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Autism: Why Would They Want Me?

My heart has been racing all day. “Find a way to move forward,” she told me. How can I do that when my heart lies in the past? “Look to a time when your children are grown out of the system, and need someone to be there for them.”

Why would they want me? As far as the government is concerned, I am nothing to my children. Why would they mention me? What am I to them?

“You will have to reach out to them,” she said. “They will have no one in their lives then.”

But that is not true. I know that is not true. “The foster parents who have the one girl are good at this. They are good at being social, and talking to people, and dealing with the ministry. They are good at life. Why would the children want me, when I am none of that?”

“Well then, let them go, and move on,” she says, and I cry.

I can’t let them go. I can’t turn away. I want them with me so bad it hurts – but I am not good at this. Understand, I am not good at this, and tell me… Why would they want me?

I can’t go back, though I battle that continuously. I can’t think of them as someone else’s children, when in my heart – no matter how hard I try – I have claimed them as my own.

I wish them every happiness, and if that means they have to be somewhere else… it breaks my heart. Truly it crushes me.

In my brokenness, what have I to offer them? “This is just a rough patch,” my counselor tells me. But that rough patch has encompassed my entire life to this point – do you see that? How can I trust that this “rough patch” will end, when it never has before?

Do I want them in my life? Absolutely – with every fiber of my being! They are my children… to me, they are. But what have I to offer them? Why would they want me?

Can I let them go? Never. My love for them, and my pain and regret over losing them will last my entire life. I know this. I know myself enough to know the truth in this. While others may forget, or find a way to move on, I never could. I never could.

He had the courage, that boy of mine, to come up to us after 5.5 years and introduce himself. “Do you remember me?” he asked, as if I could ever forget. As if I hadn’t searched every face for him for over 5 years.

And it was his courage that fed me today as I hovered over his Facebook page, fearing rejection, fearing that I had nothing to offer him, fearing the pain of losing him again.

Don’t let the fear
of what could happen
make nothin happen.

He wrote.

And so I sent him a friend request – this boy of mine, who isn’t mine anymore, yet remains…

And he accepted.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2015 in Autism: Mental Health and Healing

 

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Autism: Fears, Obsessions, Confusion

If only I had known… the inner workings of my mind and emotions are much more complex than they appear.

The first time this really got me into trouble, I was seventeen years old. The brother of a friend had just died in a tragic accident. He was barely an adult. A 10 year old boy died the same day as a result of the same accident.

What happened was the young man fell off the 22nd floor of an apartment building. The boy looked up to watch him fall, and was struck by a truck – the driver had also looked up, and didn’t see the child.

Events such as these bring our mortality into light, and my friends and I were no exception.

The challenge was that I was struggling through a severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at the time. When I say severe, I mean it; I couldn’t close my eyes without having flashbacks to the abused child I was. I was running away from people and places constantly – often with little or no warning. I was hiding under tables, under beds…

I could walk into a room, and immediately know the best hiding place, all of the exits, and the floor plan of the space I was occupying.

I couldn’t handle school. I had friends, but would only go places if my boyfriend was there.

My boyfriend… he also happened to be my best friend, and I was completely dependent on him that year. It wasn’t fair to him, but I needed him, and he was there.

And then this happened. This event that was so shocking, so close, so real – and then I was lost.

Suddenly our friends were telling me that I was in love with someone else. Frank believed it, too, and it hurt him. I could tell it hurt him, and I didn’t know what to do – for I didn’t believe I was in love with this other boy. I didn’t know what they were seeing, but I didn’t believe it to be true.

However, the more they said it, the more focused I became – which confirmed their belief.

I started looking at this other boy constantly, and became obsessed with thoughts of him. I began dreaming of him, and it worried me. I didn’t question that in my dreams I was with John – yes – but I was traveling the world in search of Frank. It didn’t cross my mind that this was my fear, not my desire – for others told me this was true, and I believed them.

Suddenly I was in the arms of this other person – and I didn’t belong there. I missed my friend. I felt lost and alone… but I wouldn’t return to the one who still loved me, for I hurt him. I hurt him, and I didn’t know why, and I didn’t know how to stop myself from hurting him again – so I stayed where I was.

I was afraid – so afraid… and to others it looked like desire. They were so sure they knew what I wanted that I believed it myself, and I stayed. Like a little child lost in the woods is told to stay where they are so others can find them… I stayed. What else should I have done?

From that relationship came my son. I won’t say I didn’t love his father – but I didn’t understand how I came to be with him, and I didn’t belong there.

That was the first time, and I didn’t understand that my biggest fears present themselves as desires to others; so much so that the others have no question that they know what is best for me – and yet, they are so wrong. So often wrong.

The next time was when my cousin was sick. I loved my cousin. Yet when I knew she was dying, I dreamed of her death. I wanted it to be over… but no, I didn’t.

I was afraid of what was coming, and wanted that fear to go away, but I didn’t want her to die. I know I didn’t want her to die – and after…

But it looked like this was something I wanted. I was so focused, so matter of fact about it. I spoke of her like she was already gone, like there was no hope. I maybe even smiled – but inside I was breaking, even as I ached for it to be over.

