As I’m sitting here, really feeling crazy about my inability to communicate what life is actually like for me with this different-brained child, I realize I don’t have the words. I talk to my boyfriend about it. He says that until you see it (he had just seen a pretty awesome display of different brain) you can’t possibly grasp it.
So I did a seven-minute sprint, and this is what came from doing that writing exercise: The impact raising Michael has had on me . . .
Side note for you awesome bloggers out there . . . a seven-minute sprint is where you give yourself the beginning of a sentence, something you are pondering (i.e., the things I love about myself are, or the impact raising my son has had on me, or . . .), set a timer for seven minutes, and write like a maniac! Don’t stop, don’t check for grammar, don’t lift your pencil . . . the results are amazing because somehow the seven minutes bypasses our regular “blocked” brain and opens us up to our expanded self. OK, back to MY seven-minute sprint (yes, I did fix a few things as I typed this up).
The impact raising Michael has had on me feels like a tsunami hitting me everyday. And to explain it to others feels completely futile. Unless you are witness to what happens when we arrive home from school and then Mason says he wants to get in the door first and then the pushing and both kids are ready to explode and one of them absolutely will and usually it’s Mason because Michael will find a way to get what he wants, usually in a sneaky and deceitful fashion. So it’s usually Mason that “loses” and then I go down emotionally because yet again I have failed to protect my younger son and I have also failed to teach my older son how it really goes in life and I have failed to give him what he needs.
The impact of raising Michael might be best equated to that of someone who is on “heart attack alert.” Someone who is at risk of death due to a heart attack that quite literally could happen at any moment. The impact of raising Michael has expanded me to immeasurable infinity and has decreased and diminished me to complete nothingness all at the same time, many times over. The impact feels instant, like a surprise car crash with shattered glass. There are shards of glass stuck in my skin, and before I remove the first slivers of glass, the fresh blood still seeping out of my skin, I’m hit again. This time the impact is from the side and now my shoulder is bruised and the pain is great and I’m still wondering how to get the glass shards out. Now I know I need to allow the bruising to heal, and it’s going to take some time. While I’m figuring out how to get time and space to heal the bruise on my side and pulling glass from my skin, I get rear-ended, causing an intense case of whiplash. My neck is in so much pain I can’t turn my head and there is no way to get the glass shards out of my back now because only one hand is working well and my body can’t move. And now it’s time to leave for school.
Now that feels like a mostly accurate description of many of the days I have spent with this different brain that I simply cannot get a grasp on. It feels so hard to explain, yet there it is. And one of my instincts is to “diminish” these feelings. The reason I continue to write is so that I can hopefully communicate to others that this is real and it is one of the most difficult things to handle. I want to validate the beautiful, broken, and lovely people who are raising these children . . . it’s hard as hell and I want to name that.
And I also want to name VERY LOUDLY and VERY CLEARLY how wonderful these children are! My son is enormously delightful and engaging and absolutely fun to be with and around. It’s just that he could literally BLOW at any given moment, so . . .