This post is the dark, twisted reality of fear that creeps into my existence with Autism.
It’s a rabbit trail from the post: The Most Important Life Skill.
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It’s probably one of the scariest feelings I’ve faced as a mother – knowing that my kid is stuck in a “lost” place, knowing that he’s trapped within the confines of his mind and struggling to convey what he’s thinking, knowing that balling his fists and clenching his teeth are among his only outlets in this “lost” place.
I’ve told him a hundred times, balled fists and clenched teeth don’t really give me the details that I need to help him.
But it doesn’t matter. He may hear me in the “lost” place, but he doesn’t understand. It’s very much like when Queen Elinor, after she’s been turned into a bear, slips out of her own mind and into the mind of a real bear (from Brave).
Merida loses her for those moments, and it’s scares her to think that she’s lost her mother to the creature within.
I know that fear.
Want to see inside my naked soul? I’m scared to death that during one of these “lost” moments, I will indeed lose my son to the creature within. Autism will take him into the darkness and I will be left with balled hands, clenched fists and eyes that don’t recognize me.
And, sadly, I know this fear affects me when I’m working to help him get “unstuck.” I’m louder, more shrill. I react, and then have to apologize. I am at my most unimpressive form of human nature. I am a mom scared about losing her child, trying to help her child overcome the battle in his own mind, within his own nature.
Of all the times not to be functioning at my best, and yet this is who I am when trying desperately to reach him, to find him in the “lost” place and encourage him to fight his way back.
And don’t for a second think it’s an easy, Skip to My Lou through the woods. No, darling. It’s much harder and more difficult than that. When I look at him, fighting to come back from the “lost” place, I know that for him, it would just be easier to stay, to give up, to give in – to just be done.
And knowing that I’m his cheerleader?! Me: a desperate, shrill, often reactive, probably disheveled woman pretending not to be on the verge of possibly losing her son…well, maybe at this point you can understand my fear of the whole situation.
[And let me also say – before the darkness becomes overwhelming – these are among the moments I’m thankful that I’m a woman of faith. I need to believe that there’s someone bigger, more capable, more loving than I am who will help guide me through these parenting trials, give me the patience that I so desperately need to rise above my own selfishness and fill me with a heart of unquenchable love for this little boy in my care.]
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