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And He Never Looked Back

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Illustration Credit: Mama Fox by Diana Sudyka

As a baby, Matthew fell headfirst from our second story, crashed his skull through his brain and suffered a devastating traumatic brain injury. And while he became a “miracle child” and defied every limiting prognosis, he was left with a crippling anxiety disorder that forced his life into a tiny circle of fear.At 10, Matthew could only sleep in a double bed, surrounded by his sisters as sentries. A trip to the bathroom required Mary to get up with him and guard the way. Shopping was fraught with landmines, as my boy would cling to my shirt, asking, “Mommy, Mommy, you won’t forget you have me? You won’t leave the store without me? You’ll remember you have a boy?”We tried “everything,” but pills made him groggy and talk therapy made him that much more anxious. So, when my sister-in-law suggested cranial-sacral therapy, I was game.Or, so I thought.Each week for 10 months, I drove my son two hours off the mountain of our tiny hamlet to see Deborah at her home office. Each week for 10 months, Matthew willingly and joyfully played games with his new friend. And, each week for 10 months my heart broke as I wa …

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