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The Day I Un-Fired our Speech Therapist

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The Day I Un-Fired our Speech Therapist

I could no longer ignore the elephant which had been swept under the rug. So I decided it was time to be honest about how I felt. To me, the obvious solution was to burn the whole house down.

Sitting in the ashes and ruble, I came to my senses. Now I had a really big mess to clean up. Hopefully without digging myself deeper into this hole.

Here is what happened:

I spent the last year trying to convince my toddler to talk to our speech therapist. But it felt like my ideas and suggestions were ignored. I could have just said, “I feel like you do not listen to me.” Instead, I fired our speech therapist.

She seemed shocked and hurt. It was out of the blue, with no reason, or explanation. But it should be obvious to her why. She can read my mind, right? No, she cannot. On top of that, it turned out the “elephant in the room” was actually all in my head. What I had swept under the rug was merely a dust-bunny, which was instantly flatten by the weight of the rug, and unnoticeable to anyone but me.

But that little dust-bunny bothered me enough to get a new speech therapist. Then I felt guilty for cheating on our current speech therapist, seeing another speech therapist behind her back. So I broke up with her. But that’s a terrible illustration.

Reality is, I should have been talking our speech therapist about how to transition to someone else, since our current speech therapist is retiring at the end of the year anyway. Instead I jumped the gun on moving forward. Why? Because that seemed easier than having an honest conversation about one little thing which bugged me. But now that simple conflict sounds so trivial, compared to the hole I must climb out of, under the bridge which I just burned.

Taking Responsibility and cleaning up my mess

Up until this moment, I had seen speech therapy as a necessary evil. Frustrated that my daughter needed her help. Her presence in our lives, a consistent reminder that my daughter doesn’t have a “normal” childhood. I took her help for granted, and did not appreciate her at all. I didn’t even think of her as a person, when I erased all our future appointments off my calendar.

The irony is, my daughter finally started talking to the speech therapist. So the only actual problem is my hurt feelings. But now that my daughter is talking, the last thing I should do if fire the lady who spent 2 years getting us to this point.

I have been reading, “Culture of Honor,” By Danny Silk. At one point, he talks about how Christians are terrified of sin. When someone sins, we do not know what to do, so we freak out.  Fortunately, as far as I know, our speech therapist does not go to church. So she is probably less afraid of my mistake, compared to Christians who judge each other for the smallest nonsense. That gave me some hope for conflict resolution.

So, after I came to my senses, I dusted the ashes off my computer, and wrote a “thank you” note. Which I sent in an e-mail to our speech therapist, along with an apology, requesting for her to continue seeing our family. Then I waited in agony, to see if she would agree to let me un-fire her. Apparently she doesn’t check her work e-mail on the weekend. After two long days, I was flooded with relief, as I read, “yes I would love to continue working with your family.”

At our next appointment, our speech therapist hardly seem bothered by the events of the previous week. Although she did comment that she appreciated my thank-you note. I could have taken the whole burned-down house and swept it all under the rug. But I needed to be honest about why I burned down the house. So I dug up that silly little dust bunny, and gave it a proper burial.

Being Honest about Conflict

Recently, I told a friend, “I hate conflict in church, because I don’t feel like it’s a safe place to be honest.” I was shocked by my own words. But I was honest about how I felt. And that scares me. The church should be the safest place to make mistakes. It should be where we can practice healthy conflict resolution, and forgive each other when we mess up.

Where there are people, there is conflict. As followers of Jesus, we should be experts at healthy conflict resolution. Instead, we have been led to believe, that Christians should not even have conflict. So we sweep it all under the rug, and ignore the elephant in the room. Maybe that is why so many people have been “hurt by the Church”, and say that Christians are hypocrites?

I do not want to be one of those Christians, wearing a mask, afraid to be honest. But in my enthusiasm to be honest, I went to the opposite extreme and fired our Speech Therapist. Thankfully, she agreed to be un-fired and then allowed me to be honest about the dust-bunny under the rug. As hard as that was, I am thankful for this opportunity to take responsibility and clean up my mess. If nothing else, I’ve learned a valuable lesson in the importance of being truly honest. And also that burning the whole house down is not a good way do deal with a dust-bunny under the rug.

Becky
Becky
Becky is wife to Duane, mama to "Monkey-girl" and baby "Lioness" aka "PipSqueek." She is the administrative powerhouse for YWAM Bend and keeps our team grounded and organized. Her hope is to inspire and encourage other mamas in their journey to raise healthy, thriving families.
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  • Roy Libby
    Reply

    I love you sweetheart. Thank you for being the woman of God that you are. I so appreciate you. I am impressed with your mommyness. (Smile)

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