Autism: An alien in the house

Oh, my heart.

Ian is further away than he ever was.  Now, it’s like sharing the house with an alien.  No, really, an alien, like in the sci-fi movies.  Weird, and strangely non-human.

I feel like I don’t know him any more.  It’s like living with a stranger.

I miss my son.

Some days it’s really hard.  Normally, a strong sense of humour is enough to carry you through.  There’s plenty of weird to find funny.

But sometimes it’s just you and the stark reality, and you look at this strange, posturing, closed-off creature, and it crashes into your head before you can stop it :  Who IS that???

And you swallow hard and go through the motions, but the complete absence of any vestige of that treasured relationship that you once had, that bites deep …

Breathe, woman.

Breathe.

You can do this.

I had asked Ian to pick up the soap.  It was bath time.  Simple thing.  Every day, the same.  Ian, pick up the soap.  And he went dark.  Lights out.  Postured.  Made his hands into claws.  Tilted his head and held it, with a weird look on his face and a far away stare in his eyes.  All angles and strangeness.

It was like he was daring me  —  to what???

I stood by the bath and watched, horrified.

Dear God, the urge to shake him out of it was so strong!  I clenched my hands by my sides and forced myself to wait it out.

I couldn’t look at him.

Breathe, girl  …  it will pass.

He was an alien from War of the Worlds.  All angles and weirdness.

And he is my son.

 

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