Do you have any fears? The crippling kind? I do...it sounds ever-so cheesy and overdone but I have a very real fear of heights. The kind of fear of heights which had me near hysteria on a ferris wheel...despite being in my early 20's...while my 5yr old son sat calmly next to me, enjoying the sights of the festival below. The same kind of fear which prevents me from looking down lift shafts and enjoying the delights of Cape Town's most loved attractions like the cable car up to Table Mountain.
So, if I had to imagine what it would be like to live each and every day...every hour...facing fear, I would picture myself trying to perform everyday functions while teetering on the edge of a ridiculously high cliff. And just thinking about the most simplest of activities, like walking, makes me want to cover my face and cower down.
And that's pretty much where we're at with Sam at this moment.
I don't usually like to post when we're going through a rough run with Sam. I find that waiting for that moment to pass usually allows for a less emotional, more inner-reflective post...which can be quite therapeutic. And, another big plus, makes me sound less like a whingey not-coping-that-great mom.
But this moment just ain't passing...and I fear that if I wait, we'll next catch up round about Sam's 21st birthday! And my 56th birthday....Eeeeek! I just discovered a new fear...ageing! Nah...just kidding.
Sam experiences life at the moment cowering down, shielding himself from the world...which has become an unbearably frightening place for him, even more so than before. Sam has, and always has had, two different kinds of defensive reactions...an aversion to anxiety-triggering elements, eg. the puking at the sound of a hairdryer. And then completely debilitating fear, eg. when you lie him down on an unfamiliar surface (say to change his nappy) and he is so afraid that he can't even breathe. These two reactions have completely switched places and while sensory aversion occurred more frequently with moments of terror only happening very occasionally when circumstances of our surroundings were beyond our control...I now get commanded by Sam to blowdry my hair every morning! And cars induce the same reaction lying down used to!
Cars? Cars! *sigh*
As soon as Winter showed just the subtlest of signs of letting up, we pounced on the first opportunity to commence our usual insanity-preventing evening walks a couple of weeks ago. Suddenly with every car which drove passed us, Sam covered his face with his hands, turned his body around and tried to push his body as low down into the stroller as he could manage. And so it carried on the moment Sam noticed a car approaching. A few nights later, determined that at least Sam would get some exercise, we took him out front to walk an extremely short distance down the road, holding our hands. With us staying in a close, we expected there to be limited traffic...which there was. Suddenly Sam turned in panic, near climbing up my leg in his desperation to be picked up. Sure enough, a hundred metres or so in front of us, was a car....a stationary car. Which had been parked there since we began our stroll!
So...cars and walks are now out! It's so heartbreaking to see how full of fear Sam is without having the benefit of verbal communication to be able to soothe his worries and determine exactly what feeds these struggles. I used to pray each and every night that the Lord would lay His healing hands on Sam's brain, allowing him to master walking and speech. Recently I changed the nature of my prayer...I pray that the Holy Spirit will completely overflow within Sam...will quiet his many fears. Just days after my new petition, so intrigued with his obsession with numbers, Sam stood holding onto the kitchen counter on his own, completely absorbed by the scrolling numbers on the microwave seemingly unaware that I had removed my support from behind him. I have hope ♡