Tuesday, December 2, 2014

helping carry

Sometimes I don't even know how I feel because I'm trying so hard to already feel a certain way, that I can't see beyond the line of what's real and what's hoped for. Pushing myself to a place of existence that suddenly, one day, inside a moment feels like make-believe.

Once a week Greyson goes to typical preschool. Autism is a disorder that affects communication, socialization and behavior- and one of the best ways for Greyson to work on all those skills is to be around children who do not have autism. Yesterday I went up to Greyson's school for a very special visit from the one and only Frank the Trash Man. We love our angel Frank, and the kids loved Frank and his shiny truck.

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Boy am I proud of that kid. Every single day I feel the warmth of pride on my skin.

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I picked up Greyson from school later in the morning after school was over. 

Did you have so much fun at school today? I asked.

I saw the K's you drew! I'm so proud of you Buddy! 

What was your favorite part of today? I bet it was Frank visiting.

And I talk. And I talk and talk because that's what I would want you to do to me. And I talk because I need him to know I care and notice all those things about and around him. Same with Parker. Just like I wish people would notice of me- all the little details of me. And I talk because sometimes the silence blankets me with a loneliness that never really let's me get warm and I'm just trying so cold.

And it usually feels normal-the talking and not answering- the silence of words. The quiet IS our normal. But sometimes all of the sudden it doesn't feel normal at all and I can't believe I'm not in a dream. I keep talking and my voice cracks and echoes back to me; suddenly sounding ridiculous and empty. No one is listening or understanding or answering. It's all just so too much. My chest rips open and out pours loneliness. I throw more fuel to ignite the embers. No one is calling me momma or even answering "nothing" in an annoyed voice when I ask "what did you learn at school today." 

And I do not complain about this. I will never complain about this because I am grateful for the two perfect boys that I sometimes have to pinch myself over because I can't believe they are really mine. And because them having autism is harder on them. And because it's about them, not me. But it's not what I had and what I pictured and what I need so deep in the marrow of my bones. Not what my ears ache to hear. I'm so sad my skin hurts.

And I used to feel this ache every damn day. And then the times between the ache got longer. And then it's mostly just acceptance; often speckled with this insane love and joy and happiness. But sometimes, rarely but still true, it hits me and I hold onto it tight. Heavy in my arms until they ache like jello. And I don't understand why it's the way it is. And I cry for the way life isn't and for the mother I'll never ever ever get to be. I cry for the funny stories I don't get to hear and then repeat about the funniest thing that they said on the way to school this morning and I cry because I'll never roll my eyes from hearing "mom" over and over again until I want to lock myself in a bubble bath. I cry because I don't answer a million questions in a row. I cry for all the talking I do that goes unanswered.

And it's hard writing this. All of it. It's hard sharing it too. But vulnerability is an important part of connection and healing. Honest and vulnerable is who I need to be to be the person I want to be. And my boys damn well deserve a mother who gets out the sad when it makes its appearance. Writing provides the kind of connection I crave. A connection that reminds me (along with God and life and my boys) just how lucky I am. There are people that long for my particular brand of lucky-- and I KNOW that I am blessed and lucky. And you can be blessed and grateful and lucky and deeply sad sometimes -all at the same time. I know because sometimes that is me.

Most of all I forgive myself for being human and for having human thoughts. Thoughts and feelings are vacations not permanant homes. I remind my friend ME that we are all human. We all ache in the places we are bruised - and we are all bruised.

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Give yourself permission to FEEL. All of it- not just the polished and perfect parts. Don't disguise yourself to others- but even so much more importantly- don't hide yourself from you.

I give YOU my sweet friend permission to feel and share the parts of you that you keep inside. The parts that say- don't think that and certainly- don't say that. Share what weighs heavy on you. The load instantly gets lighter. 

Thank you for helping me carry mine.


  1. It's SO hard, isn't it? I hid in the copy room and cried with a fellow mom after dropping my daughter in her classroom today. She had meltdown after meltdown and I was fighting battles blind...AND rejoicing and freaking out simultaneously that she was actually saying words while she fought me. It is the most humbling, ego breaking experience that is growing me in ways I'd never imagined. Thanks for being so real with us.

  2. Thank you for sharing Chrissy, I bet Frank was a big hit at pre-school.

  3. Thank you for this. I often see people comment that you wrote exactly what they needed to hear. Well today, I'm one of those people. But you know something? While you are a fabulous writer, and so very well able to write what we all feel in one way or another, that's the point; you aren't psychic. You are just willing to put your feelings out there for everyone to see. We all have these feelings. Our situations are different, but we all ache for one reason or another. I'm aching today, and reading your words helped me remember that it's only temporary. Thank you.

