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playgroundlover22695
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27 Aug 2021, 9:22 pm

Hello, I am not sure how I feel about a situation. I am not sure if that happens to anyone on here but at this point in my life, I'm genuinely confused about my feelings. Allow me to explain what happened.

Last week I attempted to contact the mother of a student that I mentor to see what he wanted for his birthday. With no response, I decided to simply send for a gift card to him and a couple of fidgets in the mail to keep it simple. When I contacted her once more simply to let her know that I had sent the gifts in the mail, she informed me that they no longer live in that house and he has moved districts and will be attending a new school. She said that she was sorry for not getting back to me sooner but that she was busy.

Okay now for how I took the news all week long. On Friday night I cried a little bit in bed and then got up to take some tylenol because I had a headache and then fell asleep. On Saturday the news really hit me hard. I went out in the sun for a walk to different stores nearby and the library, and I cried a lot all day. By the end of the day I had made myself physically ill to the point that I could barely walk home. I had what felt like a wicked migraine but I'm not sure. All I know is I was dizzy, a little bit nauseous, my head was pounding (I threw up once while holding my head), and I was exhausted. All of this was made worse by the sunlight. As soon as I took my dogs out, I landed right on the couch and fell asleep for a 15 hour night sleep. My parents were worried but I blew it off as nothing.

On Sunday I didn't cry at all. It was as if I had no more tears to shed. I didn't know if I was actually getting over this news or if I was just still holding on to his mother's promise to "keep in touch and let me see him once in awhile." Monday was a different story though. I went back to crying. Tuesday same thing. I found myself staring off into space for a few minutes thinking about the painful news and then I just started bawling my eyes out for just 5 or so minutes and then I was completely fine.

It was Wednesday that has me a little confused especially. You see, on Wednesday I decided to make a phone call to the mentor coordinator to see if a transfer from districts would be possible and they said it would be very easy to accomplish with the mom's permission. I felt happy because I really want to stay connected to the particular child, but also worried and sad at the thought that the mother might say no or reject the permission slip. These feelings carried me over through Thursday. Now today is Friday and my feelings are strange.

I almost cried a couple of times today but was able to hold it off. However, I was mostly angry. Not the kind of angry where you want to kill someone or hurt them, but the kind that makes you just wonder, "How could they do this to me? After all I've done for their son!" The more things I remember doing for this child, the more upset I feel with this lady. Why you ask? There were many signs of the child moving away that were right in front of my nose the entire time that I never even noticed. This women mentioned on a few occasions a "family emergency" that she needed her son's attention for and also which required pulling him out of school. It is clear to me that she knew long in advance that she was moving away but simply never bother to tell me. Then she used the excuse that she was sorry but they've been busy. Well guess what? I was busy staying up until midnight trying to do online shopping for this kid's birthday, but I found 5 minutes to ask her what he wanted. I think she could have found 5 minutes to tell me she moved. Also, I was angry because I wonder if she was going to tell me at all or make me find out through the mentor coordinator. I just don't understand why people create these hurtles for others trying to help their loved ones. I consider myself a good person and I don't understand why she wants to make it harder for me to help her son, even though she is the one who begged for the help in the first place. Anyways, I really want to tell this lady off in spades but because I can't, I've been cranky and yelling at my family all day. Now I'm fine. I was actually reading a painful poem that I wrote about this child earlier and laughing/smiling. The range of emotions confuses me. Can anyone tell me what's going on and what the emotions to come will most likely be? I should also mention that I sent this woman a message saying that I inquired about mentoring and she hasn't even read it yet. Any insight as to what's going on with me would be helpful. Thanks. :)



IsabellaLinton
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27 Aug 2021, 9:32 pm

I sense the mother is uncomfortable with your devotion to her child. No matter how much my child needed support, if someone became so attached to them that they shed tears, ordered them gifts, and tried to move their job to stay connected, I would be very concerned. If the person was opposite sex (e.g., a male teaching aide doing this for my daughter at that age), I would have likely called the police.

I know your intentions are sincere, and you have no nefarious interest in this child. Unfortunately though, he's not your child. The mother seems to be very anxious about the situation, and it's her right to make decisions on his behalf.

I'm sorry if I sound blunt but I'm a mother. I'm very protective of my kids. I can empathise with how it feels for you, especially when you get mixed signals, and I hope you can get some counselling or therapeutic support for the depth of despair you feel when you can't have contact with this boy. I know he means the world to you.

Hugs. I hope you feel better soon.



kraftiekortie
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27 Aug 2021, 9:43 pm

You’re going to have to move on from this. You have no choice.

Don’t let this situation destroy your life, and get you into trouble.

I wish there was a way to channel your love for this child in a constructive way. Like perhaps through writing?

This would be a no-win situation for you if you don’t move on. Move on. Cherish the memories.

A few times, I had a hard time “letting go.” If I didn’t “let go,” I would have gotten in trouble. You have a long career ahead of you.



