D has been through an awful lot in the last couple of years. He has always carried his emotions close to the surface, but he also runs very deep. He tends to think about things in a rather unique manner that can be fascinating to watch. It can also be his undoing because he assumes everyone else thinks the came way that he does.
Saturday night he was quite volatile at bedtime, but there is nothing new with that – bedtime seems to be the part of the day when he lets everything out that hasn’t been processed during the day. He eventually settled down, and another day was completed. Or so we thought.
A short while later, M come through and tells us he thinks D is crying. Hubby went to see, and a few minutes later returns with D, tears streaming down his face, and sobbing so hard that his breathing sounded difficult. He got into bed with me, and just cried in me arms. All he kept saying was that he didn’t know why he felt so sad, but he did, and he wanted to cry. I am a great believer in the power of tears. I do not believe they are a sign of weakness, but they can be a great cleanser for our emotional state. When you’re crying and letting it flow, afterwards it can be like the emotional fog has cleared and it can be easier to move on. Hubby has always thought me mad for enjoying the aftermarth of a good cry, but it works for me! I explained this D, in the hopes he would not see the need to cry as a negative. He protested that some of his peers have said boys shouldnt cry – we have never given the boys the belief in that sort of sexual stereotyping, and I actually find in really sad that kids are repeating that sort of garbage. We cry for a reason. Eventually he his breathing calmed and the tears became fewer. He was a bundle of nervousness, as if he had been given a really hard fright. Hubby decided to go to D’s bed and leave him with me, as he needed reassurance, and who does everything will be ok cuddles better than your Mum?! Once Hubby had gone, I had to make the room safe. D didn’t want the door left open in case anyone came in. The curtain had a slight gap in it, so I had to adjust that. There was a light. Upon investigation, it was the standby light from a tablet. Every bit of the room had to be checked to make sure it was safe. He then wanted cuddles, and he held me so tight, I thought my breathing would become difficult! The conversation started, but nothing to do with what had been frightening him, oh no, that would have been too much of a normal conversation for him, instead he asked about what letters mean in maths! Yes, you read that correctly. In the middle of the night when all normal 8 years olds are tucked up dreaming about football and the likes, he is asking about algebra. Only D! The once he was happy he understood my basic explanation – I am the one person in the world who actually loved algebra at school, but even my brain was having problems with it at midnight, we moved onto a new topic. By moved on, I mean leapt at such a tangent there was no connection at all. The question came, “What will happen to the human race when the sun explodes?” Remember this is gone midnight, and my brain really wasnt awake, so I turned it on him, and asked what he thought. His logical reasoning said that the human race would be on other planets by then, after all they are soon off to Mars, and they had found the galaxy similar to ours – I think I need to think before I share news items with him in future! I had to agree with him that this was the most likely outcome, but that with advancements in science, there may have been a way developed that would stop or at least delay the demise of the sun. This idea seemed to excite him, and we explored this idea for a while. Then he moved at just a slight tangent and told me he wouldn’t be studying sciences at university. I asked what he thought he would do, and he very matter of factly tells me he will be studying Film and Media. I am glad he has it all planned out!
Eventually, at gone one am, he finally fell asleep, laying on my arm. With his plaster cast, once he has a comfortable position, there is no moving him, and so that is how we stayed all night.
He didn’t talk about what was really bothering him. He hasn’t talked about it since, and while we have gently pushed for him to open up, we don’t want to push too hard for fear of either making the problems seem bigger than they are, or for him to bury them so deep that by the time they hit the surface again they have really festered.
Hubby and I have of course discussed what we believe is going on in his head.
Firstly is of course the return to school. It is difficult every year getting back into a new routine and being in a different place with different people. This will hopefully settle pretty quickly as he gets used to all that is happening with him.
His broken arm can’t be easy on him. He might be a large boy but he isn’t inactive, and spends hours running about or on the trampoline. To suddenly have to slow down, must be hard on him. When his orthopedic surgeon he was seeing about his knees took a look at his arm x-ray and said it was a strange break, it must have got Mr Worry thinking.
His knees! From the initial operation, to have the pins put in to their removal, D has been really understanding to what he has had to do. He has been brilliant, but it must have taken its toll on him. When he went back to the hospital, there was always the possibility that he may have been told he needed another operation, and this thought must have played on his mind, and then the relief of it not happening must have been huge.
Bullying is a major part of D’s life. He is the fat autistic kid, so such an easy target. The school didn’t deal with the problem too well in his first year, and he learned that he should take responsibility for being bullied – I know that mind-set it wrong! Over the holidays, he fell out with a couple of M’s counterparts, as they threatened him, and smeared mud over him. Then on Saturday he was subjected to some online bullying when a child he knows told him he would kill him in Minecraft and the real world. It was probably a something and nothing remark, but to D it was said so it was meant – I have spoken to the child, who denies saying it, but it was heard.
To have heard the conversation we had with the psychologist when we went about his anger management, must have been really horrible for him. We try to stay positive in all that we do and say around the boys, so to have heard the two people who are meant to care for him about all else talking to a stranger about his negative behaviour, I can only imagine how horrible this must be.
All these things added together, have been going around in his head, and seemed to burst to the surface on Saturday night.
I think there is a lesson to us all in this, and that is to stop bottling things up – I know I am so good at not saying things and then thinking about them too hard, and to let things out when they irk us rather than let them keep growing until they are a major problem. We as a family have to work hard to make sure D feels he can talk about things that matter – after all, it’s not that he doesn’t talk, most days there is no shutting him up, but we have to allow him to let his emotions grow.