I’ve alluded to it before and was not able to go into detail about it. Evan. Poor, poor Evan.
There is something going on with my oldest miracle and it isn’t something that is easy to pinpoint. I’ve done some research and I have some ideas of , well, what sounds like Evan. But I am far from being a psychologist, and even if I were, I would not trust myself with the mind of my own child.
I read and I read, finally settling on an article for Asperger’s Syndrome. The social awkwardness. The lack of empathy at times. The strange fixations on very narrow topics…Evan. Evan and Evan. The only thing that stumped me was that Evan makes eye contact and doesn’t seem to fear or dread social interaction. He just doesn’t pick up on social cues.
Bipolar disorder. I read this article, and as much as Asperger’s seemed like Evan, this one did as well. The irritability, inability to sleep, the tantrums and opposition. Evan, Evan, Evan once again.
Yesterday, I spoke with his principal, letting her know that we have made arrangements for Evan to see a psychologist and get some help over summer vacation. I told her what I was thinking. Rather than the reassurance I expected to get when she said, “Oh Andrea, it isn’t any of those”, I got her response that they have thought the very same thing: Asperger’s or Bipolar.
On one hand, you have a stop on the autism spectrum of disorders. On the other, you have a disorder that is synonymous with instability. I want neither. I just want my kid. My brown-eyed baby boy who beat every odd out there to enter this world. The one they told me to abort.
He’s so smart, y’all. He’s beautiful. I am so frightened that this is going to be the unraveling of what could have been a perfect life for him. I said it the first time they told us he is gifted and I am going to say it here, once more: I don’t want different. I want normal. And now I am realizing that, regardless of his place on the continuum, I may never get that with Evan. He will always think and feel differently than other children. He will always feel misunderstood. What parent could possibly want that for their child?
It drives me crazy how all of these parents spout off all of this evidence of how their child is brilliant. Don’t they know? Normal is beautiful. Quit trying so hard. Normal means that everything is as it should be. I want normal for Evan so badly that I would do anything if I could pluck that state of being from the sky ang hand it to him. I don’t want to hear him wail the cries of someone who is in so much mental anguish. No child should ever feel that. Mine does. He is also the one left out at gym class. Left to play alone on the playground. We don’t get invitations for playdates or sleepovers. We only get invitations to birthday parties because I give awesome gifts in a subconscious ploy to buy some friends for Ev. I’m sorry, but if that is the life you want for a child, there is no way in hell you should be permitted to have children in the first place.
It is a sad existence for Evan. And as bad as it is for him, each day is like a knife through my very soul. Each time I see him sitting alone or playing by himself in the backyard while neighbor children laugh and play together…It is like someone has ripped out my heart. And I want to run to him. In his frailty, I want to scoop him up to me and protect him from the bastard world that will never deserve him. He is too good. But there is always that voice, “Don’t Andrea. Let him do it himself. You cannot always save him.”
Fuck that. Because as long as he is my son, I will try.