Hitting The Wall
-- The Cowardly Lion (Wizard of Oz, 1939)
I have decided not to write about what happened at church, at least in graphic detail as I have a tendency to do.
I just can't.
The majority of the time I am one put-together kinda gal. Sure, I'm a little on the shy side, but nothing like I used to be, thanks to Mr. Erik Quinn. I have a generous supply of polite smiles ready to dole out as needed, and the average Joe would never know I have a care in the world as they passed me on the street. I am blessed with the ability to make people laugh to the point of snorting beverages out of their nostrils and consider myself a lot of fun to be around in general. Sure, I have my bad days, but, thankfully, I live and work the majority of the time in the privacy of my home, and nobody has to know what kind of day I am having. Only my friends, family, and on line diary readers have seen me show what the last three years has done to me emotionally here and there. Most days are actually pretty great, anyway. I do know how incredibly lucky I am. How wonderfully blessed I am. I am beyond thankful for what I have. However, the bad days that come occasionally are straight from the depths of hell, and they usually sucker punch me in the stomach without any warning whatsoever.
Sunday I slipped for the first time in public. Big time. I felt myself breaking, and I couldn't stop what was coming. I slipped for all of the world to see. I found myself hopeless and weak, and I can't even begin to talk about it, even here. We went to church...yada, yada, yada...my husband steered me out to the car halfway through the service in the driving wind and snow with our son in his arms. He told me that although some everyday situations like church weren't working out at the moment for us, we would learn to find our own way. On the way out the door, we passed a mostly bare Christmas tree with a few slips of paper the youth group had decorated hanging for dear life onto the branches in the storm. As I watched, several of them ripped loose and flew across the street to kiss the surface of the high school athletic field and disappear into the winter sky. I found one I liked, detached it from its twisted wire anchor, and placed it in my purse. When I got home, I placed it on my own tree.
The church called today. I let the answering machine pick up. The woman who discovered me in the downstairs hallway sobbing and pathetic apologized for what happened and asked what it would take to make our lives easier. She said, "We really need to move forward from this." Oh. Okay. Where have they been after they offered to meet with us weeks ago? Where were they when they all went on without us, like the rest of the world tends to do, enjoying the spoils of Christmas plays, cookies, and the scent of coffee in the crowded hallway while we sat at home? Where were they when my son simply glanced at the interior of the nursery on our last few attempts to attend and began sobbing because of his blossoming anxiety and the memory of the sounds of a fussy baby from weeks before? Just what should I do about the fact he doesn't fit in anywhere? The fact we have no place to even SIT when we attend church except for out in the hallway?
Right, let's move on and put this bit of unpleasantness behind us all.
Please. Tell me what to do to move forward. How to keep my heart from breaking when my son is practically begging me to turn the car around instead of visiting a friend and her child because his brain can't process the normal noises children like hers make. What to do when I can't attend my best friends' baby showers ever again because most of the little things associated with babies make me physically ill when I look at them. What to do when my son tries to wrench his hand from mine and run out into traffic, not seeing cars coming, and punches me, kicks me, and growls at me when I restrain him. What to do when we are instructed to bring him to Sunday school despite the fact he can barely hold a crayon. What to do when a police car passes with its siren screeching in the night miles away and he wakes up screaming. What to do when I am increasingly isolated in my own home from my own friends who are raising the typical kids he desperately wants to love but cannot physically stand being around. What to do with a kid that is proving to be exceptional in most areas, despite missing 20-some genes, but who cannot seem to function in the outside world surrounded by his peers. What to do when there is just a little less Erik and a little more Williams syndrome in his face and in his voice each morning I go into his room. Tell me how to move forward. Please.
Because you asked that question, I feel as hopeless and frightened as ever.
I couldn't tell you what would make my life easier at this moment even if I tried.