Thursday, July 19, 2012

Looking For Rainbows In The Storm

If you don't know much about me you may not know that my second "well read" child has some special needs.

I remember when I was child being drawn to books like Fanny,  A Very Special Critter, and Leo the Late Bloomer (a less modern version). I loved these books because the characters weren't without defect. Not everyone can relate to a three legged cat, or a lion who can't roar but if we are honest we all have something that we struggle with. I knew this reality even as a child.

I thank God for that heart he built up in me as a child and I know now that he was preparing me to care for me child, looking past quirks and the adjustments that his life requires and loving the person he is.

My son has been diagnosed with OCD, ADHD, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder and we are standing on the threshold of an Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis. I read like a crazy person. I study all I can on these disorders and I can't even express in words how important it is to me to give him every advantage in this world. I advocate for him and strive to make his needs my expertise so I can mother him with excellence. That said, sometimes education and experience are stretched beyond their span. Resources fail and the challenges mount. In these times we can only rely on God.

Monday I was in such a place. His medications were not producing their needed response. His anger was burning. Over the weekend he expressed violence, rage and self-loathing that lit my fears. By Monday it was a fire of emotion that couldn't be contained.

I am my son's safe place. We just click. I can speak reason to him when his logic is failing. Monday even I couldn't reach his heart.

After a day of constant prayer and repeated conversations with his doctors (medical, Psychiatrist, and Therapist) I made an appointment to have him evaluated at a nearby children's psychiatric center.

I was prepared to leave him there for treatment for a period of 3 days. The hardest thing I've ever done in my life, but his best option. When they said 5-7 days my heart broke in two.

At this point my son is safe and learning the skills to remain safe when he returns home (hopefully very soon). The staff at the hospital respect my momma bear instincts and are advocating for my son on my behalf. I trust them and that is no small thing. I'm a control freak. This is completely out of my nature.

I want to share what is in my heart now, my rawest feelings pulled from my personal diary.  I'm sharing this in the hopes that
1. you will pray for my son.
2. you will have a friend should you even have to walk this path.
3. the end story (which has yet to be reveled) will build your faith.

I can't pray. heck, if I'm honest I can't breath. Touch me and you'll be left to sweep up a crumbled mess on the floor. 

You know, he said never flood the earth again, but my world is submerged in a flood of tears and not everyone in it can swim. 

Trust has never been my strong point, but did we really have to test it this far? 

I left him in the hands of strangers and God and right now both feel like wild cards. 

On the way home from the hospital last night we passed a sign. I'm not sure what it was advertised. There was only time to read the words "A Devastating Spill. A Devastating Feeling." Great road sign right?
Anyway, I thought devastating was a perfect word for what I was feeling as the tears were trying not to spill from my eyes.

My son is my dream. I wanted him from my childhood, back when he was just a plastic doll with brown eyes and a different name. He has always been wanted.  It tears my heart in two to leave him.

I dreamt last night that the house I live in split. The floor started to sink at one end of the house. It tilted and rocked and everything we loved was hanging in the balance. I counted the kids as the house tipped and water receded like a wave over them. I had to struggle to find my son but found him eventually, soaked and frazzled like a nearly drowned kitten. Someone else had pulled him out of the wave. I was too far away to ever get there in time, standing, watching at the highest point of the room.

I hate this lack of control. This powerless feeling is foreign and it takes my breath away.

I want nerve pills, (something to put air back in my lungs) but I can't risk another loss of control. He needs me to be alert right now, to be in my head enough to make intelligent decisions even if they are the hardest ones to make.

I see him everywhere. In one child's eyes, in another's compassion, in my youngest's spunk, and my husbands everything. If everyone is honest though, I know him best and know his mind is racing and his heart is retreating in fear.
It's his heart I love most about him about him though and the one thing I can't stand to lose. I want my little boy back.

