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Living with Luke 7

May 10, 2013

So…

Picture the scene.  It’s evening.  I’m making the dinner, TCMH is teaching, and The Eldest Child is upstairs.  Tiddles the Silverback is in the living room when the phone rings.  Tiddles picks it up.

“Hello?” says Tiddles.

“Ah good evening sir,” I hear the voice say as I reach the room, “I was wondering…”

“Trumpton Fire Station?” continues Tiddles, “Captain Flack speaking.  Yes of course, of course.  Right away, right away.” Click.

And that’s how we deal with cold callers.

There have been times when I have been in the depths of despair.  Times when I wonder, how did it end up like this?  This is not how I saw my life panning out, with a long line of disappointments, failures, disillusionment and heartache.  My life was supposed to be fun.  My children’s lives were meant to be fun-filled, I wasn’t supposed to have a special needs child.  I wasn’t supposed to have a silverback gorilla for a son, who can’t even now walk down a road without me holding his hand at age 14. I really must’ve pissed off whatever force is controlling my destiny that’s for sure. And I get angry.  Very angry.  But I have no way of taking my anger and frustration out on anybody, nobody to vent at because there isn’t anybody I can blame for this, except myself.  I’ve read that we are all responsible for where we are in life from all the choices we have made leading up to this point.  If that’s the case, then I have nobody to blame for Tiddles condition but me.  I took it for granted that he would be ‘normal’, and the universe decided to kick my legs from under me whilst sniggering behind its hand.

‘You want to, what?  Be able to be a major part of your son’s life?  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  Tell you what we’ll do for you.  How about he barely acknowledges your existence and we’ll move him behind this wall, and you can try and get him to understand you for the rest of your life, ok?’

So, how does a dad with an autistic son channel some of his anger and frustration?  Well, this one goes to the gym every weekday to try and stay fit so that he can look after Tiddles as he gets older and stronger.  I also still play football, although I currently have a list of injuries and bruises that just seem to take that little bit longer to heal these days as I get older.  Ironically they are all from playing football, but without football I have no release valve to vent my frustration. And by ‘vent’ I mean ‘shout my head off for 90 minutes’. I don’t get the ‘rush of endorphins’ that everybody else seems to get from working out, so for me, the gym is a necessary chore, but win, lose or draw – and it’s lose mainly these days – I always feel slightly less stressed after football. Just slightly.

Funny story break.  We went on holiday to the Lake District a few years ago.  Tiddles must’ve been about 10 or 11.  We had hired a car and were driving along the hill roads back from Windermere or somewhere like that when from a side road a flock of sheep ran out.  I braked hard, swerved and managed to avoid all of them, and kept driving. 

“Everybody ok?” I asked.  TCMH and The Eldest Child both said they were fine.  There was a pause of a few seconds, and then Tiddles shouted,

“Holy Crap!  What was that?”

Tiddles comes and lays with me as I sit, uncomfortably on the sofa.

“Give us a kiss for Christmas…” I say.  He obliges by offering his cheek for me to kiss.  “Are you ok?”

“Are you ok?” he echoes. As usual, he has his iPod with him.

“What do you want?” I ask.  He offers me the iPod.

“Password.”  I look at what he wants – a tv programme – put in my password to buy it  from iTunes, wait for it to start downloading, and then log out again.  He gets up and goes.

“What do you say?” I ask.

“Fankyoo…” he replies as he walks out of the room.

If you’ve ever tried talking to somebody whilst underwater then that’s how it feels sometimes trying to talk to Tiddles.  He looks at you as if you have bubbles coming out of your mouth, which are more interesting than the actual words you are trying to say to him, and you can see his eyes drift away from yours.  It’s incredibly frustrating, and saddening to think that this beautiful boy is never going to really truly know me as his dad.  I’m just somebody that isn’t mummy. But again, our lives are joined and whether he likes it or not, this is our life.

Holy crap, what WAS that?

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