* Prenote- I spoke with Doug on creating this blog and he is in agreement our information can help others. The times I speak of our troubles are meant to help others learn from our mistakes and to reassure some that it is not unusual. In no way would I ever place sole blame on my husband, the majority of our challenges are due to the differences in men and women.*
"Then, the woman. No physician had been able to heal her though she had spent all her money in the effort. With one touch, she was completely cured." ~ taken from an online Bible study. God's perfect timing as always. I have read the verse this is based on, Matthew 9:20-22, many times and today it was in Doug's and my newest Bible study. I thought it fitting. I had been exasperated by all the failed attempts and false information on Aspergers...and parenting for that matter, I have read many books and tried many things suggested, only one said it was the cure all the rest said they were ways to make things "better".
Ahhh better, I remember when days were "better" for Dylan and between Dylan and I. He was still a toddler happy and loving, so bright and so full of happiness, smiling all the time. As he grew up he slowly lost his loving side and became a loner...who didn't want to be alone. He began pushing away hugs and kisses and meltdowns began to enter our lives. The meltdowns began to peak at age 4 1/2 to 5 years old. This is when he began to scream uncontrollably and kick, hit, etc. Of course from first onset of anything unusual in his behavior I analyzed our lives and my parenting...."What am I doing wrong? What changes have we made?" The Dr. assured me his behavior was normal and I was just over reacting...of course at the one year check ups Dylan had been an angel all through the appointment. Outsiders hearing my story assured me he was just a boy being a boy and that all boys go through these fits. Perhaps no one was truly listening to me explain the behavior, he bit himself, leather and pillows as a release, he only ate chicken nuggets, hot dogs and cream cheese sandwiches, he screamed out for what seemed to be no reason, he was tired a lot and complained of his legs hurting, he hated loud noises that he himself was not making, he had the attention span of a fly unless we were doing what he wanted to do, he had a hard time staying asleep at night, he wanted to make friends but he wanted them to do everything he wanted them to, kids outcasted him at every social outing, you never knew what moment he would take off on you and possibly run into traffic or hide in a store and the list goes on.
A couple years ago I started eating healthier due to a job I had. My boss was into healthy living and eating only what you need to eat and dessert was a treat not a given. As I began to change my eating, at first not cheerfully, I began to think about Dylan's eating again and I kept trying to get him to eat new things. Sometimes he would like the new things and the next time I gave them to him...he hated them again. At this job I was also introduced to God all over again...or for the first time. The music played was WBGL, a Christian radio station. I was told I could turn it off if I wanted to, but I actually liked it. In time my boss, who is now a friend, helped guide me to give my life to Jesus. My friend also gave me a book about autism to help me with my son. This one claimed to have healed the author's child...I had to give it a shot. Well...epic fail. I continued on my journey searching for Dylan.
I have many dreams and almost daily I have new personal revelations of ways God is showing me to change my life. Learning to listen to God would be a whole new blog in itself, I pray for His words and not mine, I pray for Him to help me be the parent he wants me to be for my son. Most of my prayers were focused solely on Dylan. God showed me one day that although I was praying for my son often and my heart was on his healing...my flesh was not there nor was my house in order.
Order in my house??? Well one thing is for sure, when Doug and I decided to become engaged to be married we knew the road would be at times difficult, we knew there would be challenges, but up until I said yes to his proposal we had not really had to many extreme meltdowns from Dylan. We also knew he and I were what we believed to be a perfect fit, where he lacked I did not, where I lacked he did not. There was no other man in my mind I could ever say I would " love honor and obey" I trusted Doug not to lead me into rough waters and I trusted he would always put our needs above his...and I would do the same in return. We had suffered a loss together and although we darn near split for good we hung on by a thread and wove ourselves back together again. There was a moment before we wed that brought me to my knees and I saw visions of Jesus on the cross and how we must forgive each other, I was reminded of the times I needed forgiveness from Doug and from God. Too often we want to play the victim and we forget times when we had wronged others. After that I thought for sure if we could make it through loss and pain we would have it easy from there on out.
