doesn’t want to go so very deeply that he is a danger to himself and to everyone around him.
I only worked with Corey for 6 weeks, but in that 6 weeks he taught me a great deal about transitions. I aim to be where I am when I am there. I am right now on my way to India. Big transition right? Oh yes, but no bigger than it needs to be. This morning I saw an American sunrise somewhere over the US flying form Durham NC to Dallas Texas. It was so beautiful. I did not wish it away with wanting to be anywhere else. It was a strangely muted sunset with a turquoise blue beige green yellow pink orange situation going on. The clouds underneath looked like white grey sand with little ghost crab worm holes. Those little white crabs that come out at night, turns out they make holes in the clouds too.
I am not trying to be dick here, I am not trying to down play this trip, but this trip is like all doped up. I am Lance Armstronging it. I am going to India with all of the advantages: many American dollars, my best yoga buddies are already there waiting for me, I have fresh water in my bag, and I have husband at home already missing me.
I am simply not a nervous traveler. People are talking many languages, wearing bindis, having nose rings. I am already in the minority with my pale skin and blue eyes and I am still here in the US.
I have wanted to go to India my entire life, and yet I am glad that I am not banging my head in anguish that it is almost over, as I sit here in Dallas . The most lovely little girl just rolled her fantastic little girl rolling luggage by me. Her smile was to die for. I am in love with her and yet I am fine that… well… that was it for us. That smile, that glimpse of her purple outfit and wonderful well-raised little girl posture as she rolled her perfect little girl luggage by me was our moment.
What if it really is all about the real transition, the final “I Don’t Wanna go?”
These tiny transitions we make are merely training for the big show.
Next time my mom dies I want to be able to really be there. I want to be able to sit there and be there and spoon her crushed ice when she wants it. I want to be able to sit in silence as she breathes and sort of sleeps and also is alive and smiles at me with her eyes closed and her intellect nearly gone.
I must practice. I must practice to get ready for the next time my mom dies….
I don’t want to “I don’t want to go” on her next time. I want to be fully there with her the whole way. I don’t want to be gone in thoughts of wanting and fixing and grasping, I want to be there. I want to be here.