Susan's Blog

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Doesn’t Sit Well With Me

This afternoon I was telling a very wise woman I know about how it is with Nat these days. I feel such a thin connection with him, because I am still relying on the old connection, that was born of living with him, existing very close in space together. Doing things with him and for him, was the way Ned explained it. “That’s why I take walks with him when he’s here,” he said. “And why I clip his toenails every time he comes home.”

This little admission filled me with delight. It was so Ned, so basic, so elemental and true. He didn’t examine it; he just did it. But then I realized that there are so few things that I do that way. I’ve been wanting the relationship to snap back to the way it was before Nat moved out, where he was just one of my boys and I could even take him for granted a little, the way you do with loved ones. You have to be able to take them for granted some; it is how we live together day-to-day. You can’t always be noticing someone in your life because then you’d always be aware, rather than just being.

I long to just be with Nat, not conscious of our time together. But I don’t know how to make it feel that way again. Every weekend when he comes home it feels like I have to make our time Count. I can’t just relax and feel that it’s okay.

I’ve been hearing for years the advice “you just have to sit with it.” This may just be the therapist’s favorite refrain. “Sit with the feelings and see what comes up,” was what my beloved (former) therapist once said to me.

I haven’t been in therapy for a while, and it’s not because I’m all finished. No way is that true. Rather, it’s mostly because I did not feel that the process was meaningful to me anymore. It felt like I was spinning my wheels, digging up rotten old stuff that was just hurting me and not going anywhere.

Today I thought I understood a little better how it all fits together — sitting with it, and being with Nat in a natural way. And the answer is that there is no answer. It just is. It is an uncomfortable thing in my life, one of the many things I have to just kind of sit with. Perhaps once I turn my mind to other things — like writing and dancing — and feel the peace that they bring, I will be able to carry that state over to my times with Nat. I hope so.


Thanks for sharing your trip to Paris with us; looks like a wonderful trip.
With regard to young adult sons: mine are now 23 and 25. Although they were typical (so far) in their development I did go through a rough transition that manifested during times home at breaks from college. The best advice given me was think of them as a neighbor; a long-time beloved neighbor who is like family. This helped me avoid mother tapes "You're wearing THAT?", "When will you be home?", etc. It would be rude to treat a neighbor who is a friend in that way which is where the neighbor analogy works. It is natural for kids to separate as they grow which required parents to adapt and change as we have become accustomed to doing their entire lives.
Hang in there, things will be easier as you adjust to your man-child.
(your) Anon

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at 8:01 am

Susan, thank you for expressing your thoughts and feelings to such a depth. As the grandmother of a 10-year old autistic boy, your postings help me understand what our daughter must be thinking and feeling (although she seldom says anything). You are a guiding light, thank you.

— added by Connie on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at 11:11 am

you are amazing…blessings

— added by kathleen on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at 11:06 pm

I found a great nail clipper for my son who also has autism, it was from a website for seniors. He was so proud when he was able to do it himself!

— added by suzette on Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at 7:27 am

Thank you for sharing this. I sometimes feel like this with my six year old autistic daughter: that every moment needs to mean something, specifically, in teaching her how it/she should be. It is OK for it just to be and your blog has reminded me of this.

— added by Anonymous on Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 12:13 am