Yesterday Jonah required a “two-person takedown” at school.
Whenever there is a “two-person takedown,” they are required to call a parent to explain what happened. When my cell phone rings at work and I see their area code, my heart always jumps and then sinks, diving down into a numb place before I answer. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to know it. I want to be ostrich-mom and I can’t, and I want to believe he doesn’t hurt anyone anymore, but he does. Not nearly as often as before, they tell me, but I hate it just the same. For me it is the worst aspect of his autism, by far.
He was in music class, which I would imagine he’d love. I don’t know what upset him but he became frenziedly violent. He was removed from the music class and they attempted to bring him back to his regular classroom, but to no avail. Hence “the two-person takedown.”
He breaks glasses and hits, scratches and tries to bite. He fights dirty, no holds barred. Then they calm him and he gets his proverbial shit together, but it is impossible to say for how long.
The time bomb ticks.
People ask me how Jonah is doing. A lot of people. I appreciate it and their concern means so much to me, but more often than not I ask them to please read my blog. I know that might sound insulting, or even mean, and I try to explain: I can’t live this every hour of my life.
If I tell the same story over and over again, I become depressed and anxious. If I worry and perseverate on the craziness of it all, I can’t function. So I set aside blocks of time to tell the tale through writing, which is easier, and better, and usually much more articulate anyway. I apologize to the people who want to know about Jonah when I just don’t have it in me to talk about it, but I get the feeling they are hurt and insulted anyway.
I hate that I can’t hold my boo in my arms and rock him back and forth, singing to him and calming him. But he is 9, not 2, and the whole point of the school is to increase independence and learning, so kids are not treated like babies just because their cognitive ability may be low. I have to admit I would have continued to baby him had he not gone off to school. I love him more than most people in my life know or understand. But hearing about his anxiety, his meltdowns, his aggressions – it’s too much sometimes. I don’t know what he understands and I don’t know what to do most times.
I trust his teachers and caregivers to nurture and love him, but is that too much of an expectation?
The effect it has had on my mother, and on my relationship with my mother, is significant, to say the least. Jonah is the only child of an only child, and to my mother he is the sun, moon, and sky. He is her everything. It makes me feel like I must compete with her to prove he is my world as well, but it’s so different for me. For me, there is also deliverance from a life I couldn’t live anymore.
I believe with my heart this is the best thing for my son. His best opportunity at independence – at freedom from whatever it is inside him causing him distress. At competency in life skills…at learning. At life. I assert this a lot in my blog posts, I know. I have to. I need it to be true.
But what if I’m wrong?