Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Coping and Hoping

We are still in the storm. I am fighting the hopelessness of it all. I had thought by now we might have made it through to the other side -- basking in the sunshine after the long rains. Sean seemed to come out a bit but then tumbled back, taking our hearts with him.

I try to remember how hard it is for him to feel so unrooted and vulnerable. I struggle to keep my own frustration in check and to not add fuel to the existing fire. He is all over the place right now.

“Make better choices,” I tell him, almost pleading after reading a report from school.

“I will be good tomorrow,” he says, the doubt is heavy in his own eyes. “I will,” he says for good measure as if he says it enough it will happen. But then his eyes look scared and he says through a cry, “I am going to be bad tomorrow.”

“No,” I say, “you won’t. You’ll be good. You are good, Sean.”

His eyes lift up a little bit, “Everyone has bad days?” he says, his small voice desperate.

My desperation matches his, “Yes, everyone does.”

“Even you, Mommy?”

“Yes, absolutely Sean. I do have bad days, too.” More than I’d like to have really. Especially lately. I need to remember that he feeds off of my moods sometimes. If I’m feeling down and lost he picks up on it and he becomes harder to access, to get through to.

Lately, I find myself clutching my cell phone, fearful that I’ll leave it behind and will be unavailable for the school if I’m needed. But really, it has always been like this with Sean. When he was three I’d leave him at the little daycare at the fitness center. I’d begin my workout and not too soon after hear my name being paged over the intercom system,

“Katie Bevins please come down to the daycare.”

I’d have to go retrieve him. He’d be in the throws of a tantrum or shrinking in a time-out corner. I thought he’d grow out of it. I couldn’t imagine my life being like that forever. Right?

The cell phone, like the literary albatross around my neck, adrift in the sea, thirsty but surrounded by only salt water. I would become like the Ancient Mariner in the poem, “Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink.” Argh.

I sometimes wonder if Sean gets better or if we just get better at living with autism. I don’t like to abandon hope, but in stretches like this, I sometimes wonder if I am fooling myself. If I need to keep this idea in my survival pack -- next to my waterproof matches and rain gear and pocket knife. Because without it the days might seem too long and dark.

Good friends remind me that I have been here before and that there is sunshine and hope waiting on the other side. Parents who have children like our son exchange war stories with me, commiserate and reassure us that peacefulness is within grasp.

So for now, I just need to keep swimming. Keep my head and heart strong and hope to feel land on my fingertips soon. He will come back to me. He always does.


Anonymous said...

Hang on, Katie, and know that there are crowds of people standing by you, praying for you guys, hoping for your same hope, and trying to see that glimmer with you. One day. xoxo Mag

Deb said...

In the words of the ever-wise Dory: "Just keep swimming... swimming, swimming." :)

Sean will get through this. You will get through this. It will get better. This is definitely a rough patch, but you will see progress bit by bit, and at some point down the road, you'll look back and be blown away at the change.

Anonymous said...

Hi Katie,
I just reconnected with your sister and she directed me to your site. What wonderful words of prose to describe your life with wee Sean. He's a beautiful little boy. You've got great perspective and a solid foundation. I'm certain God gave you and your husband what it takes to achieve the goals you're searching for. My thoughts and prayers are with you!
Peggy Mahoney

Wendy said...

Hi Kate,
It was nice to see Bob last night, I was sorry to hear you are going through such a rough period. But the four of you are an amazing family- the care, communication, love and humor you all share with one another every day will get you through this. You'll learn how to move through this, you always do. Love to all of you.

Random Research Girl said...

Hi, I just stopped by... :)
You're a wonderful mom, and he's lucky to have you. You'll get through. Just keep believing...

Gimky said...

Hi Katie. A wise woman once told me: you will get through this dreary moment... all we can do is just love them simply.

You're doing great, Katie, and so is your boy. Remember, it's 3 steps forward and 2 steps back. But overall, look how far he has come!

Hugs to you....


Chrissy said...

Youre pictures are great, what kind of camera do you have?

2SmallRedheads said...

Been thinking of you friend!! Hope all is well...we need to get together soon!!!!!! xoxo Jane

Meghana said...

I was just talking to the SoccerPlex coordinator and he was talking about a new spring session. I was wondering if Sean will be going to that?

I hope you are doing well :)


Anonymous said...

Thinking of Sean a lot these days. I'm sorry to hear you've hit a rough patch. Just remember-Suzanne and I are always willing to give you a chance to breathe...seriously. Sean brings the most pure form of humanity to life and I miss that so much.

Keep your head up..Sean is lucky to have you guys!

Annie "Ms. H"

Anonymous said...

Love you Katie.