Tuesday, June 30, 2015
About 2 weeks after Dr. Fieldman's advice, in the car:
Laura: "How are things going with you and Jeffrey?"
Emily: "Good, I guess."
Laura: "So, you're still feeling comfortable with your physical relationship? Everything is still okay in that respect?"
Emily: "Ummm...for the most part. I mean...I'm still okay with having sex, but sometimes it...like...hurts a little."
Laura: "When does it hurt - in the beginning? Middle? End? After? And how? Burning? Pressure? How would you describe the pain and what are you guys doing when you're in pain?"
Emily: "Ummm...I guess it starts hurting in the beginning, with a little burning and, like, pressure...and it continues to hurt some..."
Laura: "That sounds to me like a lubrication problem. If you aren't sufficiently aroused sexually, your body doesn't produce enough lubrication for the experience to be comfortable, especially when you're using condoms - and you're using the condoms, right?"
Emily: "Yeah, we use the condoms."
Laura: "Okay. At home I'll give you a bunch of lubrication packets that came with your sister's suction tubing and G-tube care packs. You can spread some of that on the outside of the condom, especially the tip, after he has put the condom on and before he enters."
Laura: "I can't even BEGIN to tell you how uncomfortable I am with these conversations!!!"
Daniel: [chuckle] "Better you than me!"
A week later, Emily texts Laura:
Emily: "Hey, so, um, Jeffrey's dad is out of town and he asked Jeffrey to house-sit for him. Jeffrey invited me to spend the night, so I won't be home tonight."
Laura: "Uh, I don't feel comfortable with that, Emily. I know you're wanting to be treated like an adult, but adults PLAN things like this. They pack a bag. They grab their toothbrush and meds. Daddy is expecting a text from you with the address so he can pick you up on his way home from work."
Later that night:
Daniel: "Phew. THAT was MESSED UP!!!"
Laura: "What happened?"
Daniel: "Jeffrey's mom says he's like a 16-year-old. Well, MOST 16-year-old boys would NOT meet the dad of his girlfriend for the first time by answering the door in his boxer shorts. MOST would think to at least PRETEND he didn't JUST have sex with the guy's little girl and would put some freaking pants on! I was good, though. I took a deep breath and somehow staved off the incredible urge to castrate him on the spot. Emily had to get dressed and gather her stuff, so that gave Jeffrey and I some time to talk. I figured I might as well try to bond a little, since it looks like he'll be around for awhile. I started with video games. I'm a gamer, he's a gamer...I make video games; I figured it'd be a safe starting place. MAN...that kid is REALLY into violent games...like, REALLY, REALLY into it. I don't freak out easily about that kind of thing, but he was pretty intense. All I could picture was me being interviewed by a reporter months from now after he's gone on some killing spree and saying, "Yeah...he seemed pretty excited about his cyber kills...", so I asked him if he owns a gun."
Laura: "You didn't!"
Daniel: "I did! And you know what he said? In an irritated voice he said, 'NO! I try to get one, but Dad keeps changing the combination to the lock on the gun case.'"
Laura: "Oh...MAN...let's just hope he was just over-excited to be talking to a fellow gamer...and that he doesn’t crack the code on his dad’s gun case…"
About a week later, in the car:
Laura: "So, is everything still going okay with you and Jeffrey?"
Emily: "Yeah, I guess."
Laura: "He's treating you with respect? You're both pretty happy?"
Laura: "And the lubricant helped the sex problem you were having - that's all good now? You're both all happy in that area?"
Emily: "Well...the lubrication helps. Sometimes Jeffrey gets frustrated, though. He wants to...you know...finish..."
Emily: "Yeah. He wants to, but sometimes he...can't."
Laura: "Okay...is it a positional thing, you think? Have you guys tried different positions?"
Emily: "Umm...position doesn't seem to matter; it happens in different ones."
Laura: "Boy, Em...I don't know if I have a quick, easy answer for this one. I know he can't talk to his mom, I have no idea if he can talk to his dad. He's definitely not someone I want to see frustrated. Um...it could be a number of things. For all I know it's a side effect of one of his medications, but I can't know for sure unless I talk to him. If he feels comfortable talking to me, tell him I might be able to help him out."
Later that night:
Laura: "PLEASE don't let him want to talk to me, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!!"
Daniel: "Man...I don't know how you're surviving these conversations. Can't they just BREAK UP already?!"
And then...just like that...about 2 weeks later, in the car:
Laura: "So...how are things with you and Jeffrey?"
