It takes me down every time, no matter how many times I go through it. I just can’t seem to protect myself from the wave of pain that it carries.
Autism’s heavy weight is briefly lifted. At first, I stay guarded. I know better than to celebrate too soon. I play it smart. That’s what it feels like I’m doing anyway. But there’s this moment, silently waiting between the mountaintop and the valley, when I start to get comfortable with how well things are going. I breathe out. I let go, always landing in this place of bliss at just the wrong time. I always wait too long.
Maybe her symptoms are really, permanently changing for the better?! Maybe our family can stop walking on egg shells?! Maybe I can make it a whole day without my PTSD triggered; a whole day of letting my invisible shield down?!
This is when the tide turns. Abruptly. And instantly, I feel like I’m drowning again.
This meltdown left me shaken. Her words pierced my soul and left me trying to catch my breath. When I can’t stop the shaking, I get in the car and drive until I find a place to be completely alone with the only One who fully understands. I stop and I cry and I begin to work through the familiar mix of dread and suffocation.
“God, I don’t think I can do this again.”
“You’re right, Daughter, you can’t.”
“It’s too painful. I can physically feel my heart breaking. I can’t go through this over and over with no end in sight.”
“Listen to Me! You have never done it. You have lived through the pain but you’ve not once been in real danger of drowning. I have held you! Every single time. You can’t do this. But I can. WE can. I have not, nor will I ever, let you down!”
There was nothing more. Nothing more to think or say except, “Thank You, Father.”
This journey is one of the hardest I have been on; one that may not end this side of heaven. If I let my perspective shift from what He can do in the middle of this storm, to what I can do…I’m left frantically gasping for air. I have to choose to focus on His strength; His constant, steadfast love- my anchor and my hope.