The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. Psalm 34:17
I recently had a conversation with a fellow mom about the chaos that often comes with motherhood. As we stood together talking, and as the conversation moved forward I began to share some of the struggles I have at home with our “monster,” I noticed the blank stare, the one that usually comes when someone doesn’t understand.
She just doesn’t get it.
Unfortunately, it’s a phrase I repeat to myself often. One, I am sure many parents of children with special needs also say to themselves on occasion.
After an afternoon spent enduring the wails and screams of a child who can’t tell you why he is screaming. After being slapped in the face, kicked in the shin. After having wrestled a kid on the bedroom floor to keep him from doing the same to himself. After carefully planning every detail of the day, so the same kid’s routine is not disrupted. After searching high and low for the EXACT same yogurt in the EXACT same package.
After confiding in those with “neurotypical” children. After enduring the blank stare, and the empty smiles. After the “Oh, but he’s so cute. He’s so sweet. He’s such a good student,” I repeat to myself-“They really just don’t get it.”
And, it…for lack of a better word…sucks.
It’s dark here some days.
It’s exhausting. Emotionally draining.
And, while I hate to admit it. I also envy you. I envy the fact that you don’t get it.
See, I would love to be able to enjoy a trip to the grocery store with my children. At times, I even feel guilty for leaving them at home, even though I know it was my attempt to rid myself of embarrassment of having one scream if we veered off the schedule, went over our two store limit, or if the store did not have his beloved Gogurt.
I want nothing more than to make a date at the park with a fellow Mommy. Sitting and chatting on the bench, while their children frolic without a care. I secretly envy that time as I stand here gently urging my five-year old to please stop screaming and come down the slide.
Envy when another mom can handle an angry child without having to endure a blood-curdling wail or slap in the face.
Resentment after the,” But, he’s so cute. He’s so smart. He doesn’t look autistic” (And, yes, we have heard that one!). Resentment when those blood-curdling screams accompany empty stares, empty “It’ll be OK’s,” and my subsequent response: “They just don’t get it.”
O. God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Psalm 61:1-2
But, He gets it. In fact, He gave this child to me. One I didn’t think I had the patience or strength to handle. One who has helped me prove otherwise. One who will help me work on my envy and resentment.
He gets it. He gets our “monster.” He gets what we go through at home. And, while it sucks, He is never going to leave us lonely.
And, He isn’t going to let me endure this walk through the many valleys of autism with resentment, anger, and envy.
Watch over your heart with all diligence-for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23
I can’t help the inability of others to understand what we go through. I can’t help the blank stares, the well-meaning, but empty words. The missed play dates. The not so relaxing days at the park. The grocery store meltdowns.
These things will remain a part of the journey God has given us.
However, I can help the way I see my circumstances.
I can help the way I view those of others as well. The way I react to them. I can realize that we all have circumstances we would love to change, and let go of the envy that resides in my heart.
I can lean on God when I feel alone, exhausted, and emotionally drained.
The one who is always there. The one who struggles through the tantrums, the routines, the heartaches, the triumphs with us.
The one who hears the wails of the lonely.
The one who truly gets it.