There are only a handful of places that I can take Seth. We usually only do one outing per day, whether it is to therapy or to visit family. He usually loves to go get yogurt. It is just 2 minutes from our home and a short outing. It is one of our few "safe" outings. Well, our safe outing is now a "no-go zone."
Seth does this strange thing sometimes where he changes him mind back and forth. He will do it over and over, it is impossible to help him because he continues to change what he wants. He has done this before at home.
Well, he was excited to go get yogurt. We arrived, fixed our yogurt with his favorite sprinkles and sat down. On his first bite, he said no. Then, he wanted it, yes. No, yes, no, yes....I thought to myself. Why?!? This cant happen here. Great! So before he got too out of control, I said we had to leave. He freaked out! When Seth freaks, he gets aggressive. He pulls his hair, my hair, screams, hits his head and loses all control. Before I could grab him and all of our things(because he always travels with a ton of stuff) he was pushing over chairs...then went the table. And....the table broke!! I stood there stunned. Overwhelmed, stunned and still trying to get my raging son out of there!
The owner, and only employee there at that time...got mad. Not only did she get mad at Seth, she demanded I pay for the table before leaving. In the moment, I was so lost and upset...Whatever, I gave her my debit card. After barely getting Seth back into the car, unable to get him into his seat due to his rage...I broke down. He was ripping my hair out of my head, screaming and I was physically and mentally exhausted. Finally, I was able to force him into his seat to drive home. Reality hitting me in the face as I drove away.
No outing is simple. My life is not simple. No one gets it. The stares from strangers cut like a knife. I called my husband crying. Him, being the most carefree and optimistic person I know...replies with, "man, that was an expensive cup of yogurt." Well, yes it was...$225.00 to be exact.
I don't know what exactly hit me so hard. Maybe its that I never thought I would be that mom, with her child destroying other peoples property from pure rage! Maybe I feel like I have no control over my life. Maybe its just the reality that I wont ever have a care free life with my son like most people do. Whatever caused the breakdown...I broke down.
At the end of the day, the broken table was paid for. My broken spirit was just barely beginning to heal and I had to move forward. I will now think even longer and harder before taking Seth anywhere, especially when I'm by myself.
I had to post this post, I had to vent. I feel like no one understands what we go through and I hope someone else out there can see this post and not feel so alone. Or maybe have a little more compassion for what families with special needs kids go through. Phew, good thing everyday is a new day!
Friday, March 2, 2012
It is still hard for me to believe that four years has passed. I have been reflecting on the past four years since Seth's birthday. I could've never pictured my life to be the way it is. I could've never envisioned the triumphs and struggles. I would've never seen the strength and patience in myself. I have to have a moment of confession and admit that although it has been four years, I still have a hard time accepting. I never like to see Seth struggle and wonder why he has to struggle when it seems like most children are so carefree. Seth is bound by his anxiety and sensory difficulties. I know he knows no different, that is a slight comfort. I fear in some ways for what the future may hold, daily I tell myself, "wait to worry."
In reflection of the past four years, I know that there are "beauty" sides and "beast" sides to autism. We all know what a "beast" autism can be sometimes, so I am choosing to reflect on the beauty! Never, never, never could I have ever imagined love so deep, pure, patient and unending until I became a mother. Four years have only made that love even stronger. The past four years I have learned leaps and bounds about autism, something that was originally a foreign concept to me. I have met truly inspiring children, therapists and families. My heart has changed over these few years and I believe it will continue to do so. The world is so different when you have a special needs child. The small things are amazingly huge. The things that used to be important are minor. Your life long goals and dreams shift to something you wouldn't have been unable to give thought to before hand. Yet in that shift, your life is more meaningful and has more value. I am more accepting of others, slower to judge. My eyes are open to the struggles that are out there for many families. Not just families touched by autism, families touched by any special need. My heart is softened.
When your life is stripped of your familiar routine and you are left with the caring for your child 24/7, you realize what is important. You realize what you can live without. You realize how simple and precious life can be. Everyday of these past four years I have been at home with Seth. A huge blessing, though admittedly a struggle at times. Of course I yearn for a small part of the "old" me back. Even just a hobby I once enjoyed. With time, I know that that will come. Right now, I am part of something bigger, making memories daily with my little man, allowing him to be the best that he can be. Somehow though, in the process, Seth has made me better.
My only child, my only little boy is growing up. It is bitter sweet and I am looking forward to many many more years of simple memories. Maybe some less "beastly" moments would fare well also. ;)
I am thankful for the journey that I am on and what it has allowed me to "see." I am a better person and I will continue to pray for full acceptance of this journey. With time I hope that I can stop asking, "why Seth?" I hope the same for everyone else out there that may be struggling with accepting a life they didn't plan for. That we can enjoy the beautiful moments, have patience and perseverance in the "beastly" moments and set the worry aside!