  4. this was exactly what i needed today. thank you.

  5. "Blessed and grateful and lucky and sad all at the same time." ...EXACTLY! Chrissy, you are brave and strong and appreciated! Thank you for sharing your life with us.

    1. I agree ! I just want wrote blessed, grateful, lucky and sad on a piece of paper to remember
      Thank you to Chrissy and to this beautiful community she has created who all share themselves...
      To a holiday season and a new year filled with it all.. Xoxox elizabeth

  6. You are so freaking cute in that picture Chrissy. Love your clothes. ;)
    And I get it. ALL of it. You are amazing. Your writing has literally kept me from going crazy, thinking that I was the only one and completely alone...so lonely for someone to get it. Then I see your posts and my insides scream, someone else gets it! Someone gets me! And then, magically, I don't feel alone anymore. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Love you and I get it. The silence is so loud at times.

  7. Thanks for this...really needed it today.

  8. I've read your blog faithfully and never commented - but today when I saw the picture of you being hugged by Grey - all I could think of is 'a picture is a thousand words'. That hug he is giving you is his way of saying, ' I love you to the moon and back and thanks for all you do for our family mama.'

  9. I wish that we could be in person friends, I know we would hit it off. I would hug you and let you be and feel just what you are feeling. My best friend and I are always saying it's hard & good, beautiful & messy. You can be more than one thing and it's ok. It's so hard in those moments of realizing you aren't going to have the kids you thought but also so wonderful to realize the gift we do have in our children. Life is all about the tensions.

  10. So many incredibly soothing and wise nuggets in your words, Chrissy. Thank you for being brave and sharing the hard feelings - it makes me feel less alone. You do such good work and I am grateful.

  11. Fin couldn't stop talking about how fun the visit from Frank was! Thanks for setting that up!

  12. Hi Chrissy! I am just your average working mother of two beautiful daughters aged 14 and 19 and I live in New Zealand. I felt compelled to comment on your post today simply to say "thank you" for pouring your heart out and sharing your thoughts! I literally love to read each and every post you do. I can relate to so many things you say. You are incredibly insightful and clearly a fantastic mother to Grey & Parker. Your blog is "real" life - a roller coaster ride, chaos amidst moments of pure joy! I just wanted to tell you that. Stay strong
    Sara :-)

  13. Just wanted you to know that I say special prayers for you and your family each time I get your blog! I've come to love you and your boys! You are doing so much to help those of us who don't always know how to put our feelings into words. Thank you!

  14. Thank you for being so honest. I think back to school and remember how much trouble I often got into for talking all the time. Who would have thought that ability to just keep talking even when I don't get a reply would be such a needed skill later in my life.

  15. I will echo what everyone else has said, this is exactly what I needed to read. I sat there with tears streaming down my face saying Yes, Yes, Yes....oh my god, Yes! I even showed it to my husband because sometimes it's hard to share with him how I feel on a daily basis. You and your blog have been a blessing to me this past year since hearing the word autism in connection with my beautiful son. I'm still so new and raw with everything and you have helped me put so much into perspective. So....thank you!

    PS - I'm from St. Louis too, currently living in NYC (Queens)

  16. Oh my god you are good. Who are you?! Who writes like? I am so glad that I found this space or that it found me exactly when I needed it.

  17. Thank you... I really needed that today. After 18 years, my heart still aches for my son who will never ever get out of that wheelchair and walk. Sometimes, I think it is so stupid, but my feelings are real and I need to let myself mourn for the dreams that died when his paralysis became our reality. Tears fall and then I move on and get through the day being the best mom I can.

  18. Just wanted to let you know that you are appreciated and heard up in Vancouver, BC.

  19. Oh dear girl. I so get you. I remember one day after speech I thought it would be fun to take Rett out for lunch just the two of us because I never really do that. I sat the the restaurant and realized how painful it was. I asked him questions and he couldn't answer. There was nothing else to keep me from noticing the stimming, the bouncing, the rocking, the mouth noises, the tv talk. I'm ashamed to tell you that it hurt me so much I have never done anything like that again. Someday... someday.

  20. Your honesty and vulnerability is incredible... as is your ability to let yourself feel and release every emotion. Thank you for sharing with us all on your blog. Your boys and you are beautiful.

    -Claire in MI

  21. your words are so beautiful and totally relatable even though our stories are different. Ultimately we are all so similar