The Path of Loneliness

My heart has been very heavy, and my attitude quite sobered all week, and I began mulling over exactly why this might be.  This last month has been marked with much sadness  and loss in our household.  Some things large, some things “small,” but loss nonetheless.  As I began recounting everything that had happened, it began to make sense why I felt such a weight on my heart.

Last month, my cousin passed away from complications with leukemia.  Two weeks ago, I was told our biological family may not grow as quickly as we hoped. Last week, we walked with some dear friends through the sudden loss of their mother and grandmother.  On Monday, after hoping all weekend that the stork might be making a trip to our household in the next nine months, I had to realize that Jeshuah was just going to have to wait a little longer for a brother or sister.  Two hours later, my brother called to say they lost their little one at their 12 week appointment. Oh, how my heart aches for them!

And then yesterday was Jeshuah’s doctor appointment.  We had been growing increasingly concerned about his continued obsession with spinning round objects.  He has been doing it for at least 5 months now. Anything that can be spun, twirled, or rolled, must be done excessively.  It began with his plastic donuts, and when he grew profficient at spinning them, he tried spinning everything. And I mean everything. He tried to spin a stick of butter once. He tries to spin his food, his sippy cup, even his paci gets spun.

At first it was highly amusing, albeit it frustrating because I couldn’t get him to play with anything else, or even with me, because all he wanted to do was spin his toys. All. Day. Long.  For five months. In the last few months, we had started limiting his use of spinning toys to encourage him to play with other things, and we found if he woke from a nap and found only his other toys, he is quite content to play with his cars, blocks, puzzles, etc.

However, if he even sees something that can be spun, his whole face lights up and he makes a beeline for it. But once he starts spinning it, he becomes increasingly agitated and upset. The last few weeks he has begun shaking, closing his eyes, and screaming when he sees something spinning. And yet he cannot stop doing it.  It is like a compulsion, and it really upsets him.  That was when we removed every rounded object from our house and determined to talk to the doctor about it.

Yesterday was his appointment.  Upon entering, both the nurse and doctor remembered him and his spinning toys last visit and inquired if he was still obsessed with spinning things.  When I replied with all the details and my concerns, the doctor admitted he was relieved I had brought it up because it had concerned him last time we were in.  He referred us to a developmental disorder specialist and wanted him to be checked out for Asperger’s Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism.  Thankfully, Jeshuah is extremely “normal” in all other areas of development–he is very social, he makes eye contact, is very expressive, and loves playing with other children.  However, his long-term fixation with spinning things is more than a little disconcerting and he wanted us to see a specialist to be evaluated.

It’s probably every mom’s worst nightmare, to have a child with developmental disorders.  The lonely grief that comes alongside of the realization that your sweet, fun-loving baby may become increasingly different and set apart from other children as he grows is a frightening thing. The idea that your baby might be labeled “special needs” and be seen by others as annoying, irritating, poorly behaved, etc. The idea and insinuation by others that perhaps I caused this and that I could prevent his having special needs if I just train and discipline him properly.

And of course, all of these right now are just ideas and what-ifs floating around in my head.  But they are there and they are real.  As I snuggled by cuddlebug yesterday and sang him songs, I wondered if I might be in the slow process of losing the son I know.  My heart aches in a whole new way for parents who go through these types of diagnoses. What a difficult and unique charge to be entrusted with. And quite honestly, what a lonely path these parents take.  Special needs are still so widely misunderstood, and in our world of increasing desire to rid ourselves of anything inconvenient, people can be brutal on the children and the parents.

The realization that “through sin comes death” has been hitting home hard lately, and with it comes a sadness and sobriety that cannot really be shared. My heart feels like it’s being squeezed and pressed down and yet, I cannot really describe it.  Such a strange loneliness grief brings.  Because with it, you realize no one will ever truly know the depths of your heart.  If people ask, or notice the tears welling in your eyes and ask, many times you are greeted with very inadequate responses and blank looks on people’s faces like, “why are you crying about that?”

We are still waiting on a callback from the specialist with a time.  I will keep you all posted. For now, though I find myself in a strange sort of wilderness of mixed emotions that I cannot completely relay to any one person.  Except Jesus Christ. Thank God He knows our weaknesses and He has been tempted in everything as we are and without sin! Thank God for the ministry of the Holy Spirit. And thank God that this particular path of loneliness, however short or long it may be, will only draw me close to the only One who can truly know my heart. Jesus Christ, my Savior, and the one for whom our Jeshuah Paul was named.  “The LORD saves.” And He will save us every day from our sin and cause us to rely on Him and Him alone. To Him be all the glory forever.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Goodness, that is a lot of heavy things to be holding all at once 😦 I am praying for you! Love you!


  2. Posted by crystal V on February 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    will be praying for you all!


  3. Oh, Ashley-Nicole. I’m so sorry to hear of these challenges. May the One who walked the loneliest path be present with you.


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