Emily: "I kinda broke up with him. I was okay with trying out the sex thing, but...it's like that's ALL he's ever interested in! I mean...I guess I don't mind doing it, but I want to do OTHER things, too, and he never wants to do any of the stuff I want to do!"
Laura: "Well, I'm sorry that didn't work out, sweetie, but you walk away from this experience gifted with an important lesson learned. It's a really good idea to do other stuff with a guy BEFORE sex so you'll know that once you add sex you still have other interests in common. I'm so proud of you for standing up for yourself!"
Later that night:
Laura: "Sweet Jesus, it's over! I didn't know how much longer I could survive being the "3rd member" of that relationship!"
Daniel: "Lucky you. You're done with it. I have to live with the image of that kid meeting me at the door in his boxers for the rest of my life! She's done with the boy thing now, right? We won't have to go through this again, right? ...Right?"
Thursday, June 25, 2015
My first post is actually on the longer side, so I offer "Part I" today, and will follow up with "Part II" next week. Before reading, I want you to remember back to the sex talk you had with your parent. Did you even have one? What about with your child...have you faced it yet? Laura had geared herself up for the challenge of "the talk"...but she never could have dreamed it would go like this...
A Bit of back story:
Laura and Daniel worried about Emily. With her mild to moderate cognitive delays, her high-functioning autism, and good looks, they knew Emily was easy prey and a prime target for a sexual predator. Laura had attempted to broach the subject of the birds and the bees with Emily many times through the years, but the problem was Emily was an EXPERT at the sexual behaviors of birds and bees...she just had no interest in HUMAN sexual behavior. She had been an obsessed Animal Planet junkie for practically her whole life. She could easily rattle off the mating habits of the African bat bug or the Hainan Black-Crested Gibbon, and therefore understood the basics of human reproduction, but had no interest beyond that. So when Davy, a classmate of Emily's, asked to date her in June of their junior year of high school, Laura braced herself for trouble and vowed to keep an eagle eye on the teens. Her close attention paid off. Matters quickly grew even more concerning than she could have imagined, and within a few short months there was need for a restraining order against Davy. Laura and Daniel breathed a sigh of relief when it seemed he was going to respect the court order, and thanked their lucky stars Emily had escaped the ordeal having suffered little to no physical harm. But it had been close...too close.
After high school, Emily began attending the highly specialized "Occupational Life Skills Program" at Bellevue College. Laura was elated that Emily was finally with her "peers", as her classmates were so similar to her. It thrilled Laura to hear Emily talk of the friends she was making...
And it begins...
3 Months into the school year, in the car:
Emily: "So, remember I told you about Jeffrey the other day? Yeah, well, we're dating now."
Laura: "Oh...that's...new. Um...I haven't met Jeffrey yet. I'd like to meet him."
Emily: "Yeah, his mom wants to meet you, too."
2 Days Later Emily texts Laura:
Emily: "Hey, so there wasn't really much going on in class today, so Jeffrey and I took the Metro bus to his house, so that's where I am."
Laura: "Are his parents home? And what do you mean "wasn't much going on in class" - you don't just leave class!"
Emily: "No. He just lives with his mom. She's at work. His dad's house is on the other side of town, I think. Don't worry, Mommy; we didn't miss anything in class. I think it was a substitute or something."
Next day, "emergency" meeting between Laura and Jeffrey's mom:
Jeffrey's mom: "I don't know your thoughts on this, but I'm worried. Emily is Jeffrey's first girlfriend. Jeffrey knows I don't believe in sex before marriage, and he knows I don't approve of unsupervised dates, but his father has a very different parenting style. Who KNOWS what he'll allow; he's still acting under the delusion that Jeffrey is "normal". Yes, Jeffrey is 21 and "looks normal", but with his Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD, anxiety disorder and learning disabilities he's much more like a 15 to 16-year-old. He spends most of his time playing video games...and unfortunately they're the violent ones. He had to be home-schooled, so he just doesn't have much social experience."
Laura: "I agree that the kids shouldn't be left alone right now. Emily is socially/emotionally like a 12 to 14 year old and recently went through a scary experience with a boy. It's good to know they'll be supervised at your house; they'll definitely be supervised at our house. Maybe you can have a chat with your ex-husband to see if you can get him on the same page."
4 Days Later Emily texts Laura:
1:45 PM Emily: "Hey, Jeffrey invited me to spend the night at his dad's tonight, so I won't be home after school."
Laura: "Boy, Em, I don't know about that. I still haven't met Jeffrey's dad and I don't know where he lives. Maybe for today you can just wait for Jeffrey's mom to get home and hang out there for a few hours. I can pick you up tonight.
