I’ve written here before about fun echoics T has said, such as:
Therapist: “You eat with a…”
…and I do have to report a new one from last week:
Radio: “This is NPR news…”
T: “...in Washington.”
Great fun, and a super party trick. However, a new echoic showed up last night, and I’m having a very different reaction to it. He’s heard people call me by name all his life, and yesterday, T started echoing “Suzanne.” I’ll admit it was funny at first, hearing my son say my given name. But this morning, as he was sitting at the table eating breakfast, he said “Suzanne. Suzanne. Suzanne,” over and over, doing his little finger flap thing. I know it was just a stim. But it really got to me. It broke my heart. This is the one child in the world that may ever call me “Mama” - and he only says it when prompted - but there he was, saying my given name over and over and over again and it meant nothing. AND I couldn’t respond. I ignored it – I had to – because I certainly do not want him to start calling me by name, which very well might happen if I give him a big reaction.
I got really angry, too. Every repetition of my name made the anger rise higher. Stop saying my name. I’m your mother. I am not Suzanne to you. I am your Mama. I have put so much time and energy and life blood into you, and I’m standing here ignoring you because you are saying my given name, because if I react, you will continue to do this. And the hell of it is, you don’t even realize what you are doing. It’s a meaningless stim. But it’s killing me. Do you know how much I ache for you to say “Mama” when you want me? How much I want you to cry out for me in the night when you are sick or scared? How on the few nights when you are able to say “Night night, Mama” unprompted (even though it is within the context of a very routine event every night), my heart leaps with joy? Every “Suzanne” was like a knife in my heart.
He never saw a bit of my heartache & anger. Had to swallow it and go on. I just had to outwardly let it go and go about my morning routine.