Tough Decisions (An open letter to a parent)

Sorry but not sorry.

Tough decisions are invariably also my most unpopular ones. After having five decades’ worth of living and learning from a flock of teachers of patience and understanding, I think I can take the heat.

Dear parent of a child I just started working with in occupational therapy, I have thirty two hard years of clinical training. Ergo, I can afford myself a little measure of gravitas, maybe even an arrogance of my convictions, to not stand down.

I don’t have any reason nor the desire to question your parenting style, so what makes you think you have the right to tell me how I should do my work? A decision had to be made, and it needed to be made immediately, because there really is such a thing as professional intuition. Gut-wrenching sense that this proverbial road was leading up to a dead end pretty quickly.

So. If I say I would not be the right therapist for your child, I meant it in all sincerity. Surely, I am quite clear about my intention not to see your child anymore. You need to go to one whom you can gel with, or good lord, you might even like and respect.

I know myself and I stand firmly by my education and training. I expected you to have a trusting mind and simply listen to what I was offering your child in terms of wisdom and experience in treating her needs. You showed me that you neither understood, nor trusted my desire to help you and your child. You also showed me that if you had no control of everything, even mundane things, you will not compromise. You, madam, are absurdly difficult to reason with.

Do you honestly believe that it took you by surprise that, as early as our few therapy sessions I can already sense you and I will not be able to collaborate professionally? I have met many, many parents in my over three decades of work in my field, enough to realize that you and I have not, and will not see eye to eye on anything of importance.  We are a poor fit, our outlook and values about therapy, and this discordance benefits no one, least of all, your child.

So, as difficult as it may seem right now, as your   anger and indignance will tend to sway you to think of me as having no basis for such an unexpected decision, you will in a figurative sense of the word, “thank” me for letting you go.  We certainly don’t need to pretend to engage in this compulsory dance, any more than we find ourselves forced into doing, when we simply are not in synchrony with one another’s steps.

I cannot say I am not disappointed, clearly each child is a new mystery to unfold. But I want nothing to do with wasted time and energy. You are angry because I decided, and not you.

By the way, your rude treatment of my staff, was uncalled for, and by no foreseeable terms, acceptable and welcomed in my place of work.

All the best to your child.





Down and Out in Neverland

Returning to writing is very much akin to opening a creaky, rusty, haunted door. While nothing was out of place, but since all the figurative “furniture” of memories had been covered with white sheets, this place still is a stranger to me.

It is terrible to think that my will to write is weak, and no amount of good desires and intentions could have ever convinced me to simply lay down those words. Singularly and without nary a backward glance. If the shortage in supply of time were the culprit, why had I squandered the many sleepless nights then? If, in place of peering through the shadowy darkness, should I have not traded one eyes-open stillness for a jot on the unchartered page?    The last time I did do that was so long ago, and if it were even plausible, it might be dumbfounding to suggest that I have not lived fully these past four years. 2012 holds the most recent, or ancient post. That troubles me to the very core of my existence.

How intolerable it is to not come up for air after lingering below the proverbial sea of making a living instead of simply living, cherishing each breath? Like the humble penny, each breath seems insignificant, not enough to register.

And yet, each borrowed and conditional breath, marks time, as it passes by, without ever looking back.