This is not the post I wanted to write.
He's beautiful when he sleeps. So peaceful, his body quiet, relaxed. His mind, seemingly calm.
He can be beautiful when he's awake, too. But heartbreakingly, we are seeing less and less of that now.
There is an intruder in my house.
I can't tell you what it is. But I can tell you its intent is sinister. Its actions are dark, insidious, terrifying and uninvited. And it's after Josh.
This intruder has been here before. When Josh was little, it tried to take him then. It spent endless hours tormenting my tiny Toad to the point where he was hurting himself in to a bloody mess on a daily basis. Out of desperation, we tried a medication that had no basis in scientific evidence for its use in Autistic children but had volumes of anecdotal evidence to suggest it might help. And help it did. Celexa sent the intruder away.
A few summers ago, the intruder tried to come back again. This time, forcing Toadie to lash-out at others instead of himself. We started him on Lamictal, and once again, sent the intruder away.
A few months ago, the intruder returned yet again. This time it seems, with no intention of leaving. It is heavily armed, it is dangerous, it is dark and terrible, and has fortified its defences to the point of invincibility. And it is taking Josh. It's taking him somewhere frightening and violent and as hard as I try I can't save him.
Out of nowhere, Josh will go from my sweet, forehead-kissing toad, to an animal - an angry, aggressive, wild, cornered animal that for all intents and purposes, seems to be fighting for his life, even though nothing is threatening him. As small as he is, even at twice his weight, I can't hold him. And I have to, otherwise I will be seriously injured - he comes after you, relentlessly attacking. He pinches, thrashes, kicks, and I suspect it's only because I've been careful that I haven't been bitten as well. And you can't get away. It's a frenzy of aggression that is fast, strong, constant, and un-breakable. I can try to talk to him calmly, I can try to get him to look at me - but the intruder is all I see behind his eyes when this happens and there's nothing I can do. It's like my Toad is gone, there is only this ... thing... inside him and you can't get to Josh until it's decided to let him go.
I can't even begin to explain what it's like being hurt by your own child. I know this is not the same as if Zach hauled off and hit me, I know that. But Josh is still my baby, my Toadie, and I have bruises all over from his pinching, took a couple of hard shots to the shins yesterday when he started kicking, and am lucky my jaw isn't broken from the elbows I took there. I have to imagine that whatever is causing this can't be nice for him either. But I don't know what to do. His Dr is at a point where it's just a guessing game now and whatever we try is just a shot in the dark since anything that has some science behind it has failed for various reasons.
The Abilify did nothing. The Risperdal was showing some promise but then the hives started. He's still breaking out, many many weeks later, but, they were very definitely worse when he was on it. We tried Seroquel after that - and these are some hard core anti-psychotics we're talking about now - and it only made things worse, if you can even imagine that. So now what? We're going to see if taking him off the Celexa makes a difference, maybe his serotonin levels are way off the charts.... but, maybe he just needs more, since he's on a lower dose and there is a problem with accommodation over time. It's all just a crap-shoot right now.
Something needs to work soon.
We can't go anywhere with him any more. Literally, no where. Even places he wants to go.
Josh has been seriously affected by whatever it is that Autism does to him for many, many, years. Up until now, I've never been angry. I've never felt the need to be. My focus has always been to just do what needed to be done for him, keep him as happy as he could be, and not waste my energy being angry. But now I'm pissed. Because now I can't even do those things for him.
The intruder is taking him and I will fight it to my last breath.
Whatever this is has chosen the wrong child. Because no matter how hard it is, how painful, how sad, or how frightening, Josh is my baby. So watch out, you goddamned intruder monster because I will take you and rip you apart with my bare hands if I have to.
Just LEAVE MY SON ALONE, you impossible son-of-a-bitch.