Last edited by kraftiekortie on 27 Aug 2021, 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

skibum
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27 Aug 2021, 9:46 pm

I would have had a similar response. I have had similar situations happen to me. As Autistics, many of us feel our feelings incredibly deeply, more deeply than any nt can conceive or imagine. We also bond with the people we bond with on an insanely deep level and we are capable of bonding for life. You bonded with this child and what you are feeling is grief. You are grieving the separation and the flippant nature at which it was handled.


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skibum
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27 Aug 2021, 10:02 pm

It is perfectly OK for you to feel what you feel. I have felt this exact thing so many times even with children when I was their swim instructor. What you are feeling and the intensity at which you feel it is normal for people like us. You will not be able to get over it and move on quickly. But that is OK.

You do need to let them go though. If you don't, people who don't understand this level of bonding will be creeped out and think you are a stalker and you could even get arrested. So be careful. You don't want to contact them again. Even if the mom says you can keep in touch, I don't reccomend it. That's not fair to you. It's too painful.

Don't contact them but allow yourself to go through the grieving process. You can write letters about how you feel and then burn them. That will help you release the energy and emotions and then let them go into the universe so that they are not stuck inside you. I have found that process to be very therapeutic. If you don't want to burn them, you can find another way to release them to the universe. You can use biodegradable eco safe paper and ink and make a paper boat of the letters and float them down a river. Or make confetti out of them and release them to the wind. Or just cry out and scream in a type of prayer. Find whatever works for you to be able to feel those emotions completely and then release them.

Many people will tell you to find a distraction or to just move on. I have never found those things to work because what I feel is just way too intense. It's not possible to be distracted or to move on. You have to move the energy and release it. If you just try to move on or be distracted, that energy won't flow. It will stay stuck in you and the pain will be unbearable. You are not some creepy stalker. You are a very highly sensitive and in tune person who feels deeply, loves deeply and genuinely in the purest way, and who bonds and cares deeply. That is why this separation is so painful.


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27 Aug 2021, 10:13 pm

You're spending so much emotional energy about one student you have/had, when there are other students you could/should be more focused on right now. I really hope that you can get to a point where you're not letting all this consume you.



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27 Aug 2021, 10:20 pm

skibum wrote:
It is perfectly OK for you to feel what you feel. I have felt this exact thing so many times even with children when I was their swim instructor. What you are feeling and the intensity at which you feel it is normal for people like us. You will not be able to get over it and move on quickly. But that is OK.

You do need to let them go though. If you don't, people who don't understand this level of bonding will be creeped out and think you are a stalker and you could even get arrested. So be careful. You don't want to contact them again. Even if the mom says you can keep in touch, I don't reccomend it. That's not fair to you. It's too painful.

Don't contact them but allow yourself to go through the grieving process. You can write letters about how you feel and then burn them. That will help you release the energy and emotions and then let them go into the universe so that they are not stuck inside you. I have found that process to be very therapeutic. If you don't want to burn them, you can find another way to release them to the universe. You can use biodegradable eco safe paper and ink and make a paper boat of the letters and float them down a river. Or make confetti out of them and release them to the wind. Or just cry out and scream in a type of prayer. Find whatever works for you to be able to feel those emotions completely and then release them.

Many people will tell you to find a distraction or to just move on. I have never found those things to work because what I feel is just way too intense. It's not possible to be distracted or to move on. You have to move the energy and release it. If you just try to move on or be distracted, that energy won't flow. It will stay stuck in you and the pain will be unbearable. You are not some creepy stalker. You are a very highly sensitive and in tune person who feels deeply, loves deeply and genuinely in the purest way, and who bonds and cares deeply. That is why this separation is so painful.


Beautifully written, skibum. You have such a way with words.



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27 Aug 2021, 10:21 pm

CubsBullsBears wrote:
You're spending so much emotional energy about one student you have/had, when there are other students you could/should be more focused on right now. I really hope that you can get to a point where you're not letting all this consume you.
I understand what you are saying and I fully know that you mean well and are saying this from a place of wanting to support. But as someone who experiences this level of depth of attachment, I know that this is not something you can turn of or redirect. It's a real and actual true grieving cycle and you have to go through it. If you force yourself to ignore the process, you might end up paying a big and crippling price for that later. You have to go through the process of letting that intense energy flow through you and releasing it. It's not realistic to expect her to just switch her focus to other people. The pain of this grief is massive. I know this because I experience it also.


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27 Aug 2021, 10:22 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
skibum wrote:
It is perfectly OK for you to feel what you feel. I have felt this exact thing so many times even with children when I was their swim instructor. What you are feeling and the intensity at which you feel it is normal for people like us. You will not be able to get over it and move on quickly. But that is OK.

You do need to let them go though. If you don't, people who don't understand this level of bonding will be creeped out and think you are a stalker and you could even get arrested. So be careful. You don't want to contact them again. Even if the mom says you can keep in touch, I don't reccomend it. That's not fair to you. It's too painful.

Don't contact them but allow yourself to go through the grieving process. You can write letters about how you feel and then burn them. That will help you release the energy and emotions and then let them go into the universe so that they are not stuck inside you. I have found that process to be very therapeutic. If you don't want to burn them, you can find another way to release them to the universe. You can use biodegradable eco safe paper and ink and make a paper boat of the letters and float them down a river. Or make confetti out of them and release them to the wind. Or just cry out and scream in a type of prayer. Find whatever works for you to be able to feel those emotions completely and then release them.