November 15th 2008 we said I do and we were a family. Dylan's biological father had already been out of the picture for a year and a month at this time. Doug was essentially Dylan's father and in fact many people thought Dylan was Doug's son. Almost instantly there were problems between Dylan and Doug. Now Dylan had known Doug since he was three and he could no longer remember any other man in his life, but knew Doug was not his biological dad. Dylan began to act out as I had mentioned above and Doug was put straight into the father role with no time to prepare, we were done diapers and play pins and on everything else. Dylan dearly loves Doug and calls him Daddy because he wants to, yet that did not stop his abusiveness toward Doug. It seemed as though Dylan needed more from Doug, he needed reassurance, a pat on the back now and then, some discipline and a ton of Daddy time. Problem being...when mommy brought the hammer down Dylan was able to run to Daddy and Doug did not want to lose that. A fear of Doug's was making Dylan hate him. Right away the first time Doug had to really punish Dylan on his own, Dylan told Doug he was a mean Dad and eventually he screamed the words I had always received " I HATE YOU". The thing he had feared the most had happened. Job 3:25(NLT) What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true. In the mean time my worst fears for Doug and Dylan were happening as well. They had become more like brothers in competition than Father and son. Each wanted my attention and each thought the other was taking too much of my time.
Dylan since the age of 18 months had been my life, he almost died from a high grade fever, I was then told he could have a brain damage then a brain tumor...that scare lasted less than a day but it was enough to change me forever. I began to protect Dylan, protect him from the people in his life that did not understand him and treated him differently. I began to protect Dylan from Doug as well. Doug was not abusive, but I could feel the tension when between he and Dylan anytime Dylan spoke out of turn or had a meltdown. Sometimes I would lash out at Dylan because I was tired of defending him and sometimes I lashed out at Doug because I was tired of being the only one who researched ways to help Dylan with his actions. I was angered often and would yell at Doug to read a book, read one on autism or read the Bible and learn to love Dylan through his trials. I had gotten many Christian books to help Doug with being a new father, I offered him my books as well. Slowly my happy picture seemed to be fading. To make things harder Doug and I had been suffering more losses.
Doug and I had been praying together at night and I have to tell you as I told him...there had been many nights where I felt I REALLY had to humble myself to get down and pray across from him, to be silent as he led...silent on the outside, but on the inside I was boiling over. Before recent days I was working full time and taking care of all things in the home, if the trash was taken out by Doug it was done so because I asked him. Doug would do anything I asked him to...but like most women, I don't want to have to ask him. When we left the house to go anywhere I would forget to take 50+ % of the things we needed to take with us, Doug would have to turn around many times to go and fetch what I forgot. We became the late family. Car rides consisted of Dylan screaming and me nit picking Doug's driving. to which he would ask if I wanted to drive and I would say "yes" or " no but I would like you to". For me it was non stop going going going, breaks??? What were those? I would be up late with Dylan and then having about 2-4 hours sleep I would have to go and watch a pc screen at work and try to stay awake and catch mistakes.
In Doug's eyes it was Dylan and me against him. Why should he help me parent Dylan or do anything around the house? It would all be wrong anyway. And many men don't like to read...it's not that they can't, it is just not interesting to them...most are visual. Doug's wife was really a man in disguise and he could not get her to put the "dress" back on. His son was defiant and he had not raised him from a baby and did not watch the changes take place so to him...this was something that could be helped not a behavior that only God could change. With most of the world with the same view as Doug who should he believe, his wife who babies her son? Or the majority that agree the child is babied?
As I read in the Bible, in books and as I heard our Pastor preach, I began to think maybe just maybe...
Proverbs 14: 1(NLT) A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.
Maybe I was the foolish woman. Too proud to completely admit it yet...I bought more books instead and I read and I borrowed and read...and I was the foolish woman. To Doug we had become Solomon's contentious wife and the foolish son.
A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.
So how do I fix it? How do I stop "defending" myself and my son? How can I let God take control? How do I let Him? What do I do to stop arguments and not be taken advantage of? How can I get and give respect?
Those are the hardest and the easiest questions to answer. I need to let God be my driver. I need to totally trust HIS plan and Him. So what does HIS plan look like? What would He have me do?
Proverbs 3 is an excellent place to start, that and 1 Cor 13. I have been down this road before and can't say I have failed, because I have learned something each time. I can say this journey to being quiet when you want to speak out, totally leaves you broken and humble. At times your flesh feels defeated...that is a good thing, stay in the spirit and don't focus on the way the flesh feels. There is no way to get past what I am going through...not all of it fits in this blog...no way to get past it but by Christ who strengthens me. I believe the times I tried before and fell shorter than a victory are due to my focusing to much on how painful it was in the flesh. I can hear Debbie right now saying " Keep your eyes on the prize, and press toward the mark."
So all eyes on the prize, a house in order and Dylan back in my arms in the literal and metaphorical sense. The next post will be much shorter as it will finally begin following our days beginning to end in the present.
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
And God has called me to be a wife and a mother and I am so grateful for both callings.