Suspended Reality

I sit in my quiet house watching snow falling on branches of trees that had already started blooming again. But the really unusual part of that sentence is that one word – “quiet.” That’s right – my sons are not home this week.

They visit their father in LA for several weeks every summer, as well as Spring Break and Christmas. I’ve mentioned The 700-Mile Kid Swap before, as well as what happened the last time we did it. But this time was by far the most beautiful (scenery-wise). We took a little detour into north-central California to meet up with their dad at a different spot, since he wanted to take the boys to visit his mother for a few days. And the drive there was simply incredible. At one point we drove through seven miles of orchards. Yes – seven miles of orchards one right after another! And through the trees we could see views of beautiful Mt. Lassen, which Nigel and I climbed last summer. Nigel liked seeing Mt. Lassen, but Aidan was enamored with the orchards. “I would love to live here,” he said in a dreamy voice.

So now they are away this week, and my home is quiet. And I have tons of things to do to fill that time, but I feel like I’m missing an arm and a leg with the boys gone, and it’s hard to get anything done that way. I don’t feel like myself when they’re not here. I’m living in a suspended reality.

I sometimes wonder if that’s what life is like for Nigel – he has his way of viewing the world, and a lot of it is very different from how others view it. And I especially wonder how it is for him being on Risperidone. He is calmer, yes, and can regulate his behavior a bit better, but he is not himself. It is a subdued version of him, a suspended reality.  His eyes – and his demeanor – are different. I know – this was what we wanted. He wanted it, too. We wanted the change in behavior. But I didn’t know there would be a change in him, in his countenance.  

Again I remind myself that he doesn’t need to be on it forever – just a couple of years, I hope, until he learns to regulate his behavior himself. And eventually he will, of that I am sure. He says he can feel the difference in himself, and he is satisfied with the results, which is most important. But I’m looking forward to the day when he no longer needs to take it, and I can have the real Nigel back. For now, though, I know that I’ll still enjoy the company of the modified Nigel. He may not appear to be himself right now, but he’s still unequivocally Nigel.  And I’ll smile as I think of him at the sunny beach this week, while I watch the snow fall.

13 thoughts on “Suspended Reality

  1. Sheri

    I’m sorry you’re missing those extremities…I would imagine balance seems very hard to obtain without them. Hope your week is peaceful.

  2. kristi

    Another reason why I struggle with the medication thing. We have not put TC on medication as of yet. But we realize we may have to in the future.

  3. Michelle S

    here’s sending you love while your boys are away. I imagine you would feel a bit lost. If I’m on vacation I don’t feel that way, just here and there, but it’s different when you are home and they are all around you. . . I somehow feel peaceful after reading this!

  4. Carrie

    My daughter was on Risperidone for 2 years – made a big difference. I know the anguish in the meantime, though. Totally.

  5. jess

    i can’t imagine the quiet. it must be difficult without the boys, but i do hope you can enjoy the peace in it.


  6. mama mara

    Nigel may adjust to the Risperidone and be more “himself” in time. If not, talk to the doc and ask what he thinks. We’ve had to try more than one med before we hit on what worked best for my boys.

    I hope your boyless time includes lots of “just-for-you” indulgences.

  7. Rhemashope

    This is a beautiful. I can feel the quiet.

    I have watched anti-seizure medication alter Rhema as well. It makes me appreciate the real her – with all the limitations – so much more.

    My twin sister has a similar arrangement with her daughter’s father. When her daughter is away, she is simply not whole. But do enjoy this peaceful time as best you can.

  8. Alicia

    I cannot explain how excited I am to to have found your blog!!!! Most of the blogs I read regarding autism are either very ‘news’ish (just made up that word) or seem to address those with YOUNGER kids. My daughter who is on the autistic spectrum will be 14 in May, and we’re kinda past the “early intervention” stuff and into the meat of ‘real life’ with autism. In other words, we’re done with the ‘saving’ and on with the ‘living’ and ‘accepting’. its just a different stage, thats all.

    I also have 3 other ‘typical’ girls, aged 4,3, and 15months.

    The OTHER reason I’m excited about your blog is that your writing is phenomenal, so I wasn’t surprised to see that you are a writer (ya know, when I was stalking you through your bio). I too write, though I cannot say I’m a writer (trained as a psychologist – aspiring to be a writer, and that may be as far as i get- aspiring…). Anyway, I’m very interested in your book… I am putting together a book proposal and always am thirsty to hear about the experiences of those who have found success… since I, um, haven’t had any yet 🙂

    wow, what a long and highly personalized post… I probably should have emailed you directly,huh? Well, too lazy to delete and retype, so this is it!

    long story long… SOOOO happy to have found your blog 🙂

  9. Tera

    The comment about his eyes…it hit me. Kaeden’s eyes are his window to his soul. At any moment, I have learned to read him from the look of his eyes. I hate the fact that medication tampers with that. But what is a mother to do? We do the best we can for our kids, and knowing we are doing our best is all that will keep us sane. Try to enjoy your quiet time.

  10. Chun Wong

    Wow, must be quiet without them! Sorry that you miss them, but I hope you manage to get some valuable “me” time, all parents need that.

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