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It's a terrifying place to find yourself somewhere in the middle of an emotional I HATE YOU and an equally emotional I love you. Worn down, drained of inner strength, knowing you need to locate this strength once more. Not knowing when the battle will begin again and wanting so badly to just love your child for all their perfect imperfections. Holding. Just holding on. No real option but to hold on. Hugs beautiful lady.

What a scary night for all of you. I am so sorry. You parented both of your amazing children wonderfully - you kept Olive safe and you squared off with Elias, not backing down from the monster. Wow. I applaud your safety planning with Olive and for encouraging her to talk to whomever she wants to about this aspect of your lives. There is no shame, just an increasingly strong brother who, through no one's fault, cannot always control his emotions and the behaviors they drive. And you followed through with the consequences- no candy for Elias' lunch, which is such an important aspect of day-to-day parenting. You handled a volatile situation very admirably, Christy. How did Nick react to these events?

Dear one. Phew. Surrounding you, Olive and my favorite all-time 6th grade health student with so much love and white light.xo

Oh, Christy. My heart hurts for the complexity you write about... loving your son as a mama bear, and protecting yourself and your daughter, also as a mama bear. I've had a different situation, dealing with a high functioning alcoholic (now ex-) husband who 99% of the time was wonderful, but still worrying deeply if/when his own, tortured monster would come out, possibly hurting me, or worse, our kids. Emotional injury was the primary concern, but the fear that it could've evolved to physical injury at some point lurked in the shadows, I hate to admit. And when is the right time to wait until--until something gets better or until something gets worse? Sigh. There are no easy answers In your, and probably most, situations except for love and trusting your mama bear instinct. It's the most powerful and usually true one. Will be thinking of you and your family, and hoping that the good parts of our souls prevail even in the hardest moments. ❤️

with you all the time.

Amazing cerebral, evolved understanding of a visceral, instinctual situation. I hope you are able to truly know, completely understand you are doing right by your family and yourself. I respect you and your family. Thank you for sharing

This past year, year 12, has been the hardest year so far. Puberty and its rages has entered our life. I don't think that our rages are the same as yours but they come and they scare me, and I wonder if they will get worse or if we will manage or if puberty will end and we'll find our sweet boy whole at the end of it. Or at least closer to whole than now.

Autism is our monster and I hate it. Lately I look at pictures from age 2 before the monster arrived and wonder what happened. I wonder if we can keep managing as we get older and older. I was 38 when he was born. I'm not getting younger. He's almost as tall as I am now, 100 lbs and I am torn between keeping him fit and strong and wondering if he'll be able to hurt me sooner than later. I don't know. I wish I did know but the future remains unknown...

You amazingly insightful Christy. Sorry for the constant hurt, but sending loving energy to you, Elias and Olive.

I wish I knew what to say here to make this better. Just thinking of you and your family. Hugs.

What gift to read all your comments this morning that I didn't know I had b/c usually my blog server emails them to me but failed to do so this time.

Thank you dear readers for opening up to me here for letting me know that you understand, that I'm not alone in the push and pull of parenthood, of loving someone with the potential to hurt me, my daughter, thank you for your words of love and support.

It was hard on Nick to come home from an evening away and hear that this had happened. "You could have called me," he said, wanting to be here to help protect and defend and yet the reality is we won't always be together when the monster emerges. Thankfully Nick is an amazingly calm and patient man and can often bring Elias down from a rage before he explodes and Nick is also aware of his own anger and knows to step away from his son before crossing a line. We are good at tag-teaming when needing switching between comforting Olive and confronting the beast in our boy. And once Elias's rage runs its circle its like a switch goes on or off and he is back to asking about elevators as if he didn't just want to scratch my face off. I'm learning to not press him to show remorse in traditional ways and finding outlets for my own feelings that still brew after an event.

Christy, I am late to comment and know that things have since improved. No words of wisdom, just: I'm listening, and I marvel at the beauty you weave from the chaotic, colourful, vibrant, glorious and sometimes dark strands that comprise your daily experiences. You and Nick are producing such a rich tapestry of experiences. Love, D in Zurich

Thank you Danielle, I always love hearing from you. Yes, we are on a smoother tract these past ten days or so but the darkness is always looming. Writing and connecting with this online community saves me every time:)

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