The Road—Part 3

            Myriam’s rages were something of a regular occurrence in our home.  The holes in Myriam’s bedroom walls are a testament to that fact, along with the broken furniture and toys.  Her rages are frightening and heart wrenching.  Frightening because of her extreme strength—she can topple dressers and overturn a full size mattress; and heart wrenching because sometimes I don’t know how to reach her.  Ultimately it was one of those rages that lead to her diagnosis. 
         I decided to take Myriam to Story Hour at our local library.  Myriam likes books and I thought it would help to “socialize” her and me!  (At that time we didn’t get out much because dealing with three kids all under the age of four is sometimes more of a hassle than it’s worth.)  The library had a wooden train set on a train table and a bunch of kids were playing with it while waiting for the story to begin and she walked right over and began playing with the kids—I was so pleased!  She was acting completely normal; she even made a couple of comments to one of the children about the stop sign being an octagon.  I was thrilled!  The librarian came out with the book and asked for the kids to sit on the floor and Myriam continued to play even after all of the other children found seats.  I brought Myriam over to the circle and had her sit down in front of me—the whole time she was muttering under her breath, saying no and flapping her hands. She began “muttering” louder and those mutterings quickly became shrieks.  The other mommies were giving me “those looks,” you know, the can’t-you-control-your-kid-you-really-don’t-belong-here look.  When the looks became sighs I decided it was time to call it quits.  I took my shrieking child by the hand, straightened my shoulders and began the walk of shame towards the exit.  As we cut through one of the stacks Myriam dropped my hand and cleared an entire shelf of books—throwing them onto the floor.  One of the librarians/bouncer who was pseudo-escorting us out told us to, “Just LEAVE IT!”  I caught one glimpse of the horrified looks on those mommies’ faces as I swooped my flailing 40 lb., 42 inch tall, almost four year old, onto my left shoulder and carried her out kicking and screaming, “JUST LEAVE IT!  JUST LEAVE IT!  JUST LEAVE IT! 
  
            I was sobbing by the time I returned home.  My parents, who had been watching my two sons, asked what was wrong but not before I screamed at my daughter to go to her room and then proceeded to lock her in there--this is the lowest moment in my parenting experience.  Had my parents not been there I’m not sure what I would have done.  I have never been so out of control.  Obviously I was the worst parent in the world!  I mean I couldn’t even control my daughter at the library.  What was wrong with me?  What was wrong with her?             
            I don’t know why it took us so long to accept that there was a problem.  Looking back at the life we were living, I see that we weren’t living at all!  We were trapped in our home.  We were confined by Myriam’s mood swings.  We didn’t go anywhere.  We didn’t do anything.  We didn’t see anyone—outside of our close family circle.  The unknown autism was a prison sentence for our whole family.

Read the Saga:
The Road--Part 1
The Road--Part 2
The Road--Part 3
The Road--Part 4
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