The Autism Emotions — 52 Week Writing Challenge
The desperate hours pass by, but it was really only minutes. I feel like some days all I do is cry, or walk on eggshells, or pitch my own personal party meltdown. I never imagined autism quite like this. I thought I knew. Heck, I thought I knew, because I had worked for a week with a little boy that had severe autism during vacation bible school. But nothing prepared me for this. Nothing could have prepared me for this.
There are very good days, I would say there are great days, but they are attached with autism. Those days aren’t any kinder to my baby, he still struggles. It’s still gut-wrenching for me to watch Owen in his own world so much of the time. How do I drag him out of his world. How do I get in his world. How do I make it our world. How do I not cry.
I think the more answers I have the more questions I find. I laugh about that a lot, I can’t be satisfied with an answer, because my baby still struggles, so it may be an answer, but it isn’t a solution. He still has autism and his brain is amazing. I can tell he is so smart. He wants to tell me things. Needs to tell me things. But retreats when I can’t figure it out or if it’s too hard for him to try.
Owen isn’t even five and he can say his alphabet, has been able to for over a year. He can count to 100, on his terms and with a few slight variations here and there, but I give him A for effort. The words are coming and he is starting to answer questions when asked. This is huge. This is remarkable. This makes my heart leap for joy. For a long time I forgot he was supposed to talk, I honestly think I put it out of my mind so I could protect my heart, my emotions. I seek solace in the moments of clarity and diversity we are faced with. I have never felt more like I wanted a normal life until I watch my baby hurting, my hurting.
Some days I ache more than others for the answers. I look to the unexplained to find the explained. I look for things that don’t make sense so I can find the sense in things. I look to see what I can do to make it easier on my baby, on me.
My goal now is to figure out the brain. I have no training, no prior desire to find out about the brain and I hated science, and anything medical, but all I want to do is figure out what the brain can do to help my son. I watch him. I watch how he handles situations and I try to process it. I try to imagine how our brains can grasp all the information we need and filter it into the right pathways to make our bodies do the amazing things it does. I just look at Owen and keep telling him to find new paths in his brain. Oh how I want to talk to every brain specialist in the world. I want a brain summit.
The quest for knowledge, happiness and knowing my baby is going to be fine is a daily adventure of love. My son is my blessing, my miracle and my motivation. I am thankful for how far he has come and I know this is just a beginning for us. Here’s to Owen and all the amazing people out there that work in the field of autism.
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