The process of adjusting to our new home and different life is very much like playing my least-favorite board game, Candyland. Ten steps forward, two steps back. Sixteen steps forward and OH NO! Back to the beginning, sorry!
Seven steps forward, four steps back. Eight steps forward, back to the—screw this. This is the point in Candyland where either a child completely melts down and I have an excuse to pack the game up, or I “accidentally” bump the board. With my foot. Hard.
Unfortunately, it’s rather less practical to pack up the game when this pattern is playing out in real life.
This past week I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to find a new therapist for Chickadee. Now, don’t misunderstand. I think that—given all of the recent changes ’round here—she’s doing really, really well. And I take full responsibility for not having taken care of this sooner. Maybe if I’d done this right away, we could’ve headed off some problems.
In my defense, I was taking care of the million OTHER things that needed doing, like irritating everyone associated with the school district until one of them said OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SOMEONE TRANSFER THOSE KIDS TO THE OTHER SCHOOL SO THAT THEIR MOTHER WILL STOP CALLING ME (hey, did I mention that the kids got transferred to the school we wanted?), straightening out my bank accounts so that I could deposit my paychecks and do frivolous things like pay bills, unpacking, trying to sell a couple of houses, telling the neighbor kids to please get out of the refrigerator, and complaining loudly about how annoying it is not to have my own car (don’t even get me started on that one).
Anyway, I had not yet found her a therapist, and she had been mildly bouncing between contentment and angst, and then this past week I started stepping up my efforts as she began ricocheting between happiness and COMPLETE AND TOTAL HATRED of me, Otto, Georgia, and life in general.
(It’s normal. It’s all normal. She’s fine. We’ll all look back and laugh, someday, assuming that I allow her to live until adulthood.)
So I set about finding an appropriate doctor. It went something like this:
1) When I took the kids to meet the new primary care doctor, we had a brief discussion about finding a psychologist and he misunderstood and gave me a recommendation for a psychiatrist.
2) I called the office to ask for a different, correct, recommendation. They promised to call me back.
3) I called the office again because no one called me back.
4) The woman on the phone tells me I am allowed to pick a therapist on my own. I tell her that I understand that, but we are new to town and would like a recommendation. She tells me the insurance company can recommend someone. I ask why THEY won’t recommend anyone. We go round and round and finally she admits that they don’t know who to recommend because the practice is relatively new. Ooookay.
5) I call the insurance company. They direct me to the website.
6) The website lists 4 pages of psychologists in my area. It doesn’t list specialties for any of them.
7) I call the insurance company again. After some discussion (mostly consisting of me begging the guy on the other end to just give me a name of SOMEONE who specializes in kids) he gives me a name and number of a local psychologist who he claims is a child psychologist.
8) I call the number given. I ask to make an appointment with the doctor whose name I was given. The lady on the phone takes all my information and then asks me why my daughter needs a therapist. I explain that there have been a lot of changes in her life and she has a history of depression. The woman on the phone tells me she needs to check on who would be the right doctor for us to see and she’ll call me back. I agree but am confused.
9) I Google the doctor I was just trying to reach. She specializes in… eating disorders. In fact, the practice I just called was an eating disorder clinic! I feel like a giant tool.
10) I call back and explain that obviously the insurance company has led me astray. Could they perhaps recommend someone else to me? They suggest a different practice, and a specific doctor.
11) I call the second practice, I explain the situation, I ask if we can see the recommended doctor. She doesn’t take our insurance. They offer to call me back.
12) A woman calls back to say they do have doctors who DO take our insurance, and someone will call me back to schedule.
That pretty much took the entire week. And we still don’t have a doctor! Yay!
But I did start the weekend at least feeling like maybe on Monday we’ll make some progress. That was a few little baby steps forward.
Then this morning at church I was unexpectedly hit with a crushing wave of homesickness, utterly unlike anything I’ve experienced in the month since I moved. It seemed like bursting into tears after the offertory would be a bit conspicuous, so I tried really hard to keep it together. I have no explanation for it, either, other than that I was somehow expecting the music that happens at my old church and instead it was the music that happens at this church and I was suddenly, inexplicably, furious that THEY PLAY THE WRONG MUSIC HERE as if the slight variation is something they do just to taunt me.
[To clarify: The new church is fine. The people are fine. The service is fine. Maybe someday it will feel more than fine, but right now it is only fine. And I don’t really believe they’re taunting me. I just miss my church that felt like home.]
Tomorrow I will take a deep breath and get the doctor thing figured out, and I’ll deal with the other things that need dealing with and either we’ll find a different church or we’ll stay at this one and eventually I won’t resent their music, but in the meantime I’ll keep pushing forward and trying not to get too pissed off I get sent back.