Trapped


I have been sad.

I hate being sad.

But I also kind of love being sad, because maintaining long periods of happiness is hard work. Sometimes it feels good to give in to the slump and just rest for a bit.

I was talking to a very smart woman recently about M. She gave me a lot of really great information about how the special education system in our state works. It was incredibly insightful and helpful.

But for some reason, the thing I can’t stop thinking about that she told me was the story of a grown woman she knows who has autism. She has sensory issues, as do most people with autism, to the point that she can’t stand the way her clothes feel on her skin the first day they are clean. They literally drive her crazy all day long, like nails on a chalkboard. Only after wearing them once do they feel normal to her and not bother her. So she hates washing her clothes. She loves animals very much, but she said she could never have a dog. Dogs need constant attention and love, and that is too much stimulation for her. She can only have a cat, because cats demand nothing. They just exist in the same space as you.
Then I thought about how much love and attention babies need.
And I thought about how Maddy might never be a mom. She might never know the joy she has brought me, that I receive from every smile, every laugh, every “I yuff yu.”
And I only have two kids… Owen might not ever want kids. Some guys end up doing their own thing and not having kids.
And then I thought, I might never get to be a grandma.
And I just crumble. So many tears.
I think about how every time a rain drop hits Maddy’s head, she says “OUCH!  OOOUCH!” How she hates to be touched unintentionally, and acts like it hurts. How she is terrified of finger paint.
How she is terrified of just about anything unexpected.
I think about how traumatic her appendectomy must have been less than a year ago, how badly it must have hurt and how especially violated she must have felt.
Most of all I think about how helpless I am.
And most, most, most of all, I pray with all of my heart that Maddy will love her life and not feel like she is trapped. I want her to feel free.
And even more than anything in the world, I hope there is no such thing as autism in Heaven. I can’t wait to meet her there for the first time, uninhibited. She is in there, fighting through her brain’s obstacles to be free.
Until then I will fight every day to find more and more of her in the here and now.
God, I love that little girl.
Tomorrow I’m going to try harder to be happy.

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