Before I get started in this particular post I want to explain what will be happening after this first paragraph. We (my 12 y/o son and I) are conducting an experiment based on words and illustrations from my son’s personal handwritten journal. He has been writing in his journal for around 4 years now, prior to that it was used to color, doodle, and paste things inside. The eventual evolution to writing came involuntarily to him as he was looking for a non-verbal way to express himself and what he was feeling. Those of y’all visiting for the first time will need to know that my son is autistic and bipolar. The degree of each is hard to say because doctors won’t ever say, they only say he is still in the stages of development and all we can really do is watch and learn every day. As an observation, there are many days he looks as though he is in shear pain and others that he seems as happy as one can expect a 12 y/o boy to be. The following is taken from his journal.
“December 29, 2013
My dad asked me today if I would like to play him a few games of chess. Because I had paused before responding he looked at me like I didn’t want to play. When will we play should have been his question. It seems like such a long time between times that we do get to play. I know he is busy being everybody’s dad. I understand that he is not just my dad but I wish my dad was just my dad more times. When we are together I am not reminded by my sisters that I need to share because now I don’t have to share. I wonder what it will be like when sissy moves away after graduating school. I heard my mom say she would still live here while she was going to school for a few more years. That fact does not make me happy at all. Time to go play chess as I’m being summoned to the kitchen table.
I would think that after 9 years of playing chess I could learn how to beat my dad like I beat my friends so quickly. It sucks. I have never won playing him. He tells me it is for my own good that he does not let me win because it will give me false hope because I didn’t earn the win. I respect his feelings but sometimes I can see the win but he always takes it away from me. Todays score, dad 8, me 0. To top it all off 6 of them were checkmates under 12 moves. He really must think I am stupid. Sometimes when I make a mistake he looks at me with a stare that really hurts my feelings, that look makes me angry, I want to cry. I can’t cry, mom says big boys don’t cry when they get hurt but it still hurts. My dad frustrates me because I can’t figure out which tactic he is using until it is too late. He has been playing chess forever. One day I want to win just once. I don’t want to win because then he might not want to play chess with me any more. He is so good and I will never be that good and I just want to be that good, good enough to win every time. We have played so many games, thousands of games, so many losses, never a stalemate because it never gets to be that close. Enough.
I’m laying in bed once again unable to sleep. I don’t dare risk getting caught playing on my phone, watching the tv, messing with my tablet, or anything else. I cannot go to sleep because I want to talk to my dad about questions I have but can never remember. I don’t like this time of night, I really hate this time of night, its too dark even with my flashlight but I cant turn on my light. My dad told me he knows what I do when I cant sleep, he says he knows I’m reading, drawing, or writing. He doesn’t know what I’m writing because he has never asked me to read any of my thoughts. I want to turn the light on because I’m not scared but I don’t know what those noises are or what to expect. I told my dad that I hear sounds and voices sometime at night and he told me it is the wind. Can the wind say my name. Can the wind have a voice I don’t recognize. I put my head covered in the pillow and the sounds get louder, they get closer, and they get clearer. He said we have an appointment tomorrow with the therapist, not for anything like I said but because it has been two weeks and it’s time once again.
I don’t want to go to therapy because we talk about what she wants to talk about but not what I want to talk about. I want to yell at her. I want to scream at her because I want to hate her but she is nice to me and she makes me smile. The last time we went to see her she asked what I dream about at night when I am asleep. I feel bad because I made up a story that I saw on tv because I don’t want anyone to know I don’t dream too often and when I do it is too scary to talk about to anybody. I do not want to talk her about my dreams. Why has my dad never asked me about what I dream about. I think he knows that I don’t like my dreams because I heard him tell my mom once that he doesn’t dream either. I wonder what his dreams are about and if he gets scared. Does my dad even get scared I wonder. She will ask me again about sleeping and dreaming. I want to tell her other things. I want to ask her questions for once.
I only have one question for her. Why are the sounds in my head so loud so often and so quiet so little.”
I have read that passage a few times before I transcribed it here. It brings tears to my eyes each time. Much of this I knew already but there are some things that are new to me. I asked if he was sure he wanted to make this the test post and he told me it was the one. I’m really at a loss for words. I think it might be time to be shopping for a new therapist tho.