Monday, March 28, 2011

Stream of Consciousness Sunday on Monday: Jacob on my Mind

I know I'm a day late (hence the ridiculously long post title). When I didn't get to this on Sunday, I figured: OK, maybe next week.

But then Fadra wondered on Twitter where I was and reminded me the linky stays live all week. And then today I found there's some stuff stirring around in my brain that I wanted OUT, but I've got neither the time nor patience to craft a thoughtful and careful post.

I just wanted to spew it out in something more like... stream of consciousness. Perfect. Here goes:


Jacob, my son on the autism spectrum is weighing heavily on my mind these days. He's just... off, lately. If you don't know him it's hard to explain. He goes through these phases, these cycles. He's rolling along, moving ahead, feeling like we're on a nice even keel, and then Whammo. Not.

I mean, he's always autistic, clearly still on the spectrum, but when he's "up"?  When things are clicking, when his brain is humming, when he's "on," on a roll, on his game... whatever you want to call it, he is brighter, happier, cheerful, eager to engage, eager to learn, very much related.

Not necessarily easy to be around, since in his cheer and enthusiasm he is often still too loud, close, insistent and repetitive. But still, happiness makes up for a lot.

But when he's "off'? It's not that he doesn't still have these peppy days, hours, minutes. It's just that he is terribly and unpredictably variable. That the the "up" Jake interleaves with the "off" Jake, who is at times: cranky, Irascible, louder, withdrawn, sad, angry, tired, growling, manic, pale, wild, lethargic but generally, globally much LESS related. 

So even in his offness? Very variable. There are "cranked up" and "down & out" flavors to the off. He says "Get out of my way" and "Go away" much more than the "Mommy come here" boy of his happy, shiny days.

And when he's going through one of these variable times? On any given day, hour or minute, you never know which Jake you're going to get: amazing-Jake or not-here-Jake. Flip the coin, your guess is as good as mine.

And the not knowing who I'm getting and the not knowing why he is like this again? Is killing me slowly.


Yes, I'm probably being a little dramatic there. I have to say the last line surprised me. I didn't know I was going there until the words just popped out. But so they did.  So it's obviously something I'm feeling, however deeply buried it usually is.

Also, people? Not only did I write this in a real 5 minutes (I've been known to fudge a bit) I wrote it in a real New York five minutes... while riding on the #1 subway train, on my way to the midtown DMV to renew my street-parked-car's expired registration... at lunchtime... on a Monday... at the end of the month.

Glutton for punishment? Perhaps. But it needed to be done, and the ADD of me just could. not. do. it. until it was overdue. Sigh.

New to SOCS?  It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump.  Want to try it?  Here are the rules…
  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spell-checking. (BOY, that part is hard for me!) This is writing in the raw.
You can do it, too!  Click on the link and let's hear your 5 minutes of brilliance...

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