Sometimes, it’s still hard to talk about. Sometimes, the blame and guilt are so heavy that it feels like an anchor that’s attached to my foot, one that resides in the middle of quicksand. Sometimes, I can’t find the strength to step outside of it, so I find myself sitting in the middle, focused on taking the next breath…and then another. Sometimes, but not all the time.
“Sometimes” seems to be what we gravitate to, more often than “not all the time”. Why? Because its imprint on our bodies and souls is so profound, that it’s almost impossible not to. But, how do we learn to redirect our focus to “not all the time” and allow that to be where we go first? We make a decision to make a choice to do it differently.
It is not easy. There is no instant gratification when it comes to trauma. It takes time and energy and strength…some of which we do not know we have inside of us, until we are forced to find it.
“Sometimes”, it’s still hard to talk about my own journey through autism. “Sometimes”, when I recall being accused of being the cause of my baby boy’s pain and struggle. “Sometimes”, when I recall the faces at the mall that shoot grimaces towards me that cut directly through to my heart, as if I have done something to my baby to make him scream or as if he’s being “bad” and I’m a horrible parent for not punishing him. “Sometimes”, when I remember walking with and gently bouncing him for hours throughout the night, praying to GOD to help me soothe him, so we can both get just a little sleep. “Sometimes”, when he finally stopped crying, but went silent…lost in his own mind.
I was forced to find “not all the time”. I knew somewhere deep inside of me, that my son would be lost forever, if I did not find the strength inside of me to stay firmly planted in “not all the time”. My endurance and tenacity had to become so fierce, that nothing would stop me from asking questions, getting answers and doing the work. “Sometimes” gets lost, when we’re in the midst of the work that it takes to get to the place of “not all the time”.
It us took years. A lot of them. But, I stayed firmly planted in “not all the time”. I stayed diligent to the process, as if there was no other choice. When “sometimes” crept back in to my mind during an especially hard moment of watching my baby boy struggle, or having to defend myself or him, or long and exhausting therapy session after therapy session…I always found my way back to “not all the time”. I don’t know that I would have found my way there, if it wasn’t for the choice that I made to do whatever it took to help my baby out of his darkness.
The truth is…we are human and we are forced to learn to grow through our trauma and develop coping skills. It is a different process for everyone. I learned how to find “not all the time” more often than “sometimes” because I need to stay hopeful, for him…and for me. Hope led me to “not all the time”. Hope led Luca to becoming the 10 year old boy today, that was once locked in his own mind, unable to speak and miserable in his own body….to a brilliant, talkative, amazing boy who LOVES life. Hope makes all things better. Hope leads us to healing. Hope leads us to “not all the time” more often than “sometimes”.
I hope you’re able to find “not all the time” more than “sometimes” and know that by being hopeful, you’re taking baby steps in the right direction. You’ll never get “there”, because it’s a journey that has no end. But, life does get better as we continue taking deliberate steps and making choices to stay hopeful.
Big love to you!