Someone told me a few months ago I had to be brave. I’ve spent most of my life hiding away,avoiding any kind of attention or exposure to who I really am. I have some very close friends who know me very well but it is only a select few who know me inside and out. Its been a really testing year and I find myself facing challenges I didn’t think I was capable of and so I’ve spent a much of this year feeling afraid but determined to change all that isn’t working in my life. Much of this fear comes from worrying about what other people think of me or being afraid of letting other people down. But how can I encourage my children to be their true selves in the world,charge forth and conquer if Im not brave enough to do it myself?
Some of you already know my hidden self. If you don’t,it’s not that I don’t trust you to know,but it’s a little like Pandora’s Box-I had to be ready to open it.
I believe in Angels. I don’t see them but I feel them. I’ve asked for signs that they were there and they’ve given them to me. I didn’t always believe in them. I was in the supermarket one day and without thinking I put a book about angels in my basket. When I got home I pulled it out of the bag and I couldn’t remember buying it. I’ve usually practically read a book by the time I’ve bought it so this was very unusual. As I had it,I thought Id better read it. It was about a woman who could see and talk with angels as if they were you or me. I thought she had lost the plot.Her family had been told when she was a child that she had special needs as she lived in a world of her own. She found interaction with others very difficult and was very different from her brothers and sisters. The authorities wanted to place her in a home but her parents loved her and wanted to care for her despite it all and told them where they could stick their home. They still believed she had special needs but decided that if they taught her how to survive in the world,gave her life skills and loved her enough,she would be allright.
Well it was like a thunderbolt from up above. My son James had been diagnosed with autism the year before. It was like being hit by a bus. I spent a month on my knees,crying and begging,praying it was wrong. It was like a bereavement. I grieved for the child I thought I had that was now lost. I cried for the future I had created for him in my mind. For the children and the wife he may never have. I watched his older brother Harry’s friends on the playground running away from their little brother’s of James age and saw the hurt in Harry’s eyes that his own little brother didn’t play with him and I was heartbroken. After this horrible dark month,I woke up one morning and realised this was helping no-one. James hadn’t died,he was alive and healthy and beautiful and desperately loved. So, I made him a promise. I looked at him and promised that no matter what,Autism was a part of his identity but I wouldn’t let it claim him. I decided that the best plan of action would be to tackle whatever the main problem holding him back at any one time and help him get over it. I would be open to anything as long as it wasn’t invasive and didn’t hurt him. Trouble was how would I know if it was hurting him? He couldn’t speak!! The rule became,whatever I was to try for him I would do it too,just so I knew how it felt. We have been on quite a little journey me and James. Chiropractic first to help him walk,gluten free diet ( which was as if someone had switched a light on. I’ll never forget the look on Harrys face the first time James pounced on him to play,only 3 days into the diet) Kinesiology followed,then crystal healing and Reiki.
So,I was reading this book and,after a chapter or two,I started to see James. What if he wasnt alone in this little world of his? What if he had company and I just couldnt see them? I began to see him in a new light. Who was making him laugh when he was sitting by himself? When he was looking over my shoulder who was he really seeing? What if he was seeing Angels?
I told my friend Janet about the book and asked her what she thought. She told me she had believed for ages and had been itching to tell me but had to wait until I was ready. I asked her if she thought James could see Angels and she suggested asking him. That posed a problem. He was in a world of his own. It was as if he was in a glass bubble,where he couldnt reach us and we couldnt reach him. We had no eye contact,speech,communication of any kind. He seemed oblivious to our existence unless custard creams were involved,at which time he screamed like a banshee until one was placed in each hand,(bright lad,God did after all grant him two hands so of course Mum should therefore grant him two biscuits!) Hmmm,just ask him Janet said,see what happens….
After his bath one night,I was getting him ready for bed when I asked him,” James do you see Angels?” Then,this little unreachable boy,who had no eye contact or communication skills whatsoever looked deep into my eyes,as if he could see my soul,and smiled his biggest smile. It was all the proof I needed.
So,there you have it. That was the beginning. I know many of you will be sceptical,if I was reading this I would be too. I’m not trying to lead you into believing as I do,I’m simply telling our story. Believe me,as a mental health nurse,I have questioned this over and over and if you think I’m a desperate mother trying to fit her child in somewhere he doesn’t seem to fit and even a bit delusional then I can live with that. I don’t blame you. I’ll still love you all the same.