He had missed a couple doses of his medicine recently, partly due to a late script refill and partly because I hadn’t physically watched him take it (he will lie about taking it at times, a common trait amongst those who suffer with ‘mental illness’). The voices came back night before last and just like every time before, they arrived as if someone invited Satan for a sleep over. These voices will come from random places, this night it was the air conditioner. They were yelling at him, telling him he was ‘just a little boy’ and making demands such as ‘scream! <insert any horrible obscenity> from the top of your lungs! These mean voices tell my baby things that are not true, they hurt him. He managed to get to sleep after taking one of his prescribed anti-psychotics (Olanzapine), unfortunately I didn’t ‘see’ him take his regular dose for the day and I wouldn’t know he had lied until the following night, just last night.
My daughter Emma is the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever known. Her heart is big enough for the whole world to squeeze into and trust me, you want to be in there. She has been witness to some scary events in our home and last night was no exception.
Around 5pm, the day was winding up and I had started to prep dinner, chicken with rice and corn, a favorite at our house. Emma was watching a video on her phone in the living room and Jacob was on a computer game. He took a smoke break and moments after he came back inside, I heard my puppies yelping in the other room. I’ve been witness to this horror so often and so recently, I couldn’t run in there this time. I just yelled his name from the kitchen. Jacob!…”yelping” Jacob! .my heart racing. Jacob! When he came around the corner, I asked him if the dogs were ok, I made him show me they were ok. I then calmly told him to get his shoes and get out.
The anger and rage that suddenly, out of nowhere, engulfs my son during these moments, is not his spirit. I haven’t handled this so well in the past. The first time it happened, I cried and died a little inside. As a child from “unfortunate circumstances”, I’ve seen this evil before and reacted as if thrown back to a time in life where defense was the only option. The second time, I took him to a psychiatric facility to be admitted, he knew he had to go and didn’t fight me but after waiting 3 hours, they turned us away. “We don’t have resources here for people with Autism.”
I imagine during a war, the people hiding in their homes will hear random gun fire and explosions in the distance. I imagine that fear is a common emotion and strength is built up inside their souls with every shot. Because, what else is there to do? go outside and join the fight? I would think there are several passionate souls in these wars that do just that. They look at their sacred, beautiful families and they want to protect them from the war outside, so they go in.
Jacob started showing signs of Autism when he was about 3. At first, I thought he simply inherited his fathers genius drumming skills. Tapping on tables, making beats with his cute, chubby little baby hands…have I mentioned how stinkin’ cute this kid was/is?!? Anyway, the drumming began to ‘morph’ at about age 4, when I found him jumping back and forth, making crashing noises with each jump, over and over. I asked him what he was doing and he replied, in his cute, little, happy voice “I’m playing a video game Mama!” …I’m playing a video game Mama… It must have been that day I put my “gear on”. Everyone close to me insisted it was just his way of releasing energy. He needed more “outside play time”. He had plenty of play time. Even his pediatrician(s) didn’t see any cause for alarm. I mentioned Autism to them but because he was “social” and excelled in school in literally every aspect, he was fine and would outgrow these “phases”. Let me be clear though, there is no blame to anyone here. These were circumstances that didn’t allow the entire picture to be seen by anyone but me, really. “Jumping around”, simply became part of our day just like brushing our teeth. And just like skipping a brushing, yucky stuff builds up and we begin to get uncomfortable wishing we hadn’t skipped that brushing. So, we brush and we are better. When Jake would miss a jumping session, he would get irritable, sometimes sad, sometimes mad. Mostly though, he was uncomfortable and visibly so. I knew my boy needed help but I was left to my own devices and so I did what most parents in these situations do (or so I would imagine they do) I accommodated him. I carved out time in the day for him to jump around. Around the age of 7, a new symptom appeared, sensitivity to sound. Dishes. Dishes clinking together, plates, silverware etc…I learned to load and unload a dishwasher like a ninja.
He’ll outgrow it. He needs more exercise. I shake my head… He needed and still needs answers and help, not accommodations.
It’s been a rough couple days but we are pushing on. The day is moving along just fine and this “episode” will pass soon as it always does.
We are moving to California.