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Autism: Fighting Demons

23 Jun

It was probably the nicest day of the year so far. It was a Saturday, and I had nothing pressing to do. The day before had been my cleaning day. I had my blog posts written and up to date. There was no shopping that needed to be done…

My mom and I were sitting outside, watching ‘my girls’ who had spent a while happily exploring the yard, and running around, and had moved to rest on the lawn.

I set up the hammock I had gotten from the thrift store the previous fall, and brought out my bag of papers and pencils in case I was inspired to write.

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I lay down on the hammock, and looked up into the maple tree above me, and there I stayed for maybe two hours.

The sun was filtering down through the branches, and the leaves were gently swaying in the breeze.

It was as calm and content as I have ever felt. No fears. No anxieties. No worries. Just peace. For that moment, all was right with the world.

Yet even then I felt this tug at my heart, and fought these words in my mind.

“You will be punished for this.”

Punished for feeling content. Punished for feeling good. Punished for taking time to be okay that I was not in control. Punished for making peace with all that I have lost, and all I have experienced.

And though I tried to push away the attack and fight the demons within, I was not well succeeding.

When other people in the world are so busy, or are so sick, or are living in war torn places fearful for their lives – how can I take an afternoon, and spend it laying on a hammock watching the leaves sway in the breeze.

How could I?

I tried to fight it more. After all, I am never content, like I was that afternoon. I am always fighting some battle in my head – and trying to gain control over things I have no control over – and trying to return to a past that I can’t reach – and trying to make up for things I can’t overcome…

And if I let go of the past that hurt me so many times, and took so much from me, does that mean I don’t care?

If for just one moment, or two hours on a Saturday afternoon, I can make peace with the life I was given, shouldn’t I take that opportunity?

And the demons say, “no.”

But God says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Only I am always afraid – and when I am not afraid? That scares me to. The demons I fight are very strong, and their words are familiar, and it is hard for me to stand.

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2 responses to “Autism: Fighting Demons

  1. kazst

    June 23, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    We are alike in many ways, but if I’m understanding correctly what you’re saying, this is one way in which we’re opposite. I always think I’m going to be punished for *not* being content. Like I think I’m supposed to take everything life throws at me and somehow be okay with it, and if I’m not, I’m a terrible person. I feel very guilty for my lack of contentment and suspect it’s why good things won’t often happen for me.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Walkinfaith925

      June 24, 2017 at 9:30 am

      More, it is at least two fold (things for me always have multiple sides.) First, it seems like whenever things start to be okay for me, bad things come, like a punishment for the happiness. Second, I always feel like I should be doing something meaningful with the life I was given, which would bring honour and glory to God. However, I am not working, and am on disability – and rather than accepting that I need the time to heal, I feel guilty for not striving every moment to get past it. So if I find myself in a moment of rest and contentment, it feels like taking an extra break at work, and in comes the fear that I am going to be punished for that as well. Yet I know it was that striving that brought me to burnout and failure all of my life.

      And then on top of that is the reminder that really bad things have happened in my life, and to find contentment now is to minimize the hurt and loss that caused – not only to myself but to others as well – as if it didn’t matter. So I carry the pain of everyone hurt by those things, as if that would free them up to heal, by letting them now how deeply it affected me. I also feel guilty for my lack of contentment and restlessness – but that is a guilt that says I should be working hard, and giving to society, and ignoring my struggles, and still be content despite the fact that it is destroying me inside. And while it might manifest as a faith issue, it is not God that I take issue with. So the thought, if put into words, might go something like this: “I believe God allowed me to experience this life I have as a consequence of my own inability to overcome my failures. I deserve this.”

      Contentment within this context then would not be contentment with the life I have been given, but rather contentment with the idea that the world owes me. So while the rest of the world is out working hard to make ends meet, it is okay that I am lying in a hammock watching the leaves sway in the breeze, because I had a hard life and people have to pay for that. (I don’t believe that, by the way.)

      And all of these things come together to say, “It is NOT okay that you are content or happy. Ever.”

      Liked by 1 person

       

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