Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pieces To My Puzzle

How do you communicate to your 10 year old autistic son, for whom even a simple yes or no is very taxing for his little system to supply. To whom a simple question will either elicit joy, or extreme frustration because the words jumbled together, and even though yesterday he understood what I meant when I asked him to turn off the light, today it doesn't make sense and he tries to do ten different things for me that he thinks I might mean, because he can't understand the language I am speaking from my mouth. How do I communicate my love to my Sammy boy and know he hears it and feels it and sees it? When I try and show him my affection he is like a huge lab that still thinks he is a puppy,:o) he almost knocks me over most of the time, and I can't tell you the number of bruises his love has left on my body. I try to hold him and he gets excited and jumps, I try to talk to him and he giggles at me and this veil seems to settle over his eyes and I instantly know I am not making sense to my Sammy anymore and my heart cries out. My heart literally breaks. Day after day, after day, after day.

Sammy's mood often sets the tone for the entire family, if he wakes up and doesn't feel quite right, or something isn't exactly how he expected it, meltdowns are frequent and numerous.

How do I reach his little heart when he cries on the floor and flops about because he is so frustrated with what he is trying to do that he can't get to work, and he can't ask for help.

How do I respond.

So often it is so easy to become enraged. I get up and have been out of bed five minutes and hear whining and fussing from his room and my heart gets angry. Why can't I have time for myself, I only wanted to spend some time in the Bible, surely this should be a simple task when I have awoken before my two youngest girls to sneak in this time. Why does rage and anger seem to come so easily?!? I fight them back as best as I can, but it still rages in me at times against my own flesh and blood, what do I do with this? How do I accept that there are times that are just going to be angering for the rest of my life. I have made peace with Sammy being with Billy and I long after the other children have grown and moved out, I don't have any trouble with that at all. If I could only just reach him...

I would often find myself just breathing, sometimes that is the best reply I can give my son, to breathe deeply, close my eyes and say nothing. Does he need to see the frustration and hurt in my eyes? Does he need to see how my heart breaks on the days that I cannot reach him no matter how hard I try? Does he need to see my feelings of failing him in my eyes? Does he need to see the pain in my heart and the grief that sneaks up when I feel Sam has been robbed of something good. When I feel Sammy has had something taken from him that wasn't rightfully done.

How can I praise my God entirely when my heart is broken because the child He gave to me I feel He has somehow made a mistake with.

To look my Sammy in the eyes I see nothing short of a miracle. He is a beautiful little boy, such soft brown and golden curls in his hair and warm hazel eyes that seem to ooze forth his love and joy for life. When I look into Sammy's eyes, I see he is happy. Just because the world I thought he needed and deserved isn't the way it turned out to be, doesn't mean my Sammy isn't happy.

So I breathe, when I think I cannot take a minute longer, I cry out to God for help, I close my eyes, and I breathe deeply. Often tears accompany these prayers, but I breathe deeply and pray until I can think clearly enough to join Sammy in his world, and love him right where he is at. Even if it means there will be extra bruises on my body, even if it means I don't get to do what I wanted this morning, or even today, and need to wait until later to fit in time with God. I need to drop what I am doing and meet my little angel right where he is. Often it can be joy too, but that is an easy place for me to meet him, sometimes the whoops of joy and laughter literally echoe from the hallways as he runs up and down them. But when he is broken, I am broken too. So I meet him in our brokeness, and I seek God's help in how to fix this. I don't often have solutions, other than to sit there with him and get him through it, putting aside 100% of everything on my mind, meals to make, clothes to clean, baby to nurse, etc... Instead I lay down my will, and I meet Sammy right where he is. If he is tossing a toy into a container and saying the same thing over and over again, then I do that. Amazingly I have found that his speach gets clearer when I do this, and he actually starts looking into my eyes, straight and deep into my eyes, his little soul meets mine. Such a simple thing as that, because I joined him in his little world. There is a theory behind this, it is called 'Floor Time' and it is very successful with children with autism, the idea is that you meet a child exactly where they are at, if all they want to do is throw a block on the floor and say the same word over and over, that is what you do. The more you meet them in their world, the safer they feel being drawn out to join you in your world.

I had to walk through some deep healing from past emotional pain before I could ever get to this place of meeting Sammy in his world. I have tried before, believe me I tried and failed again and again and again. Well he is my son, he is the apple of my eye, what else am I to do. I learn a little more, I read a little more, I try and find solutions. But most of the time I tried and failed because I had such grief in my heart, it not only blocked God from working through me completely, but it blocked Sammy from feeling safe and secure always with his mommy. But since I have walked through this turmoil in my own heart, Sammy feels safer now allowing me into his world. Momma's unresolved anger and pain don't hurt him anymore. Samuel and I have a connection that runs almost as deep as a mother nursing her child, he is not by any means nursing, but his emotional connection to me has always been very strong. It makes sense, his survival depends on his mother's emotional state. If I was stressed out by life or whatever was going on, it showed every day in me and was written onto my Sammy's heart, instead of the things I longed to write there.

His momma is so heartbroken that it has taken this long to meet her little Sammy angel right where he is, but I am rejoicing that God has set me free from my past and is allowing me a glimpse into Sammy's world today. After trying and trying and trying in my own power, I realized it was useless, it isn't by might, and it isn't by power... It was by His Spirit... Thank you Jesus, Thank you Lord, I will forever praise Your name for You are MORE than worthy of our praises!!!!

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