Where do I begin? Well let me start by saying this little guy means the world to our family. He brings so much joy to us. In that I have to share that it has been a long hard road for us. As I think back to where we all started on this journey and look at where we are now I know it was nothing but God. So now I am going to share with you this journey of living with a child diagnosed with Autism.
Let me introduce you to Jahmez! Do you see that beautiful smile? This smile just feels my heart with so much love every time I see it. But what I need you to understand is that this was not always the case. Looking back at where he started I didn’t think we would see the day that he would be so joyous. I can recall a time when this little guy would not give us eye contact. It was almost like he would become anxious if you tried to look at him. I often wondered how life would be for him. Like God will this precious little guy ever be able to express love to any of us. Will he ever be able to allow us to show him love. Hugging was a no no for him. But I always would want to just pick him up and hug and kiss on him. I knew that would send him into a frenzy but he was just so cute! But I think one of the hardest things in the world was him being non-verbal. Having a child not be able to tell you when they’re not feeling well or that they’re hungry is hard. Just thinking of the everyday things that he may need but can’t express to you that he wants. Now as hard as it was for us can you imagine what it’s like for him or others like him? I can’t even begin to internalize what it would be like for me not to be able to express how I’m feeling.
Now let me jump over to the here and now. I am so excited about the progress that Jahmez has made over the years. The little boy who was once non-verbal is now putting words together. To hear him speak to me is a blessing. When ever I hear his voice I just smile. Watching him walk to the cabinet or refrigerator and telling us what he wants is amazing. But one of the best things is telling him that I love him and Jahmez grabbing my face, pulling it to him so that I can kiss his check. That is his I Love You to me. This was something that I once could not do. He is so full of affection until you just want to love on him all of the time.
My family is so thankful to all of the teacher’s that work with him. Teacher’s have the job of pouring into our children daily which I’m sure is hard. But as I think of teacher’s who have the pleasure of working with special needs children I realize they have to have a special heart. This experience has given me the chance to look at teacher’s in a different light and with much more appreciation than I ever had before.
I wrote this to say that if we as a family would have just gone with Jahmez is on the autism spectrum and just went with that would he be where he is now? I watched my mother fight for this little boy because she had so much hope for him. I have seen him grow in ways we never thought possible. Many times we have a diagnosis but does that mean that diagnosis is the end game? It is possible for life to be different from what you saw in the beginning. Don’t just take the diagnosis and give up. Fight to see your children progress in ways you never imagined. Even the small changes that I see in him make me excited because I know that God is an AWESOME GOD!!
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was walking up our driveway, it was in the evening time somewhat dark outside. As, I was walking I saw this man he came from the side of the house. He got close to me told me he had been watching me and I didn’t even know it. Before I knew it he grabbed me covered my mouth and dragged me back to this shed we had. I tried my best to fight him off. He told me, if I scream he would kill me. I was in the fifth grade so of course I was scared and believed him. After it was over I had to get myself together, walk into my house as though nothing happened. I never said anything about the incident for along time, when I finally did it was too late. Meaning no one believed me.
This damaged me beyond what felt like could be repaired. I really didn’t know how to handle what had happened to me. My life from there just become a roller-coaster ride. It changed me in more ways than one, but most importantly it shaped me in a bad way . I became depressed wanting to kill myself, even tried to on more than one occasion. This made me angry causing me to deal by holding everything inside.
I am now about to be 32 years old and this still hurts me to this day. I found it difficult to trust at one point in my life I even turned to women. I didn’t trust men when I would meet them I would sleep with them, because I was scared to say NO. Because saying No meant the possibility of them just taking it from me. I still don’t allow people to get close to me because of the fear of getting hurt. I have even damaged some relationships which I’m not proud of because of the hurt that I was feeling . I’m very guarded causing me to build this wall which has an affect on my relationships today. I was told that I have BPD which is a mental illness .
However, I believe God and as I go through this process called Life this is one of the things that God has to heal me from. As a child I never dealt with this I just tried to covered it up in the hopes of blocking it out. Listen that never works!! One thing that I have learned is that you can’t fix won’t you won’t face.
This story was shared by someone who wanted to remain anonymous. I would like to take the time to thank them for allowing me to share their story with others.
I wrote a blog once about my up and down battle with depression and I was real, honest and raw about it all. See when you are sharing your story be real with others about what you have been through. Your realness will open a gate for others to be real with themselves about where they are. Some of you may not be comfortable with sharing your story and that’s okay. But I am in a place of comfort and I share what God leads me to share. I have heard some say you tell to much of your business. Well because of it I have had others reach out to me and want to know how God brought me out. That alone is enough for me to continue to share and be real about my life. Will there be people that will try to hold my past against me? Absolutely, and I am truly okay with that. The reason I am okay with that is because they can’t share anything about me that I haven’t already shared with the world.
