We’ve been here before. Pearlsky does not talk. She does not point. She does not appear to purposely look. So far, through the last eighteen years, no one has figured out how to have Pearlsky communicate.
On a day in and day out level, I can deal with this. Just like a parent knows when an infant is hungry or in pain, I get that with Pearlsky. Sometimes I need a clock to help (oh, she’s probably hungry now) or a calendar (mittelschmerz, pms, etc.) or just guess, but it gets figured out.
I wrote this post over a year ago about not talking with Pearlsky in the evenings. We sit here on the computer, watching television, hanging out, but there is no talking. How much can you talk with absolutely nothing coming back? Not a snide look, a response, a laugh, nothing but silence.
I am told that Pearlsky reacts when I come home, that she moves, makes a sound, has a seemingly positive reaction when I come in the door. Sort of like trying to see if the refrigerator light really goes out when you close that door, I do not see Pearlsky’s demeanor change, although I believe those who tell me. I am told that when I am not around in the evening and someone has Pearlsky listening to some children’s show, if she gets upset, they change the channel to the political talking heads that I would have on (or, as the nanny’s refer to it, “that crap”), and she is usually consoled by this.
Ken wrote this (in part) in a comment to one of my posts:
Bennett? When I enter or exit a room, most of the time I feel like he could care less. He doesn’t really let me hug him…he will on occasion but never for long and always as he is pulling away from it. He’s never kissed me and he stopped saying ‘Hi Daddy.’ well into his seizure times. Lately, even repeating the word ‘Daddy’ seems to be slipping away, I don’t even know why. Like he’s forgetting it.
This hurts on levels I cannot describe to people. I think you understand what this feels like, but most others do not. I just don’t know. And frankly, Bennett communicates WAY more than Pearlsky does, and I feel it on a level so deeply that there are days like yesterday where I ponder very strange thoughts, like why am I even here, so I can’t imagine how you learned how to deal with your emotions on the subject.
How DID you come to terms with it? You must have, at some point, come to some crossroads, some pivot point, where you realized you might not, if ever, be able to know for sure, how she feels, what she thinks, about…well about anything. How did you get through that? Can you talk about that experience? I need help with it, and seeing it through your eyes might be very helpful to me.
Most of you reading this have kids who do communicate to some degree. I can only assume that your kid has at some point reached out to you, or hugged you, or looked at you, or said (signed, wrote, pointed) “I love you,” or smiled at you, or kissed you, or in some way communicated such.
I hug Pearlsky and get nothing back. It does appear to comfort her when she is distressed, but she does not reach for me. For years, every night I would hold her before bed, and I would kiss her cheek. I would then ask her for a kiss and put my cheek against her lips. For years. Never got the kiss. I’d settle for a raspberry.
It still hurts to this day. I don’t live my life for validation, in many ways and venues I don’t really need it. But, alas, I am as insecure as the next guy parent. There is a total lack of feedback in any situation.
They say (and who the hell are “they” anyway?) that worse than hate is the absence of emotion. At least hate shows some emotion towards the object of hate. From Pearlsky, all I get is the absence. No validation, no refutation, no affirmation, no nothing.
Ken asks “How DID you come to terms with [lack of feedback]?” There is a basic assumption in there. And it ain’t so. I don’t know if I will ever come to terms with it. Do I obsess about it? No, not at all. Do I tell her how I feel about her? Yes, every night I tell her I adore her. Do I hear the silence in return? Yes, I do, and it’s deafening.
I do get what I need from the little things, the almost unnoticeable things. I know that I can console her. I know that if she is upset and I am in another room, when I come in she will often react positively. In subtle ways, perhaps, but react she does.
This post is NOT about whether Pearlsky loves me or not. That is not the issue, not the point. The issue is that I don’t get any feedback at all. One gets more feedback from a dog, even, hell, a cat. My goldfish would come to the top of the tank when they thought I was bringing food.
This post is NOT about methods of communication. I read what some of you wrote in the comments and I am looking to learn more, but not in this post.
I do not accept the idea that Pearlsky will never communicate. I just hope she does before I die.
Ouija boards have always creeped me out. From a very young age, and to this day I will not use one. Maybe it is time to start?