Friday, July 22, 2011
When you don't always have the words...
Today, I spent a lot of time crying for my son. Today, I didn't have any answers. Today, I had to put my faith into practice & simply pray when I didn't know what else to do. I wished so badly I could swallow up all of my child's pain and bear it for him...but I knew the reality of it was that I was going to have to give this one to Jesus & leave it there
It was a little over 5 years ago that Jon and I were given a diagnosis for our non-verbal, tantrum-throwing 2 year old...."PDDNOS". It stands for "Pervasive Developmental Delay Not Otherwise Specified". PDD is an autism spectrum learning disability & my Channy was diagnosed with this just before his third birthday. I've shared on here some of the ups and downs of our journey as we've dealt with behavior therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and special education classes. In so many ways I feel blessed to be able to say that Chandler has done remarkably well in school & he continues to progress every year, which is a huge blessing.
However, as my little guy grows & matures one aspect of PDD that has been especially hard to overcome is the social development challenges. Simply put...Channy has a really hard time making friends. Social situations are often the hardest part of any situation for Channy to navigate. I've seen him overcome SO much, but watching him struggle though the social/emotional stuff in life has often been the hardest part of all, because I feel so helpless. Today was just one of those days where the "helpless" feelings overwhelmed me & the rest just kinda spiraled downward from there.
Recently, Chandler has become (painfully) aware that he has no friends. :-( Today, it all started when I had to discipline him for being mean to his sister. I sent him to his room to think about it & when I came into his room to talk to him about it he burst into tears! I was shocked because he usually just tells me what he did that was wrong & then he will apologize and move on. But...not today! Today, he started crying and said "he hates his face" (?)..."he hates that he is 'a mean kid' "... and, "he hates not having any friends that like him"! Wowza! Where did that all come from??? I could tell these were the things he must think to himself & say to himself when he is all alone, and right then and there my heart broke for him! I knew there wasn't a whole lot I could say to him in that moment to make it all better, so we just prayed together & I tried my best to say as many encouraging things as I could.
Friends have never been easy for Chandler to come by & it's heartbreaking to watch him muddle through the world of social experiences. It's one of the most painful things to watch your child struggle with their differences, especially when they become more aware of how others see them, talk about them, and treat them. There is nothing I can do to "fix" that & I HATE that more than anything!
Today Chandler was basically trying to say he doesn't know why he is the way he is....but that he still needs/wants a friend! What's even more tough is that Jon and I can't do much to soothe that hurt in his little heart. He wants to know that someone besides mom & dad like him & want to spend time with him. We tried asking people close to Channy if they could spend a little time just hanging out with him to let him know that someone outside of his 4 walls cares about him...but that ended in a sad way too. :-( We just wanted Chan to know someone else besides us cared about him, and liked him just the way he is!
I'm out of ideas. Out of people to ask. I don't want anyone else thinking I'm too "lazy" to do my job as Chandler's parent either. I could spend 1,000 hours one-on-one with him...but I'm still his "mom" & Jon is still "dad". He needs to know he's good enough for someone else to want to spend time with him! I'm just hurting for my little boy that falls asleep at night feeling like he's not good enough for friends...
I know Jesus sees my little boy & that He has a plan for Chandler's life that is good, even if I can't see it right now. But, I've seen him struggle with EVERY facet of his little life & some days it gets to be too much for my heart to bear. Some days I wonder what God sees in me that he picked me to be Chandler's mom. Most of the time I feel weak and unprepared for these kinds of struggles & today...today I didn't know what to say, so we just prayed & then I cried alone in my room. I always knew there was going to be challenges in raising my kids, I just never knew it was going to look and feel like this. I guess in my naivety I always thought I'd have some idea what to say, or what to do. It just seems like it's too soon for my little boy to feel this defeated.
Jesus-be close to my little boy & surround him with the love & comfort that only YOU can give!
Sometimes I don't get dressed for the day until 5:00...pm, and on the weekend I let my kids eat cookies for breakfast. I drank coffee (and sometimes diet coke) when I was pregnant. I use under eye concealer to cover up my zits & I bake when I'm stressed. If you can deal with all that....then welcome to our family blog!