My honesty about me has given me the opportunity to help others. When I log into Facebook and have messages from people who want to talk to me I know that I’m doing what God purposed me to do. I feel like when God has delivered us from something don’t act as if that thing never happened. Don’t walk around like life has always been perfect and you have never had any wrong in your past. Please people take the mask off and let others know that if God delivered you He will do the same for them. Your story could mean life or death for someone else. There is a person out there just waiting for you to be transparent with them about your testimony. So am I willing to take the backlash from the “Holy High Rollers” yes I am if it will help one person.
I realized some time ago that God did not call me to be confined to the 4 walls of the church. I knew that I was going to be to raw for some people. Some may say you keep it to real but I say I’m just being transparent. The things that have happened in my life is the reality for many right now so why not talk about it? Just think about it this way if someone had been transparent with you what difference would that have made in your life? And don’t be so quick to look at another and think that they are beneath you because of where they are right now. They are still human and we are to love them as Christ loves us. Watch your words to them and how you react to them. Just because they are not where you are doesn’t mean that you get to treat them with disrespect. If you only knew how many times I have heard ” I have been mistreated by those in the church” and that hurts me to my heart. When a person is sick, in an accident or dying they go to the hospital for help to get better. Well when people are hurt, broken, depressed, addicted and lost they should be able to come to the church for healing not for “church hurt”.
So I will leave you with this your transparency will help another come out of where they are!
The question that I have to ask is “Why is sexual/physical abuse still taboo in families?” The reason I ask this is because some families still don’t want to address this problem. Is it because they don’t want others looking at their family differently or they just don’t want to believe that it happened? You have some families where this is a generational thing meaning it is a cycle. How can the cycle be broken if the problem is never talked about? Now is the time to make a difference and break the cycle!!!!
So let us first look at sexual abuse. There are so many victims /survivors of sexual abuse. This is not something that just happens to girls but many boys are victims as well. People need to be aware of this fact and not look at it as a one sided problem. We need to be talking to our children and letting them know they can come to us with anything. Have the discussion with your children about sexual abuse. So many people think this could never happen in my family well that is their first mistake. It can happen in any family and awareness is the key. The main thing is that we need to make sure that the child understands that IT’S NOT THEIR FAULT! There are adults who are walking around still blaming themselves for what happened to them as children. This offense is something that a child carries with them into adulthood. Some find it hard to trust others with their own children. It haunts them in their sleep. Sexual abuse causes some to fall into a state of depression. We have to stop sweeping this issue under the rug and face it head on. This has to be done so that others can be SET FREE from this bondage.
How many of you have seen your mother be abused and end up in the same type of relationship? Physical abuse is such a vicious cycle whether you are the abuser or the one being abused. There are so many red flags that we sometimes ignore before it ever gets to the point of turning physical. I sometimes hear women say they stay because of financial reasons, fear, afraid of being alone or because they love them. I have heard men say they stay because of the stigma behind being a battered man. There is nothing that a person can say or do that warrants another to beat their spouse. Also, the verbal abuse is just as devastating as the physical. When a person hears something over and over again they begin to believe the awful things that are being said about them. Words cut you deep just like taking a knife and making a wound. You have to know that there are places out here that can help if you are a victim of abuse. If there is a chance that you can make it out alive please take it. There are many who lose their lives due to Domestic Violence. Don’t allow yourself to be just another statistic.
Abuse can leave more than just physical scars. There are emotional scars that run so deep a person may feel like they will never be able to move forward. Well I am here to tell you that it is possible to have a very product life after abuse. Sometimes in life there will be things that will trigger that painful moment but it is how you respond that will determine if you have healed or not. Don’t allow the pain, anger, bitterness, fear or shame to hold you hostage. Below will be a list of resources that you can use.
National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE(4673)
National Sexual Violence Resource 1-877-739-3895
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE(7233)
That moment when you think you have everything all worked out just to have it backfire in your face, what do you do? Well you can do one of two things. You can fall to defeat or brush yourself off and have faith that God will help you through. Often times we fall into the first scenario. We just automatically give up. Then here it comes blaming God for what didn’t go our way. Or the way we thought He told us it would go. But were you clear about what He wanted you to do? Or was it more of what you wanted to do? We must always be clear about what God is telling us so that we don’t step outside of His will. When we feel defeated emotions are on the rise, mostly anger and depression. Angry at God because we feel He left us. Or depressed because we feel like the world is over. The truth is God has never left our side!!! This is where FAITH comes in!
Haven’t you realized by now that a setback is a setup for a breakthrough!!! The enemy would LOVE for you to lose your faith in The Lord. He wants you to give up and be defeated so he can come in and totally destroy you. But you must hold tight to your faith. All we need is faith the size of a mustard seed.(Matthew 17:20) Some of you God has promised some things and you don’t see it manifesting yet…TRUST!(Hebrews 11:1) Keep the faith that it will come in God’s timing and not yours. DO NOT WALK IN DEFEAT WALK IN FAITH THAT GOD IS ALWAYS WITH YOU. REMEMBER HE KNOWS THE PLANS HE HAS FOR YOU! (JEREMIAH 29:11)
PHOTO NOT MINE!