April 9, 2012

I was at the Thai restaurant with Liam and had a revelation. I kept him out of school today to go see the doctor because he has been having frequent headaches. I have a feeling it is vision related as he has them after school and when he plays on his iPad for a long time. We were referred to a neurologist to check everything out. I decided to take him to the Thai restaurant for lunch. Usually this involves a little bit of stress and fear because he tends to yell and scream in situations he is not supposed to. Sometimes it is that high-pitch loud scream that really hurts the ears of anyone it falls upon. Then the whole store turns to me and stares. I get nervous and he does it more. It is a game.  I know the secret is to not get nervous, not only on the outside, but on the inside. Regardless, we went to Thai and he was a perfect little boy! He yelled few times here and there, but nothing crazy. I had an appetizer, a meal and I ordered Thai donuts for him. He loves them and so do I. Every single day I struggle with trying to start and stay with the diet I am trying to do with him. The guilt I carry is such a burden, it clouds my mind with a heavy dark cloud and I can’t see clearly around me. Have you ever felt guilty about not being able to make changes you feel will benefit your future? I am filled with them! I am not doing the diet, I am not getting enough sleep, I am not exercising enough, I am not meditating like I would like to or doing yoga. I did not finnish school when I was younger. I did not save enough money to be secure. I did not raise my boys perfectly, as they are struggling in school. My biggest one has been that I have not found the volunteers I need to help me with Liam’s Son-Rise program, nor have I gone in the room consistently.  The list goes on and on!  So while sitting there at Thai, I realized that guilt has been my driving force for change my entire life!  And do you know what it changes? Next to nothing! It’s change is so slow and ardorous that the results are definitely not worth the effort it takes to carry it. It has kept me stuck in a place like trying to walk with glue stuck to your feet.  I don’t know where it came from or why (well I do know why, and where I guess) but I truly realized that this is what has been holding me back on all fronts of my life! I know we can know these things intectually, but until we allow them to enter or entire being and embrace them with love and kindness towards self, we won’t be living their blessing. So I feel so very blessed to get this one! It was holding me back from playing with Liam in his Son-Rise room freely and without worrying about all my other responsibilities.

I still have the dream of figuring out and following exactly what diet will be right for Liam. I am not completely sure on this one. It takes tremendous effort, time and conviction to follow such a diet. I am fine while we are at home, but when we go out to places like Disney it feels impossible!  He loves food, what child doesn’t?  I want to truly know what his needs are so I can not always wonder if what I am doing is necessary or not.  I do know it can’t really hurt, but it is expensive and requires consistent effort.  There is always the fact that other autistic children have benefitted greatly, and even recovered from following such diets.  I am not giving up, but decided to go forward without the harsh voices of guilt keeping me stuck.  I am blessing it and letting it go.

As far as Son-Rise goes, I am so grateful for having come upon this path. It is the most amazing, loving approach you can take with autism and life! I am so grateful to all the people who helped me get to the courses. Liam’s life is already on a different path because of it. I can only imagine how much that path will change once I get a solid full-time program running. I have been looking for volunteers for a year now, very hesitantly. We are on a volunteer website. I have had about 12 responses and when I follow up with the inquiries, they do not get back to me. I am thinking that they are looking for an organization they can volunteer with so that they can gain access to a career path, or for school credit. I think when they find out it is a family who needs help with their child, that perhaps this is not what they are looking for. I don’t know why people are not coming on board, but I am deciding that given that I have been confused about the whole thing myself with the whole guilt thing etc., I am not in a place to draw the right people to me. I feel that for the past week or so I am shifting this and it all became clear suddenly today while I was at lunch with Liam.  I have been afraid, afraid I won’t enjoy being in the room with Liam for sustained periods of time, afraid I won’t know how to convey to my volunteers how the program works, afraid that Liam is too old for a significant change, afraid that I won’t be able to hold it all together trying to juggle school, work, the boys, my household and Son-Rise. I have been afraid that I am making the wrong choice in deciding to go back to school for accounting.

