On Cute Stories and Deep Anxiety

Robert takes his jacket and his schoolbag of  the hook and, against his neat nature, drops them  on the floor to emulate the behavior of his  older sister.  Robert replays actions of characters from Winnie the Pooh including attaching  Eeyore’s tail to himself.  Robert calls “Outback, Outback” (name of his favorite restaurant) when in distress. Robert designs an experiment to understand the forces that can break the glass.  Robert displays his band-aids on the carpet to commemorate his bravery under fire from allergy shots.  Each of these stories is like a small window through which Robert lets me and others glimpse at  himself.  I see a fraction too small to recreate  Robert’s model of the world but big enough to  believe that there is something more to be known and understood. Except, I do not know and do not understand.  The data are scarce and cloudy. And Robert, as I made it clear many times before, doesn’t explain himself.

All those stories happened between five and fifteen years ago.   I have an impression that as Robert learns more from me, from us, he becomes less assertive in doing things his own way. It is true, he has very few tantrums lately, and is not often upset, but it might be that he lost his own drive, that he allowed others to take much more control over his life than was necessary for him to thrive.  Maybe, everything was too confusing, too painful.  Maybe, it was impossible to let people know what he needed and wanted. Maybe he realized at some point , how different he was and lost confidence in his ways.   So  he waits for directions and prompts.

Is that the goal I should have aimed for?

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