Autism · Grief · Parenting

On My Worst Days

In the past 48 hours I have been kicked in the shin, punched in the stomach, spat upon and had juice thrown all over me.

I have heard my son use foul language with a gusto I usually expect from bar brawls.

I have seen one of the people I love most in this world, try to hurt himself with anything and everything in sight. I have seen him curled up in a ball, sobbing. I have heard him crying out to me for help, for a way to escape the pain, for anything that will alleviate his need.

I have wiped away my own tears , as he finally relaxed, as the medications kicked in, as he snuggled up in my arms and murmured, “I love you, Momma. I always will.”

I have slept less than six hours total in two long nights.

I have prayed with so many words it was like a raging river, flowing straight out of my soul.

I have prayed when there were no words except “Help us. Please.”

All in 48 hours.

Two days.

Two of my worst days.

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If you have not lived this, you might be shocked at these details.

If you have, you are aching right now, with searing familiarity.

Meltdowns are meltdowns. They are violent. They are devastating. They are painful. And they are a part of our reality.

Most importantly, they are part of my son’s reality. It is always, always, always worse for him than for any of the rest of us. He is the one feeling the most, trying to escape the most, suffering the most. He is the one left with some of his favorite things damaged, and not even really remembering how it happened. He is the one battling feelings of shame and depression – because no matter how much I encourage him, he still feels like he is a problem needing to be fixed.

My worst days.

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Thankfully, the meltdowns have lessened over time. As he has learned his triggers, he has worked hard to learn to cope. As I have learned his triggers, I have been able to step in and help him cope.

And still, sometimes it is just a part of all of this.

I am struggling with this today.

On my worst days, I want a finish line. I want resolution. I want to count on progress.

I want to know what to expect.

I want my son to feel better and be safe. I want me to feel better and be safe.

I wish I knew how to make this happen, but I don’t.

The only thing I know, that I come back to over and over again is this –

My son is fearfully and wonderfully made.

He has his struggles, just like any child. They may look different sometimes, yes.

But they are uniquely a part of his design. The same DNA that manifests meltdowns, is what gives him that wicked intelligence and those beautiful blue eyes.

I don’t want to pick and choose what I love about him.

I love all of him.

Just as he is.

I am his mother.

He is my son.

All of him.

Even on my worst days.


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7 thoughts on “On My Worst Days

  1. I love you, Shawna, and I love how you love your sons. God’s grace is so evident (even more than you can see since you’re in the middle of it all). You’re modeling Christ’s love for all of us flawed humans. Thank you.

  2. I’m so sorry. I can relate, we had friends over to eat pizza and play board games last week. My 14 year old son was so excited to see his friends and play games, but then something triggered him and we had a night of meltdowns, screaming, crying and apologizing. It was exhausting for us all. Praying for you. And thank you for putting our real life out there. It does give encouragement for the rest of us.

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