Yesterday felt Bad. There was a moment…one clear, defining moment where I felt a shift and recognized I had the potential for a meltdown on the horizon and the ability to DO something about it, right then, right there. So I excused myself from our large, old, wooden dining room table that seats eight, and left my girls to continue their home school studies independently while i entered my special place. Behind a curtain into my war room, my closet, my cocoon. I started praying, I gripped my Bible tightly to my chest. I lay on my side in the fetal position on my toddlers rainbow-colored bunny pillow, and I distinctly remember thinking two thoughts: one,”This is good, this is progress, i did the right thing and avoided a meltdown and the pain and shame that follow for both my precious children and myself”. And, two, “I’m not fighting it anymore, the autism, the previously nameless thing that called me to lay down like a child and take comfort and shelter rather than allow my pride to avert the simplest of solutions whilst i rage at my kids rather than just allowing myself whatever “different” means needed to self soothe. This is what it feels like to be me, not trying to be normal. I am like a little child. I don’t want anyone to see me like this, but so long as they don’t, this is ok..this is better than the alternative…”
raging always felt more acceptable. Sure, i hated myself for it. Sure, it always left me completely baffled, “How can this be?! How can I be exactly like my dad after all the years of licking the wounds he left…why can’t i stop? what’s Wrong with me?!” It still felt more acceptable to rage. More adult. More grown up, mature. Real adults have real stress and hold real power over their kids and if their kids won’t listen, well, what can a real, responsible adult do, besides throw a screaming quazi-psychotic fit. “I don’t like to YELL! I only YELL because nobody LISTENS TO ME if I DONT!!”
dozens upon dozens of times, i would sob face down on the ground begging ” God change me..God, I’d rather be dead than be This kind of mom..please, change me or I just Can’t do this!” After that didn’t work for months and then years, I started getting more proactive. I asked my aunt, my dad’s sister, how she dealt with the rage issues she’d inherited from her cold, alcoholic mother. I read books on Christian Parent anger management, I confessed my sins to others, sisters in Christ in my community who also struggled. My husband. That was so scary, but I felt it weaken the enemy’s grip on me. I made progress. But….something was still lurking, ever beneath the surface…something I couldnt’ name therefore understand. That something was Aspbergers. no, i am not saying autism is an excuse to behave unstable around God’s precious little ones. what i guess i am saying is, it’s a reason why many of us do.
so, here id done it. crisis averted. id finally figured out the cause And the solution. Aspbergers and preventive measures. i was maybe feeling just the slightest bit proud at that moment…after all, it had worked…for a while. well…we all know the sin that got lucifer thrown outta heaven like a lightening bolt, right?…..
…, one by one, my adorable little girls started making their rounds to check on sad mommy, and one by one, i felt my adrenaline rise at the embarrassment of them finding me on the floor like a child..and one by one the tears fell as they cycled back through over and over again one by one by one by one by one by one…well, the tears turned to weeping, the embarrassment into deep humiliation and eventually, as my eldest daughter made her final round and asked why i was crying, my choking, wet words became one long, horrendous, gutteral screeeeeeeeeammm, “I’m CRYING because no one will leave me ALONE!! PLEASE JUST LEAVE ME ALOOOOONE!!!!”
that was it. id gone and lost it. Again. just like id set out with the purest of intentions NOT. TO DO. and there was nothing i could do to take it back. i wept the kind of weeping that hurts your guts and your heart and your lungs, where saliva finds its way out the side of your face because it is so contorted in pain that it can’t manage to contain it. i lay there weeping until i was spent. and eventually had to re-enter the house outside of my room, where the sunlight shone in too bright, and all my kids were carrying on with whatever interested them, long since shedding their innocence when it comes to crazy mommy meltdowns. i apologized. again. and felt like id been hit by the flu and a bus the rest of the day, accepting the pain and fatigue as a welcome penance for once again proving myself to be not normal or good enough to deserve being a mom to the awesomest five girls on all the earth.
in guilt and shame so heavy we seem to create our own force fields of gravity in which we orbit around our homes and towns with all the sadness a body of matter could ever contain, we carry an invisible weight that chokes us and keeps joy and hope at bay, like the ever elusive carrot dangling on a string, visible yet just out of reach.
us aspie moms, we carry this weight sometimes for days, weeks months, years. we tuck it in bed at night and it greets us each morning with its breath like death and its face like our own in a mirror only covered in tumors and filth, heavy wrinkles and pain. it threatens us throughout our days, reminding us that our families would be better off without us. that surely, Anyone could love them better, could be more stable, responsible, mature. that if we really loved them, we’d man up and just off ourselves already.
now, the difference at this point between an aspie mom, and a Christian aspie mom, is this…the aspie mom might fall for this evil scheme, truly believing she was intrinsically evil and beyond help and needed to be put out of her misery.
but This Christian aspie mom…she knows what’s up. she knows, i know, that demons are at work.
Ephesians 6:12Amplified Bible (AMP)
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.
I know that the very weakness that Christ has allowed in me to bring Him eventual glory, and in the meantime, to shape me and mold me and strengthen me and humble me, is the very same that the enemy sees as the quickest and simplest way to Take. Me. Out.
I will not fall for it.
I will rise up inside myself and i will claim what is mine, His blood has bought my righteousness, and though it hurts God when i lose it on my kids like it hurts me, and like it hurts them… I am Still Righteous before my Abba Father, creator of the Galaxies, Lover of my soul. and if i will not allow my flesh its fit, and the pride of believing itself to be especially unredeemable…if i will pick myself up and carry on, knowing in Him i find forgiveness, mercy, love, ho;pe and a future, He will work this for my, AND MY CHILDRENS’ GOOD….well, then, my friends, i am able to shake the dust off my sandals and carry on another day, finding my Strength in the JOY that He bought me with His blood.
And That, my friends, is how my Savior makes my Ugly something Beautiful.