I have been afraid to make a choice of whether or not to continue waitressing or jump into the accounting career. I have tentatively concluded that for now I am going to leave things as they are. Yes I am waiting on people for a living, but it is flexible  and forgiving. If I need time off I can have it. I think for now, it will allow me to focus more on Liam’s Son-Rise program. I will finish my master’s degree in August of 2013. Perhaps then it will be time to take a career. One other issue that has been on my mind regarding waitressing is the fact that I wait on some difficult guests. I have been struggling since I moved to Florida with the ‘culture shock’.  There are people here that make you so upset. They don’t care about social graces, rules etc. They will not look you in the eye when you approach them at a table or even acknowledge your hello. They can laugh right at you. I have even been called a ‘hoe’ or ‘bitch’. These are the worst. I have struggled not to go to hate or anger when I have to wait on them, and so far I have not been able to achieve this on a regular basis. I realize that I can still love them despite of their behavior. I do not know where they have been. I can learn not to judge and just observe what is. When we first moved to Florida, my inclination  was to turn around and run away to get away from people like this. I knew deep down inside that there was a lesson to be learned here and I knew it had to do with love. So I am here realizing this completely. I feel I can not leave this job until I feel no more anger and can love all I interact with regardless of their behavior. I don’t want to leave a job behind to get away from anything, and even though taking a career in accounting would be going towards something, I don’t want to have anything unresolved behind that was ‘escaped’.

I am learning and growing and feel that I have cleared up what is blocking me from giving myself to the process of Son-Rise for Liam. All that matters is staying present in each moment as it unfolds.  It is not my responsibility to predetermine Liam’s life. I am reminding myself that I am here to help him be who he came here to be. I get scared that his future will require care 24-7. Will he ever stop running away or being oblivious to danger? I have to come to accept that it is not my place to set his future in stone, especially one that might not be his path. I am going to let go of fear and live in the blessing of today.

Our next step is to go for what is called an intensive. We will go as a family to the Autism Treatment Center of America and work with them for a week. The magic of this is that Liam will be in a Son-Rise room with trained teachers and facilitators all day long. They will video tape the sessions so that we can refer back to them and share them with volunteers. They will give us feedback in our interactions with Liam as well. They will counsel us and heal beliefs that are holding us back in program, marriage, family relationships and life! Marcus is the most loving dad one can imagine. There is nothing he would rather do than be with our boys.  I feel that this next step will take that love and channel it effectively into a program that will guide Liam gently out of autism. Marcus goes along with all I have planned so far, but I feel I am driving this. I want Marcus to truly see for himself how S0n-Rise can bring miracles to Liam’s life. I don’t want him doing it because I tell him to. That is not a very inspired place to move mountains from. I want to strengthen us as a team. I feel this will spill over into our marriage and family. The boys will participate as well learning how they can interact with Liam in the Son-Rise room. The classes I have taken thus far have laid the foundation. I understand the basics. For some this is enough to be successful. I think the biggest mistake I have made is not following up with support services when I feel lost or stuck. They have counseling sessions, video feedback services, and dialogues sessions I can do over the phone. Even if I went no further with all of this and did not continue S0n-Rise, its principles are forever in us and Liam is blossoming as a result. He is learning, growing and happy. He feels cofindent , loved and accepted. I have learned to look at autism as a blessing, not a sentence. Just this very core belief sets you on a whole different tangent where love prevails and life is blessed. I have so much more to do for Liam, with Liam. I am truly letting go of guilt. It no longer serves me. I will get my course-work done, my housework done, the bills paid, my health taken care of and Liam’s Son-Rise program running from a place of confidence and joy. I can’t tell you how much of a burden has lifted in realizing this!

Our next step is to fundraise for the intensive. We are hoping to be able to attend in December of 2012. That gives me enough time to have a program running more solidly to have a better place to start from and grow and expand. We will need about 12,000$ to cover the cost of this. We will cover as much of this as we can ourselves, but currently we make enough to get by. It is part of the reason I have struggled with deciding to jump into accounting just yet. I might make more money so that I could provide more for Liam, but I would have less time and I would have to pay someone to care for him a certain amount of time weekly. It might just be a wash. For now things are working in our lives. Marcus works about 50-60 hours a week and I work around his schedule about 35. I chose accounting so that our future could feel more secure and I pray one day that one will pay off. For now we are blessed to have enough to get by. I don’t know how it will come into our lives but I do believe that God put this in my path for a reason. When I read about the intensive in the past it always made me cry because I believed I could not have it. I knew it held something so precious for me and my family, but I felt unworthy of it because of its cost. I know realize that we are worthy and that this is our destiny.  I know this because I feel hope and joy when I believe that it can happen. I feel deep sadness when I turn away from Son-Rise and it. I have already leapt off the cliff of believing I will land in the Berkshire Mountains with my family in December healing our family and learning how to take our program to a place we dream of. I am toying with the idea of making my own organic laundry soap and selling it to fundraise. I am calling it Soap Full of Hope. I need Marcus’s help with this one though.  I don’t know yet how it will happen, but I know now that it will, because it is God’s will. All I have to do is open up to it and follow its path.

Now I am going to go play with Liam. I will follow up with how it goes in the room as we progress.

Comments are closed.