So today, I killed 2 mice.
They were stuck in a sticky trap laid out by our exterminator, over 1 year ago. As in the trap was a year old, the mice were still alive. One was very small, the other bigger and very vocal.
A baby & parent?
The baby was laying in the glue, whole belly, NOT getting out, and was clearly exhausted. The adult had pulled off it's tail and one leg in an effort to get off the glue. It even lunged off the tray when I picked it up to put it in a bucket.
I know this is the "order" of the universe, and removing those mice from my home protects MY children from disease, but it was very, very difficult to watch the suffering and feel the fear emanating off them. I needed to help end their suffering.
I called my dad for ideas, and we talked through options. The best way to end their lives quickly without creating more opportunities for hurt (like me being bit, or my dog getting into poison) was to step on them. My dad talked me through it, and I did.
I prayed for their pain to end, for the sacrifice of those tiny lives to reach God and be honored. I feel REALLY REALLY bad right now, VERY dirty - like Lady MacBeth.
The problem is that I am just SO in a belief of connection, that every act is related to another. My mind seeks symbolism in every thing I see. I am convinced that EVERYTHING happens for a reason, and that this occurred just today because I needed to think about it.
A parent sacrificing itself for a child who just made a bad choice.
Unfortunately that sounds AMAZINGLY like what we have been dealing with the last few weeks. My son did not deal well with a transition last week. He was with a babysitter, in a public library, and he made an untimely outburst that was VERY hateful and exaggerated The very timing of it indicates that he knew it would be impactful. The babysitter has been falsely accused before of child abuse, and the whole incident, in such a public venue renewed her fears.
My first thought was, "Welcome to autism - trapped in your own home, fearing misunderstanding and unsolicited 'help' at every turn" - for YEARS my husband and I have talked about such incidents. My son made threats to teachers and classmates at school, it was a BIG part of the reason we took him out and decided to homeschool, for fear that his violent outbursts and inaccurate descriptions of how he hated being at home and hated us would lead to... investigations, or actions. We have been told that these are typical of Autism, that the lashing out with violent words or actions is the "behavior that is communication for those who cannot communicate". I understand EXACTLY how that works - but my son CAN communicate - he has MANY MANY words - talks incessantly actually. And while I can definitely say that he lives in an alternate universe in his head, he DOES see how his actions impact others and has shown active manipulation of others.
FEAR underlies all our outings with him, just like it does for so many families on the spectrum...
Then I realized how concerned she was, and how real that fear is.. that people DO get accused falsely, incorrectly, and that maybe it IS only a matter of time before someone tries to take my child because they misunderstand his reality, or he misunderstands ours...
How do I arm him? How do I protect him when he will not protect himself, or cannot protect himself? What should I be sacrificing to save him? I have sacrificed time and money and career, and his sister's schedule, and our friends.... Will I truly die, making a small fatal mistake trying to save a child who cannot be saved? Which of the myriad of mistakes is that last mistake, the one too far, the one that will not let me come back to protect my other children?
God, please honor the sacrifice of those small souls, of those whose suffering I caused directly and those whose suffering I caused indirectly. Please forgive me for causing suffering. Please help us in our family's journey, to help us avoid the pitfalls, to control our responses, to solve problems instead of create them. Dear God, PLEASE protect all of us, from each other and from ourselves, so that the dynamic we are creating will support growth for all of us. Please let the suffering be manageable. And God, IF the suffering is great, please send someone along who can show us mercy and at least make it brief, but PLEASE do NOT let it reach THAT.... please.
UPDATE: The next day, we went to OT - her observation?: his meltdowns/ outbursts are zero to huge too quick - there is no build up, so we can't see any triggers. He needs to be seen at the university ASAP and we should look VERY closely in Seasonal Effective Disorder... I am NOT crazy, I am NOT making this shit up, it IS insane.
This weekend we had a cub scout camp out - he was AWESOME - a few meltdowns, but on-point when he needed to be - did a skit with no hesitation, went to bed when told, ate what he was offered, played well with others. After camp out we did a corn maze, only upset in competition with his sister, asked his daddy to buy a honey straw for each member of the family in our favorite flavors (and accurate with that) - totally lost it when we got home. Refused to help empty car & clean-up - started talking about death and killing and just ran a stream of unpleasantries through the whole process. How is it that he is "here" with us one minute and just NOT the next?