You are safe, I am here.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

As my husband walked in after a long day of work. I saw his face, his body stiff like it gets when he is too over stimulated. The stress starts to buckle up and snap all his limbs into one stiff position. That the only way for him to loosen them is too collapse on the floor in the fetal position.

I’ve been here with him like this, more times than I can count. Before, I would beg to find the answer. Why? I always asked him. Why? What's wrong, what happened? Then I’d get mad and scream, Snap out it! Everything is fine! Pull yourself together.

Now, it's different. I might not understand why or even have an answer to why it happens but now, now I get it that he can’t control it. Its funny to me that, it took me having a son with autism the same issues undiagnosed I’ve dealt with from my husband to realized that of course Cody as autism too.

As he walked in the house, the dogs, kids rushed up and screamed, laughed and wanted to celebrate his arrival but they were meet with hostility. He stiffened and held his hands to his ears.That was my first sign, I quickly jumped up and shuttled them all away knowing that this was indeed a “red” moment. We learned with going to therapy for Gunner’s autism that to help him understand where he's at emotionally we use a scale. Yellow for “just fine” Green for “starting to go” Red for “Extreme uncontrollable emotions.”

I now use this with Cody. It helps me to understand where he is at and it helps him to have something to focus on and know that he might not be in control now, but he could be.

As I shuttled the kids away and put the dogs outside. I told Wyatt the oldest. “Dad’s at a red. I need you to distracted the littles.” He jumps up just like I did. (I wish that I wouldn't have to have him help me when we get into these moments but I believe strongly that it helps him understand his brother more as well as his dad.) Wyatt rounds up the littles and heads to the other room distracting them with play. I walk into my bedroom to see him already naked on the floor, rocking back and forth. I worry that I am too late.

I sit down next to him. Quite. I wrapped my arms tightly around his stiff naked body and breath. Careful, to not breathe to fast or too slow. I let him rock me as he rocks himself and I repeat slowly, “You are safe. I got you.” “You’re in a safe place. I’m not letting you go.” Over and over I say these words. Trying so hard to keep my emotions out of it. I swallow my tears and push my fears away because this is not the time for them.

Minutes pass as we rock back and forth on the floor. Sometimes he’d hit himself in the face and I’d have to hold on tighter and say louder “You are safe, you are safe. I am here…” over and over. I grabbed his thick blanket I made him and throw it over his now cold naked body. Pressing my body up against his so he could feel that I was there with him.

The rocking finally starts to slow. I can hear the kids running around destroying the house and I can imagine the pleas Wyatt is thinking as he is the one in charge. But I can’t let that stop me from being here with Cody. I use too. I use to leave Cody alone, frighten. Unable to control himself. I can’t do that anymore.

Abruptly, he stops. Throws the blanket off him and heads into our master bath and gets into the shower. I leave without saying anything, shut the door behind me. Wyatt and I scramble to pick up the house that the littles destroyed in the last half hour because we know that anything right now could put him back into a red again and we don’t want that to happen.

He finishes his shower, heads out in the living room, picks up the littles, throws them in the air. Just as he would, if it was not a red day. Together, we put the kids into the bath, and put them in their jammies. He tucks them in, like any other night. I don’t mention his episode. If this was a few years ago I would have. I would have demanded to know the Why and not let it go until I had some reason for it. But tonight, as I see him tucking in the kids and as he kisses Gunner our autistic son goodnight. Gunner squirms away from his touch.

We look at each other with the understand that although tonight was a red night we actually both were able to let it go. I sigh, kiss him, he squirms just like Gunner and I think, well that went well.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling

(Cody and Gunner taking his motocylce out of our garage for the spring.)

Its been a minute

Monday, February 27, 2017

Hey.

It’s been a minute. Or months, almost a year that this space has sat, waiting for me to come and fill it with all the joy, sorrow and everything in between that we’ve experienced. But instead it just sits and collects dust. It’s not that I don’t want to fill its screen with all the thoughts and pain and joy that we’ve lived it just gets forgotten.

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The same goes for my camera. It sits dusty on a forgotten shelve next to book I one day will read. All the while our lives keep moving with no stop in sight.

Andalyn or Annie as we call her, is now one. She is a feisty little thing. She has a demanding voice that carries. She can hold a room’s attention with just one look into her eyes and she knows it. She is powerful, intense sweet and so damn smart.

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Gunner, is three. Officially diagnosed with Autism, sensory processing disorder and Speech Apraxia. But regardless of those titles he is one smart kid, the light in the room. He is so damn funny that you cannot help but smile when you are around him. He can move like a real life gorilla. Knuckles to the floor and all. It’s amazing! That if he ever does stop, I will be very sad to see the gorilla go.

He is starting to speak a whole lot better and now just doesn’t shut up. He can now be without headphones in loud settings. Which is amazing. We still struggle with understanding how to handle his Autism but I think we are way further ahead than we use to be. So that in its self is an accomplishment.

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Wyatt, is eight now. He is so creative. He will spend hours on end creating something out of nothing. I find more paper drawn on, more things cut up and more dried out glue sticks in his room then I’d like to admit. He taught himself how to finger knit yesterday. He weaves like a pro and is just such an artist.

He is crazy smart too. Reading on a fourth grade level and high level in math. He loves to be in the known. Including with what is going on in the world. He takes everything to heart and we’ve learned that he has bad anxiety. So we are working on that with him. But he is just the sweetest, quietest boy I know. We call him quiet Wyatt because he doesn’t speak louder than a whisper.

Cody and I, well, we are still hanging in there. Cody, we’ve discovered also has autism like Gunner. So that has been helpful for me. It’s not really help Cody to know that quite yet he still struggles. But I am learning to me more open minded on things that I always questioned. Which has helped out relationship a bit. We still struggle though. But we struggle deep in love with each other.

It makes me hopeful to how Gunner will be in life. That he too, will be able to find someone to love and have a family if he so wishes.

Me, I love my job and the students I teach. I would say, that I no longer stress like I use too about work. I have more time to focus my energy on myself more than I ever did before. Because of this I have discovered a new love which is sewing, dolls to be exact. And actually I am going to be launching my first ever Esty shop in the next couple of weeks. Which is exciting and scary.

I hope to come back to this space more because everytime I do, I thoroughly enjoy myself.

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