Many people will tell you to find a distraction or to just move on. I have never found those things to work because what I feel is just way too intense. It's not possible to be distracted or to move on. You have to move the energy and release it. If you just try to move on or be distracted, that energy won't flow. It will stay stuck in you and the pain will be unbearable. You are not some creepy stalker. You are a very highly sensitive and in tune person who feels deeply, loves deeply and genuinely in the purest way, and who bonds and cares deeply. That is why this separation is so painful.


Beautifully written, skibum. You have such a way with words.
Thank you so much my dear friend. :heart:


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playgroundlover22695
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28 Aug 2021, 8:27 am

Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. Let me just start out by saying that I don't understand why sometimes during the day I cry, others I'm angry, and sometimes it feels like I don't even care and I'm smiling, all in the same day. The main reasons this is affecting me is because I have been with this particular student for the past 3 years. Last year, the mother kept saying things like "thank you so much for helping my son. I know it really means a lot to him. etc..." Also, many mentors in my state give gifts so the mom and I organized a visit for Christmas where I gave him some gifts and some holiday treats for the family. I also sent him something in the mail for Easter. Therefore, I just thought she would show me some courtesy and at least tell me she was moving away rather than waiting until his birthday and then springing it on me that he wouldn't be receiving the gifts. :? I should add as well that I didn't move my job for this student. I still work in the same school. The mentoring is all volunteer and I just want to transfer so he doesn't have to get a new mentor.



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28 Aug 2021, 9:14 am

That's part of dep (delayed emotional processing.) It's extremely common in Autism. It takes different types of energies for the brain to do different kinds of processing. Depending on how your specific brain is wired, it will be able to manage those energies as you are uniquely designed. I can feel multiple emotions very deeply at the same time. It might be the case that your brain processes them better one at a time. And often times our brains take a long time to process these things because our processing speed is slower and because they can't process these emotions continuously. The brain has to stop to use energy for other things like sensory processing or certain functional tasks. That's why the processing of these emotions comes and goes. Your brain is able to divert the specific energy it needs to whatever it is processing at any given time.

You have many different emotions attached to this particular relationship. That is normal. Some of them will feel conflicting. Your brain just processes them one at a time. That's not a bad thing. It's just what it is.


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28 Aug 2021, 9:20 am

Sometimes, people can just be jerks.

The mother might have been a jerk in this instance.

I’m sorry this had to happen to you. But it’s still probably not too good to continue your association with the boy. I don’t find anything “wrong” with you being his mentor. You’re just too emotionally involved, in my opinion—for your own sake.


I have that, too, “delayed emotional processing.”



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28 Aug 2021, 9:41 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
Sometimes, people can just be jerks.

The mother might have been a jerk in this instance.

I’m sorry this had to happen to you. But it’s still probably not too good to continue your association with the boy. I don’t find anything “wrong” with you being his mentor. You’re just too emotionally involved, in my opinion—for your own sake.


I have that, too, “delayed emotional processing.”
How can she not be so emotionally involved?


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28 Aug 2021, 10:51 am

There’s something called “professional detachment.”

This is a necessary component of the relationship between therapist and client…and with a mentor and a child.

A person in this line of work much seek to be as objective as possible.

Saying this, there’s nothing wrong with Playground having her feelings. What could be wrong are the actions which might be taken because of those feelings.

I doubt I could become a therapist because I tend to get too emotionally involved with people.



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28 Aug 2021, 3:23 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
There’s something called “professional detachment.”

This is a necessary component of the relationship between therapist and client…and with a mentor and a child.

A person in this line of work much seek to be as objective as possible.

Saying this, there’s nothing wrong with Playground having her feelings. What could be wrong are the actions which might be taken because of those feelings.

I doubt I could become a therapist because I tend to get too emotionally involved with people.
I know what professional detachment is. It is important.

I don't know the OP personally at all but I do know myself and I believe that we are emotionally similar in certain ways. Professional detachment is important but for someone like me, it is not possible. It never has been and it never will be. I am very capable of respecting professional boundaries, in fact, I am much better at respecting professional boundaries than most people. I often times have to insist that these professionals respect my boundaries which they are not as good at.

But there is a huge difference between respecting boundaries and professional detachment. They are not mutually exclusive. I can 100% respect professional boundaries without even an effort. What I absolutely cannot do is have professional detachment. That is not possible for me. I feel too deeply. There is nothing I can do about that. So when I have the pain and grief of separation, I just have to go through the process. The client, or person on the other side of it, has no idea, never will have an idea, and most likely doesn't care. I will never tell the person on the other side because it's non of his business. It's just what I have to go through.


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29 Aug 2021, 7:06 am

I wasn’t speaking of total detachment, really. I meant more “respecting professional boundaries.” Like I said, I couldn’t be a therapist because of my tendency to be too emotionally involved.

Basically, Playground’s feelings aren’t wrong—but the client’s parents won’t allow her to act on them. I’m not dismissing the feelings—but she has to step back from her client in this instance.