Maybe it is better how others do it – they hurt, they grieve, they move on. I obsessed. I responded poorly. I was locked in depression for 2 years after. I have never really overcome that experience.

It was after Wendy died that I understood what happened with Frank. It wasn’t something I wanted. I was afraid – and I believe them when they told me I wanted that change. They were wrong, but I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t understand what I was thinking or feeling.

I wouldn’t go back and change that, for from that came my son – but I lost my best friend in the process, and 20 years later, that still hurts.

I know there have been many times over the years where my fears and obsessions have confused others – confused them to the point where they are absolutely convinced that they know what I want more than I do, and they are always wrong.

Did I want my children taken from me? NO!!! – but they would have said yes. Not yes that I wanted them gone, but yes that it was better for me – because in my fear, I was terrified they would be taken, which made me look guilty.

Because as I tried to express to them my need for understanding, what they heard was that I found it to difficult to raise my children – but that was not the truth. The truth was, I was mostly fine with my children, but found it difficult to deal with other people.

Even now, I find it hard to distinguish between what I want, and what I am afraid of; who I am, and who others expect me to be; how I feel about something, and how others tell me I feel about it.

It is all very confusing, and often stressful to me – especially when I have an obsession over a fear, that appears as a desire that would hurt someone I love. I want to shout that is not true! But they wouldn’t believe me anyway.

I am chipping away, chipping away, at who they have told me I am – but I don’t think I will be done anytime soon. Somewhere along the way I got lost in their expectations, and in their confidence over who I was… who I wasn’t – and I still don’t know who I am.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2015 in Autism: Reality

 

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Autism: Selfish Girl Part Two

It wasn’t meant to be a post about famine and wars. When I sat at my computer to write about my own selfishness, I was going to write it as an explanation… perhaps a blessing, even, to my husband.

You see, every day he gets up early, walks the dog, cleans the cat boxes… every day before work, he does so much for me.

When I was working, my shifts were all over the place, and I was either working before it was time to walk our dog, or I was still asleep as I had worked so late the previous night. I could not consistently – no… I could not often make a consistent effort to walk our dog in the mornings. So he did it. No questions. No complaints.

I asked for the dog. He walks him, and feeds him every morning.

Now I am not working, but my medication drugs me, so I can’t wake up until after 9 most mornings. Still, though I am home nearly all the time, and he works full time at a busy job, he continues to walk and feed our dog every morning – all without question. All without complaint.

Shortly after we were married, he began cleaning the cat boxes. You must understand that he is not the animal person in our household. I am. I didn’t ask him to do this, but I did struggle with the dust and the smell, and he just started doing it on his own.

My husband takes care of the vehicles, takes care of the lawn (as I have an allergy to grass) cleans out the furnace filters, calls repair people when we need them, takes out the garbage and recycling, does most of the errands… all without question. All without complaint.

When I asked to adopt, he agreed. When we lost our children, he stood by me. When I struggled to work after that loss, he asked for a raise in his job. When I asked to quit my job and go back to school, he supported me. When I left construction to return to my previous (lower paying) job, he backed me up.

When I came home in tears and told him that my Psychiatrist put me on medical leave, and my counselor told me I likely would never be able to work more than a day or two a week without falling apart, he told me we would manage.

After watching a video, and telling my husband that I was going to start eating a nearly vegan diet, he said, “okay.” And when in fear I asked him what we would do if I could never work again, he told me we would figure it out.

And when after all of my failures, and all of my struggles… after I had been diagnosed with Autism, with years of brokenness accumulated through my life, I turned to him and asked if he regretted marrying me? He said it was the best decision he had made in his life.

With all of his kindness and support, do I return the same? No. I get frustrated when he makes the floors dirty, or leaves the cupboard doors open. I get annoyed when he doesn’t dry the dog’s feet, and get angry when he eats what I consider too much food.

He is so good to me – yet in expressing how I struggle with my own sensory issues and inflexible thoughts, it comes across that he is the selfish one when in fact, that title belongs to me.

I don’t believe I am always wrong in my anger, or irritation – but that doesn’t mean he is choosing to be cruel.

I am the selfish one. That is not what he tells me; it is what I know. And I just want to say to him, Thank you. Thank you for being so kind, and so patient, and so accepting, even when in my brokenness, I cannot return the same. I am trying. Thank you for showing to me what unconditional love looks like.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2015 in Faith Walk

 

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Fighting A Losing Battle

I am fighting a losing battle

I was never supposed to win

And even if I had the chance

I wouldn’t know where to begin

I admit to the many mistakes I’ve made

I am sorry and I apologize

But I guess I could never rid the pain

When I couldn’t even hear your cries

And so here I sit all alone

In the darkness of my gloom

And in my mind I let you go

While sitting silently in this room

I could never hope, believe, or trust

As you say is life’s greatest need

So now I will have to let you go

And suffer as my heart will bleed

I trapped you inside my misery

Please remember I never lied

I will have to let you go now

But I could never say good-bye

I love you

 
 

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