I have a banner on my mantle that says “Joy, Hope, Peace”. Oddly enough, it isn’t too hard to read and feel words like those, even in the midst of struggle. Unless there’s no hope. Unless you see no happy ending or perfect solution (Heck. You’d settle for “slightly tolerable.) Then you really have to dig deep down to muster the words, “joy”, “hope”…”peace”.
It was a really rough day today. This was supposed to be my Monday. I covet my Mondays. They are the first day
back into the week where I can come home from dropping off my daughter, distract my son with his hot wheels, pour a second cup of coffee, and sip the weekend away. The house is quiet once again. Well, not actually quiet; I have a two-year-old…boy. But, it is much more quiet and calm, than when 5 people are bustling about it all at once. Monday is my sigh that you breathe out after enduring something big and/or exhausting. My husband is at work, two out of the three of my kids are in school, and I have a little bit more time to breathe.
Monday didn’t happen this week. Well, at least MY Monday didn’t happen. My girl was not feeling well and had to stay home from school.
Today, Tuesday, I thought, will be my Monday. The thought of my Monday happening on a Tuesday wasn’t so bad. It started out with an average morning. My husband said Taylor had trouble getting up and fought getting on the bus (always a huge stress/fear), but other than that, things were ok.
I saw my phone ring and saw it was Taylor’s school. I didn’t answer. Not on my Monday. Please, not on my Monday! Taylor was so hard this weekend. I NEED my Monday! I checked the voice mail and thankfully the message was about an unsigned field trip permission slip.
That voice mail wasn’t bad news…
The next one was.
“Taylor isn’t acting like himself. We think he isn’t feeling well. He isn’t throwing up but he just wants to lay down. Can you come get him?”
I pick Taylor up, and upon coming home, he showed he was just fine with plenty of energy. Great. I guess I will cross my fingers and hope for a Wednesday Monday. Now, on to trying to keep up with my two boys’ and crave for just a drop of their energy.
Taylor has been really angry this past week. Unusually so. He isn’t himself. I already have an email in to his psychiatrist. Pinching isn’t unusual by any means; In fact, if it doesn’t happen multiple times each day, something must be wrong or excitingly awesome. But, his delivery of the pinches is different. His face is angrier, he won’t back down nearly as quickly, and he is super sensitive to things. When I look into his eyes in the middle of one of his rages, it’s as if my son isn’t there. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t painful, that it hasn’t sent me into my room to hide sobs from my kids, or that it isn’t stressful. It feels like they hate you. You really have to dig down deep to convince yourself they do love you.
This last week has been one of crying out to God, demanding an answer. I’m not sure we are actually supposed to demand answers from God, but I found myself crying out “Answer me!” a lot. I figured honesty in reaching out was better than not saying the wrong thing because I said nothing at all.
Today brought a lot of stress, one sobbing moment, a feeling of hopelessness, and then…
The sobbing event happened after a fit my son had because I wouldn’t let him outside to play with the water (He turns on our water at full blast and proceeds to flood our back patio.). Seeing the gritting teeth and the anger in his eyes, as I was avoiding being pinched, got to me. I realized staying near him, even as he appeared to calm down, was actually not helping the situation. I got up and went to my room, thinking I would just have a little moment, and then sobs came.
A minute later I hear shuffled steps coming down the hallway.
Oh great. Why is he back here? Does he want to use the TV, or is he still mad and followed me back to pinch me? Glad I locked the door.
After a few minutes, I knew I needed to go back out and make sure my other son was doing alright. (Taylor’s aggression only comes towards adults.). I opened the door half planning on being pinched again. But instead, I got a hug. I waited for his hands to slyly slide up my arms and pinch the back of my arms, which is common for him when he is angry, but it never came. It was just a long quiet hug. Then he let go and calmly walked into my room to watch TV.
Thank you God. I needed that.
Fast forward through the next 5 hours. 5 tense hours. I’m on the couch with him, playing a video game for him, and he turns to look at me and said “Hi.” Not a whisper or a mumble. He looked me in the eyes. My descriptions won’t do the reality justice.
He said “Hi.”
…over and over as I answered back. It was real speech. It didn’t sound sing-song or out of normal speaking pitch. It sounded, well, normal. I didn’t initiate the conversation. He did.
He said “Hi.”
Hope, there is still hope.
But, there always was hope. God is supposed to be my hope. I’m supposed to trust Him and let Him do the heavy lifting. I’d blame my OCD, but I’m pretty sure it’s a sign of my human condition.
This life with autism is hard. Really hard. You just don’t understand unless you’ve lived it. Sometimes, it takes all you have to give.
As I stared at my banner tonight, I scoffed at the words.
“Joy. Hope. Peace. There’s none of that here.”
I heard back, “And who’s fault is that?”
As always, positive comments are welcome. Negative hurtful comments will be trashed before I can even finish reading them. I have many readers who are emotionally vulnerable, and I will not post comments that will further harm.
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