Saturday, November 20, 2004

"I Was Like You Once"

I found a collection of this mother's poems and I wanted to share this one. She captures the autsim experience, at least part of it, so perfectly. Mercifully, these times are less frequent for us now, but it was not too long ago that these words described every outing, every day at home. We use to live in such a miserable place. Life was something that happened to other people, we were just in crisis control around here. I was always either trying to prevent a tantrum, enduring a tantrum, recovering from a tantrum, or waiting for the next tantrum. Even sleep brought no relief from the screaming. When I think back to a year ago, OMgosh. I cannot believe how we use to live. Thank God for the miracle. We are so blessed.
Anyway, here is the poem.

if you see me
at the supermarket,
and my child is
rolling on the floor
with anger seeping from his pores.
please don't blame me,
I was like you once,

If you are in a restuarant
and my child
throws food and it
hits you in the face,
please, don't be angry,
I can't handle any more rage.

If you see my child
climbing over
a very tall fence
with nothing on
except his hat.
Please don't call the police,
I only looked away for a minute.

If you see me
crying, as you
pull up next to me
at a stop light.
at a busy intersection.
Honk and smile, I need a friend.

If you see me,
running down the street
with curlers in my hair
chasing a small child
who runs so fast, I can't catch him
Help me chase him down.

If my child grabs
your child, or pushes him
or bites or
kicks him, or
says words that make your hair curl.
Please forgive him, and me too.

If you happen to
see us, walking
in your neighbourhood,
or in the malls,
or at the park
Please don't turn away,
I was like you once.

copyright 1999
Sally Meyer


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