At this point, every sappy big hair band song is running through my head. You know, those song that made you weep because somehow it seemed they were staring into the very essence of your soul. Yeah, all those songs, and a few great movie lines as well.
The only thing I can relate yesterday’s experience to was when my parents dropped me off at Indiana State University my freshman year. My mom was visably upset, and my dad shoved her out the door. The big difference is that I was 18 and stupid. My son is 12 and autistic.
We did his move as a family. First we went to Chuck E. Cheese, because we owed him a visit from his birthday when there had been far too much ice and snow to go. When everyone was played out, and by everyone I mean my husband and I, he announced, “Time to go to the group home.” I will admit Jacob being so willing to go to the home and not arguing about this has made it easier to deal with. The only thing is, it really hurts that he is so willing to leave. He keeps telling me, “it’s for the best.” Yesterday I made him explain to me what he meant by that statement. He said, “It is the best thing for me. I live with a bunch of people who are just like me. Everyone’s autism is different, mine makes me very creative, and angry.” Ah, from the heart of children.
We unpacked him, settled everything in his room, and stayed with him for about an hour. He gave us hugs, and happily told us goodbye. Not one tear was shed. I did very well, even surprising myself. My husband, who says nothing about anything even agreed that I did well. (I had to ask first). Our now family of four traveled home in relative silence. It wasn’t until I went to change my clothes in to my comfy sweats that I lost it. I went to the laundry room which is right next to Jacob’s room. When I went in, and saw his regular mess, things strewn about his room, but no Jacob, I lost it. I crawled into a ball and laid sobbing on my bed for who knows how long. My family didn’t miss me or come looking for me. I was alone. Fittingly, it was pouring rain outside. Down came the rain.
After countless bruises, a trip or two to the doctor, one to the Emergency Room, and on the edge of madness (6 weeks later) we removed him from the horrible group home and have never looked back.