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Living with Luke 64

March 19, 2016

Hello. My name is Danson Thunderbolt and I’m addicted to…

I’ve not had a lot to say lately…actually, that’s not quite true – I’ve had plenty to say, and have said it as well. What I mean is that I’ve not wanted to say much here. Not for any other reason except that I was wondering if anyone was interested anymore. It’s been about 6 months since the last post and now this one. It may well be another 6 months before the next one, if there is a ‘next one’. 

So, why now?

Today is my 48th birthday and I’ve never felt so old as I do today. I’ve never BEEN so old as I am today either, and tomorrow I’ll be even older than I am today and be a step closer to the grave. A depressing thought? Yep…but that’s par for the course…

I noticed a couple of things the other day, which were, whilst probably not all that important in the grand scheme of things, fairly earth shattering to me and forced me to sit down and think about them. 
And it’s this…I became aware, slowly, that Tiddles doesn’t actually cry much. Hardly ever in fact. Except when he’s upset, and then it’s usually me that he’s upset with and so he tends to lash out at me whilst he’s crying. This has become the norm, it’s acceptable-accepted behaviour in our house. Readers of these blogs will know that I would rather it be me he smacks or bites than anybody else. And that’s…well, acceptable. 

However, as with many things in life, the short term plans or ideas have a habit of becoming long term problems. This is what I discovered the other day. What has happened, is that Tiddles’ lack of emotion, the fact that he hardly ever hurts himself and as a result never seems to ‘need’ me has, I’ve suddenly found…numbed me. 

That is the wrong word, but I’m struggling to find the correct one. 

Rather than becoming de-sensitised, I am if anything, feeling more sensitive as we have all gotten older. Luke’s distance from me has left me with an ever deepening well of unchecked emotions that are being shored up with the increasingly flimsiest of supports. 

So I joke around. I make funny comments. I piss about and try to be ‘funny’. But I can have a nasty temper and a very short fuse which is being kept under increasingly difficult control as I struggle to deal with being ‘Dad’ and other people sadly, can feel the brunt of emotions that remain unchecked and unchallenged. The pressure is building. 
For example…
I work in a school. I’m not a teacher. Nor would I want to be. Those guys work harder than anybody ever gives them credit for and deserve our admiration. One day just the other week, I was in class and from the class next to mine, we could all hear a child crying. Now I couldn’t tell if it was a boy or a girl, but they were sobbing about something and I do mean sobbing. They were so upset. All I wanted to do, was to go to that child, hold them tightly, and tell them that it was going to be alright. 

And I wanted to cry with them. 
Even now, the thought of it, the memory, is causing me to well up. Which is unfortunate because, as I said, I have no outlet. Tiddles doesn’t need me, and that hurts. The slow, drawn out pain of his gradual separation has in effect, weakened the walls of my ‘Fatherlyness’ (not a real word), and has turned me into a man who will potentially cry at the drop of a hat…I daren’t even watch any ‘Rocky’ films as they could be devastating, and I know what happens! But this is now the closest I will come to breaking down. I have a feeling that our performance of LWL at the end of April could potentially be the most real it’s ever been!

But the worst thing, the worst thing is, is that it’s not going to get better, but it could get worse, if it hasn’t already. 

‘Who’s birthday is it today, Luke?’ I asked this morning to the figure peering out from under his duvet. No reply. ‘Who’s birthday is it?’ I asked again. 

‘Daddy Pig…’ he replied. 

I looked at his calendar. Three dates had something written on them. None of which were my birthday!

And it’s difficult to get inside his thoughts. The passage to Narnia has long been, maybe not lost, but certainly mislaid. 

Years ago, myself and TCMH attended a week long conference/training session for an American idea called The Son-Rise program. During the week as one of the exercises, we were invited to write a letter to our children. I then volunteered to read mine out in front of 300+ parents. In it I wrote to Tiddles that I would do my absolute best to find the bridge between our land and Narnia. Something I’m still searching for to this day. The reality of it is that I may never find it, but do I really owe it to Tiddles to stop trying? To give up the search for the Holy Grail of fatherhood for him? He doesn’t care less if I give up, but what he does need, whether he knows it or not, is a Dad who is strong for him, emotionally as well as physically. And that may mean I need to be more emotional in my everyday dealings, whether I like it or not…

Hello, my name is Steve…

Watch this space…


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  1. Mama_brinkley permalink

    Just wanted to reach out after reading your post. Don’t give up searching, he needs you in ways you are yet to discover. You are such a wonderful father. Sending strength and tissues (for all the crying)
    Ps, how are you 48??!!

  2. Jessica Foster permalink

    Steve Tiddles has feelings just like everyone else but he doesn’t know how to express them. And that bridge to Nania he needs you to be who you are to him & together you will find that bridge

    I am sorry to say that I haven’t read all of your blogs sorry

    Just cause Tiddles doesn’t open up emotionally doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel it. He like a lot of people w autism he doesn’t know how to express his feelings but he feels it.

  3. Nice to meet you Steve… We are watching, watching with admiration of how you and TCMH cope. YOU are that bridge! X

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