I wrote this over the weekend (as you can read, it was a tough one):
"Today was the first time the little man and I went to church in about a month and a half. Crowds are so hard for him! All we do every Sunday is just the kids' Bible class. Going into the sanctuary with the rest of the congregation is not even an option! The problem is we go to a large Latino church (with LOTS of kids) and even the Bible classes are too big for him. I stay with him to help him cope and often both of us come out looking and feeling like we've been in a 12-round fight. He does much, much better with his daddy, but he is often busy with his own ministries at church. Today went well overall (other than someone eating our snacks right out of my bag) because there weren't that many kids there. Oh, and on the way to our car the little man ran out into the street hoping I would chase him. Luckily someone stopped the car that was on the road. It's hard... really, really hard! But life is hard, so we just roll with it. Some Sundays I just don't have it in me, though... and even when I do, I have nothing left by the end of the day.
My husband has been especially busy lately with the music ministry, something we used to do together and I still grieve that loss. I sat alone at my dinner table swallowing my tears over a bowl of cereal while my little guy ate yogurt all by himself and chatted away. I marveled at how far he's come! I've heard that as he gets older it will get easier, but for now, if I don't push him/us, we'd never go to church again! Yet in this walk I feel terribly alone. A month and a half of not going to church and I don't think anyone noticed. Sure, those who depend on me to provide support for the kids with special needs missed my help, but no one missed ME... and I realized it's because I've lost my connections.
I see the world like a movie and I am a spectator. Everything is moving so fast and I'm moving at a snail's pace. While folks are out at get togethers and movies, I'm home teaching my little man turn-taking and correct pronoun use. While everyone else is making plans for dinner parties and graduations I'm helping the little guy socialize on the playground or helping him learn to be safe. The things that used to bind me to my friends have been stretched beyond their strength and cables have come loose. Those I used to be connected with are now connected with others whose lives move at their same pace. When my cables snapped, they became frayed and now it takes much more work to re-connect. It alienates people that I have so little in common with them anymore. My "frayed ends" no longer match up with their nice and neat connectors. Although autism does not define me, it's left its mark and I AM different. The gap between me and those with whom I once regularly socialized has become a chasm and my heart is broken. That's when the awful thoughts come into my head: 'if the earth was flat and I sailed off the edge, who'd know?' In a sense I suppose I have sailed off the edge of 'normalcy' and, therefore, the connections were lost. Cyber 'friendships,' like those on Facebook, don't count!
I know the best things in life are worth working hard for. I know God sees how hard we work as parents and He understands. I know I can do this with His help, even when I feel completely alone and utterly disconnected."
Today I got these verses as my devotional:
"11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity" Jeremiah 29:11-14 NKJV