My son was working on my mother’s water system this morning. She has been having problems with it off and on for months. He planned to install a new pump because he could tell the old one was not pumping water. He was gone longer than I expected and when he came back he did not come into the house. I was looking for him and then saw him lying on the trampoline. I knew immediately the project had not gone well.
Later when he came into the house, I asked him how it went and he walked out again without saying a word. I knew by the look on his face that he was attacking himself for not being able to fix the problem or not being able to figure out what the problem is or something. For so many years I spent countless hours attacking myself for not being good enough – I know what it looks like when someone is doing that to themselves. And I could feel him having a hard time.
I certainly wished there was something I could do to help him! What I was most aware of though was his pain triggered the fear vibration in my body and I found myself saying, it’s okay! I’m safe! It seemed like I had no defense to hold his self-attack away from me and I was feeling attacked too. I have felt this before when he had a hard time, but not in quite this way.
When it has happened in the past, I felt his stuff was triggering my own stuff. This time, since I had a great day yesterday and I was feeling good today too, I was clear I was being very much affected by his pain and it wasn’t bringing up my own. It was more like his pain sent me immediately to the place inside that is familiar with that vibration and can easily resonate with it. I felt uncomfortable and although I have had a lot of practice sitting with that feeling, I wanted to do something to get away from it, to distract myself.
As I was out picking raspberries, doing something with my body to help me deal with the feeling, it occurred to me, is this maybe what it’s like for many of the children who are autistic? They don’t have the usual defenses most of us learn how to create to hold up for protection from the intensity of emotion in all the people around them? So they withdraw and do whatever they can to create some kind of defense mechanism to help them survive what they feel coming into their space?
Gees, if that is true, I can sure relate to how hard that would be and why they would need to create protection! There is so much harshness around us, so much unconsciousness. I want to bring softness and gentleness into my life and the lives of those I touch by bringing awareness, acceptance and love into the space. Let us sit together with the feelings and together we can find a way through what ever situation is in front of us to address.