Emily: "Yeah, I think I'll just hang out after school, then come home."
3:50 PM Emily texts Laura: "Hey, so you know that Jeffrey and I have been hanging out and so on. If you were worrying about the whole first time thing, it has already happened and it was fine, and it was my decision, and I was ready and I'm happy with my choice and that's that."
3:51 PM Laura texts Daniel: "Holy crap...I just got an "I-just-had-sex-for-the-first-time" TEXT! What the Hell are we supposed to do with THAT?!"
Daniel: "WHAT?! How...where...whaaatttttt?"
Laura: "They took the bus to his mother's house in the middle of the day, so she was still at work. They're mentally teens, but they have the freedom of adults in their 20's. Ugh!!!"
The next day in Emily's bedroom:
Laura: "Hey, so...I'm a little confused. You told me a few days ago you and Jeffrey had no plans of a physical relationship beyond maybe hand holding for at least awhile. Looks like you changed your mind?"
Laura: "Soooo...sex...was it better than you thought it would be? Worse? About what you expected?"
Emily: "Um...better? I guess?"
Laura: "I guess that's good, then. Were you using protection?"
Emily: "Yeah. He didn't have any, but he made one."
Laura: "Oh...and how did he do that?"
Emily: "With a rubber glove."
Laura: "...Oh...guess we'll be getting you some condoms to keep with you. ...So...what made it better than your expectations? Did you orgasm? Did he?"
Emily: "I have NO idea."
Laura: "Okay...well, you didn't, then. What about Jeffrey?"
Emily: "I don't know. How would you know?"
Laura: "Well...when he took off the rubber glove, was it wet or dry?"
Emily: "Dry, I guess."
Laura: "Okay, then. Jeffrey didn't orgasm, either. So...what made you decide to stop, then?"
Emily: "I don't know. We were just tired and decided to cuddle, instead."
Laura: "Okay...well...it sounds like it was a positive experience for you. If you decide to do it again you'll have condoms to use, but just because you've done it once, don't feel you HAVE to do it again. It is always YOUR choice, no matter what Jeffrey or anyone else might say."
Later that day:
Laura: "Well, I think I've just safely earned the award for best 'Keep-A-Straight-Face Performance.'"
Daniel: "Why, what happened? I didn't hear any yelling and screaming..."
Laura: "Yesterday I thought I might lay into her for TEXTING me about her first time having sex...but I've had some time to think about it. I mean...is there ANY good way for a child to tell a parent they're no longer a virgin? I suppose I should be thankful it was a text - first of all, she was telling me AT ALL, so I have to be thankful for the open communication. Second, it gave me time to pull myself together before talking with her about it face-to-face. And now that we've talked...I think I'm actually happy for her. I feel bad for Jeffrey's mom - she was hoping for celibacy until marriage. I never wanted that, necessarily - I don't even know if marriage is the right thing for Em at all - I just wanted to be sure Emily would always be happy with the level of intimacy in her relationships. If she's happy, I'm happy, and...I think she's happy. Here I was, all concerned that they had rushed things and she was being "robbed" of a "wonderful" first-time experience, but it sounds like she had a better first time than most! I mean...how many girls end up losing their virginity in the back of a VW bug or family minivan, worried about who might catch them at any moment. This was nothing like that. They were in the comfort of Jeffrey's room, they both seem to be on the same page (albeit both clueless), and they finished things off with a good cuddle. I guess I have to say...all in all...I wouldn't want it any different for her. Now...let me explain what was just now said in that bedroom and we'll see if you can keep the straight face I had to..."
Later that week in Dr. Fieldman's office (Emily's psychiatrist):
Laura: "...and then I just picked some condoms up for her yesterday, so I think we're all set. Frankly, I'm glad to have that whole thing behind me."
Dr. Fieldman: "Well, I commend you on the discussion with Emily about her sexual encounter, but don't think your job is done! You need to continue to be the 3rd person in that bed!"
Dr. Fieldman: "It's obvious neither Emily nor Jeffrey has ANY idea what they're doing. Given the way you've described the relationship between Jeffrey and his mother, I can't imagine they can really "talk" to each other at all. That leaves you. And they NEED you. Being completely clueless the way they are, one or both of them could really get hurt, left to their own devices. You need to keep Emily talking so you know exactly what's going on between them."
Laura: "Great." [sigh]
***CONTINUED IN PART II***
***CONTINUED IN PART II***