Wednesday Night Fights
The wind was cold, it helped take the sting away a little as Bennett hit me in the face a second time. We were wrestling with each other. Again. He trying to attack me in all the ways he knows how. I trying to manage each of his flailing limbs and his gnashing teeth as they sought out any of me that got too close to him.
Each time his teeth would find a target, the searing pain was a blessing in disguise in a way. It gave me a few seconds to move him closer to the car. The both of us had only just minutes before exited the restaurant where this dance of violence had begun and we had a long way left to go. Unfortunately the ferocity of this encounter resulted in a much longer process of getting where I needed him to be.
As if the car provided refuge, or safe haven. Not a chance. It provided only an arena for the sparring to continue, with less of a possibility of Bennett getting seriously hurt in a parking lot, and a smaller space in which there might be an opportunity to ease him out of this latest rage.
I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Long story short. Violence toward me in other circumstances in my life leaves me vulnerable to having reactions that are severe when I experience violence toward me in my life today. It's been stacking. I take things for it, but I may have peaked. My hands shake a lot. Sleep is difficult. I fear when Bennett comes home. I gave up my career, many aspects of my life, because of Bennett's disability, and it puts my psyche in an awkward situation when it comes to learning how to cope with the idea of regularly being abused by my 9-year old disabled son.
Most of the time though? I am the one who can get him back from the ledge, ease him through it, better than anyone. Despite ALL OF THAT. Yay me. It's nothing to celebrate. It is a matter of survival mode more than anything else. For us both.
Except, tonight he wasn't easing out of it. All he wanted was to rip me to pieces.
Sometime after, when he had reached the point of exhaustion, and I had finished sobbing and cursing at God, I had a chance to consider why this incident was so different. So visceral. I wouldn't let those thoughts sink in fully until I got through the rest of it.
It was difficult to wipe the tears and snot from my face because my hands were shaking so much. I needed to walk Bennett back inside. It felt like it took forever because every movement had to be so measured, I was dizzy and I was coughing like crazy…this was a full-blown panic attack unlike any I had experienced in years. But I was going to take him back in to the restaurant. I had a bill to pay, another kid who didn't deserve to be left in there hanging like that, and I needed to make sure both kids ate. I was in no shape to cook.
This is how fucking crazy it is…he was perfectly fine to walk back in there, It was me who wasn't. I'm grateful that the staff there know me. They got everything I needed, check and all, knew I was not going to eat, and I have to be honest, I almost had to have them run my credit card like it was a phone order because I was not sure I could sign.
Why was he so Hell-bent on trying to hurt me? Because I had never tried to talk him back. I never tried to help him. I was hurt, angry, lost. I had reached an eerie emotional shut down. And all I was doing was fighting off the beast. I wasn't trying to ease the suffering of my son. And during the worst of it I was yelling. I was begging him to stop, but it was still yelling and not remaining calm.
You might say who can blame me? Well, research how to diffuse Parental Abuse, or aggression in brain damaged or kids with severe Autism, and one of the first rules is? Remain as calm as possible. I should have that printed on my underwear. Wait that…kind of didn't sound like I wanted it to.
When he first began to unravel...when we were first sitting in the restaurant, I was calm and tried to do what I always do. Cool and collected, reasoned, slow speech, talk him through, ease him, comfort him. He threw a bowl of chips at Carter, tried to reach across the table and grab him, I had to get in the middle and when I did Bennett reached under my left arm and squeezed until he broke skin.
From that moment on I retreated inside myself and then exploded with emotion when I reached my saturation point. Just like I used to when I was a kid. It was…maybe more devastating to me, that realization, than the whole 20 minutes of him slapping, kicking, scratching, pinching and biting me.
Somewhere, somehow, I need to find a reserve tank…and fast.
We haven't come close to fixing this problem. This thing that has been happening since…Fuck knows how long now…it's living in a house with an exotic animal, walking a tiger by the tail. Sometimes things are fine. Sometimes they are not fine. Lately things are escalating. The past two weeks to a degree that has me in a state of what I can only describe as…despair?
Where am I supposed to go from here? How the fuck am I going to save him? Marijuana may or may not be legal here soon, but it might not be soon enough. He needs something now.
And I have NOTHING.