Yesterday proved a very intense day for me. From the outset my patience was very short. I don't know what got into me, but I just wasn't feeling at all patient with the protesting or the lollygagging to get dressed - the "normal" Living With Autism stuff.
We had a "play date" planned. Our neighbor was bringing her children to the pool where I work for some play time. My kids were VERY excited about it. I, of course still had work I had to do, that NEEDED to get done even though it was my day "off", so I was a little tight about it.
We went to the pool. As usual things "popped-up", things I needed to deal with, even though I wasn't "really" there. Funny how my omnipresence is just expected.... The kids played. My son said as we walked out the door how happy he was that we were having an Adventure Day (Wednesdays are thus designated in our household). Things were honky-dory...
Then there was a medical emergency. A swimmer with a school group required a rescue. My father (the retired cop) told me once, that the hardest part of emergencies is that time speeds up, you can't get everything done fast enough. My staff responded - PERFECTLY. The rescue was executed, EMS summoned, 2 patrons - other mothers who happened to be there who are also EMTs - responded and gave the benefit of their greater training to the child. The teacher contacted her chain of command, I contacted my chain of command, the parents were called, EMS arrived, and the parents just after, and the child was transported to the hospital for surveillance. It really did all happen just like it was supposed to and everything really is going to be ok.
So what am I worried about?
I have been struggling this season (spring & summer) with channeling.
Sounds odd, but I really don't have another explanation. I just know things I shouldn't, almost see things beyond what is occurring. I had a specific incident this May while my son was visiting grandparents. I was teaching, and suddenly overcome with an overwhelming need to leave and fix a problem. I desperately knew that something was very wrong, but I couldn't find it. Later that night I discovered that my son had been having a meltdown at that EXACT time, had been reprimanded and interrupted and turned verbally violent. I was shocked. NOT because it happened, but by the intensity. I was afraid. How could that kid have SO much power over me?! And afraid for him - he will NOT always have me here to scream in my head when he is overwhelmed...
I ultimately decided that it had to be me too. I find that during the summer, when I am lifeguarding and teaching, I open myself to Perception. There was a time when I labeled such an action as the Holy Spirit leading me. It may still be that, but the raw power of the force that guides/ leads me is getting a little frightening for me. I look at the college kids I work with, and can physically see places they've been or people they've connected with. I always seem to be where the accident is about to happen. Patrons tell me there is less bullying at my facility, because I nip it in the bud. I think I am consciously opening my "reception" to be prepared for the emergencies. I used to pray every day before I taught that God would lead me to what the students needed to know.
I am starting to think that this is something ALL first responders do. Both Consciously and unconsciously. There is a high amount of "being present in the moment" that being a first responder requires. MANY cops and medics and firemen will tell you that they just had a "feeling" that something was "not right". They train themselves to identify body language and slight social cues and environmental surveillance, but it's always a little bit more than that.
So what am I worried about?
The lifeguard who performed the rescue is YOUNG. I was amazed at how I recognized that whole process of second guessing yourself and berating yourself for not performing better and faster. The guard fell into it almost immediately. It's like I heard him shouting it. And I went back to the YEARS of guilt I carried about my son's breathing emergency, and how the guilt serves NO ONE. We spoke about it immediately. And we spoke about it later that evening. Lord I pray that this event does not weigh that kid down too long... The guard told me that he had been watching that kid, just "had a feeling"...
The lifeguard who called 911 was surprised by his own instinctive reaction to the child's fear. He almost called 911 before he even knew what he was doing. Again, EXACTLY what he has trained to do for years, but the first time you do it is VERY worrisome. He discovered a new depth to his ability to cope.
Both of them, I think, saw a new window into their own First Responder ESP, their Being Present In The Moment. How do I help them facilitate that? Or do I? Am I so far off base about it that using this kind of language with them will only frighten them more? Am I supposed to helping them find their own language for it? Or do I just be here, for them, whenever they need it?
And, ultimately, I am a little ashamed of myself. I didn't "hear" the emergency before it happened, though I certainly responded appropriately immediately. But what frightens me more is that I expected to be overwhelmed by the child's fear, and I wasn't. I "heard" it, I made a conscious effort to pray for the child and try to deflect the fear, but I wasn't flipped out, wasn't driven to distraction. Somehow I still managed to check on my staff, to follow protocol, to acknowledge the EMT patrons as being my superiors without handing over authority, to see the emotional searing in the teacher who was supervising him, and my own kids suddenly told to follow crazy new directions... It's like I was set on "record", though I still found myself "hearing" the stresses of the staff and involved parties and saying things I didn't even think about to relieve them...
Maybe I feel guilty 'cuz the inspirations I felt did NOT pertain directly to the child/victim, but to everyone else. There really was very little I could do for the child (we think it was seizure). The only seizure I have witnessed previously was a dog, and I picked up an overwhelming sense of confusion... but I didn't catch that from the child. I caught fear (and my mother instinct [and the other 2 EMT's] set in and we reassured the child verbally) but not the confusion.
Was there something more I was supposed to be looking for? Was there another presence I was supposed to catch? Am I to busy "shielding" myself from my son that I am not "hearing" the emergencies any more?
I know that this process of over thinking an incident is part of the normal recovery process... but I just wish I knew what I was supposed to be finding...
insights are welcome....thank you