So I guess I'm praying after all. God, give us a break through, a miracle that will end this nightmare quickly and restore his emotions so he can come home to us better. Not beat down and timid, but fully him with all the pieces and quirks we have grown to love. Give him peace and even laughter as he works toward health. Keep shame and harm at bay and bring my little boy back to me whole, with hope for the future. I miss him and I'm not sure how long my strength will last.

Please settle the storm inside. Send a rainbow. Amen

Update: Half way through this post I stopped to take a call from him. He says he is having a great day. He had a time out, but fixed his behavior after. He actually said "it taught me something". Iron man was on tv and he was distracted by it and kept losing focus. I told him he could go watch it that it wouldn't hurt my feelings if he liked the movie and wanted to hang up. He said "I love you mom". I told him he would be home soon and that I loved him too. "Right, so can I really go watch the movie?"

I laughed and said goodbye. That's the little boy I know.


  1. Thankyou Heather for posting you gave and give me words that I most times cant express. I never thought of it as you do but with my daughter having a diagnosis of Autism usually I too understand her when others just think she is being defiant and stubborn .I see through that and see her with all her creativity and quirks. She is herself and like you I dont want anyone to take her fire. My goal as her mother is to help her be who God wants her to be and help her gain the skills to not just be functional but to be the best of her ability. Hugs and prayers being sent your way!

    1. Godsprincess, Thank you for your prayers. Yes it is a beautiful fire in these children. The challenge is keeping it a controlled burn and not a wild fire. I believe he's given me a gift to see my son with God's eyes. It sounds like you feel it too. Other's don't always see all the good there is in our children, but for us it's like a blinking neon sign. We can't miss it.

  2. Heather,
    I have the awesome privilege of working with these amazing kids for the past few years. At times I have wished I had the ability to get inside so I could get my message across or the ability to hear their message so I could stop their pain, most times I just prayed for the right opportunity, the right words and the grace to allow God to work the way only He can. I praise God for your courage, it is hard to watch our children suffer and doing something that stretches us just amplifies that feelings. I thank you for sharing this as no other parent really knows your pain until they have been through it themselves. I know your transparency and bravery will help them and ministers to us. God guide us and direct us as we rear His children and sometimes it is in that we must rest and have peace. May the faithfulness of God hold you and keep you as you walk through this journey. My family is praying for you and your family! God bless you my sister and thank you for sharing.

    1. Aida,
      Prayer does so much for these kids. It seems like a small act when you're watching them crumble, but God is listening and busy at work in their hearts. Thank you for your kind words and prayers.

  3. Precious One,

    I have been praying as I read down through your post and will continue to do so. I am sorry you, your son and family are going through this right now.
    Your post brought back the feelings I had when we left our 17 year old daughter for a two month stay, 17 hours from home at a Christian eating disorder treatment facility. I realize then what tough love was all about. Even though we were doing what was right, it wasn't easy!! In fact, it was the hardest thing we had ever done. And I have no doubt, what you did this week for your son, was the hardest thing you have ever done.
    As our daughter walked away from us and the doors closed, we felt like we had been kicked in the gut. We wanted to run grab her and take her home with us. The entire trip home, my husband and I both cried. But we made it through, although not completely healed at that time, our daughter was given the tools she needed to fight her eating disorder. And she has!
    While we were at family week, I heard the song Oceans will Part by Hillsong. God used that song to bring hope back into our hearts and even today (6 years later) we see that His Will was done.
    Here is the link to that song. I hope it can minister to you somehow as well.

    I will continue to pray for you, your son and entire family. Praying for a peace that passes all understanding, that Hope will rise and His Will is done in your precious sons life.
    God's richest blessing to you as you journey on,

    1. There are so many moms struggling with feelings like yours and mine. I am blessed and humbled to be in this very select group of moms who have been trusted by God with children who function and feel outside the norm. It isn't always easy to feel courage personally, but I can see it in others who also walk this path and it encourages me to think I'm one of them. Thank you b for sharing your story and the song.


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