Spring is in the air. It is starting to get warm enough outside to leave the jacket at home (Oregon is a bit behind as far as Spring temperatures go). This is one of my favorite times of year. I love seeing my yard come to life with flowers and the trees becoming green again. My hometown is known as "Cherry City" and to see all of the cherry trees blossoming is a beautiful sight.
This year the warm weather is presenting a new challenge for me. With jackets leftoff, and my arms in short sleeved t-shirts, I am drawing attention, and not in a good way. I have bruises all over my arms- several small, finger sized, and some larger, painful, eye-catching marks, the worst of which is new- a dark, round, obvious bite mark near my wrist. Jacob's mouth isn't the size of a toddler's anymore, so the wounds don't look like they were put there by a child with baby teeth who's bite would be more acceptable.
Jacob's strength continues to increase, and being scratched and bruised is a common malady for both Chris and I. As we sit together at night and discuss the day, rarely a conversation passes without mention of how hard it is to feel as if we are living as battered parents.
When a person looks at my arms they either pretend they didn't notice the obvious, make comments to the people with them I that can't hear, or look in my eyes with question and pity. I haven't decided yet if I'd rather have these strangers know I am a victim of abuse by my child or let their imaginations run wild. Maybe it shouldn't matter to me what anyone else thinks when the see my battle scars, but it is ugly and embarrassing anyway, and it matters more than I'd like it to.
I have been going through my closet everyday as I get dressed, looking for tops that are comfortable in the warm air, but still have long sleeves. I feel like a woman must when she decides to wear sunglasses to cover her black eye. Is it shame?
There are so many questions right now as to how we are going to change the dictator-like control that Jacob has over our home. We have interviewed and hired a new caregiver, a young woman who has two autistic brothers and several years of experience working with lower-functioning kids. My hopes are up that she will have some helpful ideas and can help us make nessasary changes. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes makes all the difference.
A was able to spend a few hours taking pictures last week. It is one of my personal therapies, to look at the world and its beauty and forget for a while how hard things can be.
Catch me if you can........