I love my child… I don’t want to change him. But some days I absolutely positively HATE the nasty side of autism that has its huge big ugly claws wrapped so tightly around him and no matter how hard I try to ripe him from its nasty grasp I just can’t! It leaves me exhausted, frustrated, defeated and mostly just sad! And what it does to him…oh it makes my heart ache just thinking about it. So yes… today I can shout out loud that AUTISM SUCKS!
The doctor said Jay could go back to school today as long as he sat out of PE and recess. He was excited. He was caught up on all his work. He missed the other kids, some of whom actually stopped by our house on Halloween not for the candy but to see how he was doing. (We have some wonderful people living in our neighborhood!) He missed his kids, the ones he works with as his Principle team job. The kids missed him so much that they sent home a book they made filled with pictures and get well wishes for him. This was huge considering most of these kids don’t speak English. So you would think he would have woken up this morning and jumped out of bed in excitement… WRONG!
My boy could not jump out of bed because Autism was holding him down. Yup it filled his covers and his head with so much anxiety he had a hard time actually breathing. He worked himself up really good. It took both myself and my husband to finally calm him down enough to just get up and get dress.
“Lets just take this one step at a time baby,” I cooed softly into his hear.” First just think about getting up and washing your face. See… you did it. Now lets brush your teeth.” Baby steps people… we were taking slow very slow baby steps.
At breakfast he broke down again. “What if I am not really caught up. What if I don’t know the answers? What if I get tired? What if I get sick?” On and on and on the What ifs went. Each one filled with more anxiousness than the one before. It was heartbreaking. I just wanted to fold him into my arms and tell him he didn’t need to go to school… but what good would that do? So I told him instead, in my pretend Mama Knows Best voice, “Jay I know you will be fine! You are going to walk in there and everyone is going to swoon all over you welcoming you back and making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside because they missed you so much. You will be so happy and feel so loved and the rest of the day will go just as well,” he believed it enough to put his coat on and off to school we went.
And Mama did Know Best because the whole way to school it was, “Welcome back Jay!” or “Jay’s back!” and even a few “We missed you so much Jay. So glad you are back!” I must admit it did my heart good to hear this and to see that my boy really does have friends and is loved in school. But still I can’t help but feel helpless… for you see I kissed him goodbye and left him alone to fight the demons all by himself.I only pray that I have prepared him enough to ward off the anxiety, the tendency towards depression, the perfectionist qualities the frustration and the anger monsters? Maybe I should have played Light-saber with him after all.
Fingers crossed that he will have a good day. Positive thoughts and vibes are much appreciated.