I contemplated all weekend wether to write this post or not….to open up and tell about one of the worst days we have had in a LONG time. In the end I have decided that this is a tale I NEED to share, not just because I need to talk about it rather than bury it deep and lock it away, but also because there may be another mom ( or Dad) out there in Autism-land who may be fighting the same battle, facing the same fears, crying the same tears, and if what I learned from this one day that seemed to never end can help her (or Him), then it is worth it.
Friday began like every other day, I got up and started getting the kids out the door for school. There is a system in place that just…works. The oldest leaves first, then Dak-man, then the youngest and I walk to her school. All SEEMED to be going according to routine, but then, as Dak and I were waiting on his bus, it all started to unravel. He began crying out that his stomach hurt, and just flat out screaming. This is not the first time this has happened, so I sent him back in the house, and told the bus driver Dak would be staying home.
Before I go any farther, let me back up a minute and state that Dak has been screaming out randomly about his tummy hurting off and on for about a month. We went to the Doctor, ran the gammit of tests….everything checked out. His Doctor suggested that since he is almost 13 it MAY be growing pains, and puberty sending his body all outta whack, so at her suggestion we increased his pottassium by adding a bananna a day, and Gatorade to his diet. This SEEMS to be making a difference. Friday, however, there was another factor at play…a major weather front system was moving into our area, and when the barometric pressure changes drastically, it wreaks all kinds of havoc on Dak.
Ok…back to the events of the day….
I told Dak that we still had to walk his sister to school and that He needed to leave his school clothes/shoes on till we got home, but He had a one track mind. He was in pain and chnaged into shorts and a t-shirt, took his shoes off, and climbed into bed. After gently coaxing Him back into his shoes, the three of us headed out the door and all SEEMED to be ok. We got about half way to her school and Dak fell apart. It was starting to rain, so both kids had their umbrellas…Shawna had her tinkerbelle one, and Dak, his Iron man one. Dak started randomly swinging his umbrella while also screaming , and wouldn’t you know it…the umbrella hit me in the eye. I managed to calm him down…briefly. Then He darted across the street into a neighbor’s yard, screaming the whole time. what scared me the most in all this is that he was “non-responsive”. He had slipped into His “own little world” and I could not reach Him. I was terrified he was going to get hurt. I left a very upset Shawna standing on the sidewalk as I chased after her brother, calmed him down, and coaxed him back to where she was standing, and what hit me at that moment, as I looked at her precious face, was that this little princess of mine bears a tremendous load. She is my youngest, the only one of my children NOT on the spectrum. I saw in her eyes so much concern for her brother, sadness for me, and determination to help me help him get through this, so much love, pain, so many emotions flashed across my little girl’s face.
We started walking towards school again, and this time, made it about 3/4 of the way there. Dak slipped away again, this time just collapsing onto the grown, kicking and thrashing around. I called my husband, knowing FULL well he was at work and there was nothing he could do, but at the same time somehow hoping my hero would come rescue me. We decided that Shawna could handle the last bit of the walk to school on her own, and Dak and I would head for home. I cried the whole way home. I got angry at the situation and texted mean things to my husband, whom I had hoped would come rescue me ( knowing full well he couldn’t). As I worked to stay calm, to get Dak home, I did something I should have done from the start..I cried out “Lord, Please help me! Help Dak calm down enough that we can get home safely” and I got Dak to focus on me…told him Mommy was hurt and he needed to get mommy home safely. He took charge, and it worked.
Once we got home, and I had Dak resting in his room, I called my husband to apoligize for my childish behavior, and I cried…and cried. We worked through it, and got over the mountain. The rest of the day continued to be one outburst after another from Dak. each time, it was like he had slipped into some horrible place that I could not rescue Him from. I was scared, I felt SO alone and helpless. I ended up calling my husband again asking to be rescued, again knowing there was NO way he was going to be able to leave work. The only thing left for me to do was to hit my knees and pray. I spent the whole day in tears. I got reminded of one of my life verses….
Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
When my husband got home that night, I collapsed. I had a Black eye, thanks to the umbrella, and felt from head to toe like I had just been in a fight, emotionally drained, I let Him take over and I went and hid for an hour. I learned a few things from this day that seemed to never end….I learned that I CAN get through days like that without my husband rescuing me ( this is a GOOD thing, because being a Military wife, if deployment happens, I CAN’T even CALL him to rescue me!). I learned that even in the midst of the worst storms, I am NOT alone. Life was never meant to be easy, but if I remember where my hope rests, if I REST in the promises Jesus gave me, I WILL be ok. When I depend on MY strength, I fall apart on days like this, because I Just am not strong enough. but when I rely on HIS Strength, I CAN.
Saturday ended up being an AMAZING day….but that is another post, which I will share soon. Right now though, I need to go refill my coffee cup!