The Proverbial Boogeyman

We were in the emergency room after my son had several seizures at school that were new, different than past ones. As most things go with autism, we were struggling to find any answers or even move forward towards answers. He was fighting an IV as though it were the dawn of the apocalypse. After five tries, they said as they left the room, “We’ll see what the doctor says.”

I sighed.

I knew what was happening. No imaging today, which was probably fine. It wouldn’t have told us much of anything. Yet, it felt very “not okay” all of the way through me. If this were my other children, then this would be a piece of cake. I mean, not easy or anything, just that they would have gotten the IV and had the CAT Scan. And doesn’t Evan deserve the same treatment? Absolutely, we all say, nodding our head. Yet, he doesn’t.

At the time, it felt like a grave injustice. He was being discriminated against! I messaged my four people, “Isn’t this so unfair!?!?” Yes, they said.

All but one.

All but one, who said that it might be unfair or it might not be. And those words gave me enough space to breathe and think. And I thought.

Why do I assume everyone is out to get us?

I knew I had touched something in my life that was foundational and deeply engrained. So I did what everyone does. Okay, maybe not everyone….

I avoided it.

In my defense, I do think that was an appropriate response at the time. I mean, the emergency room isn’t really the place for pondering our world perspectives. Perhaps it should be though? Either way, I wasn’t really capable of addressing my victim-mindset at that moment.

Today, it’s Monday. Five days have passed. It’s time to confront this bad boy head on.


Sarcasm noted.

When did I become a victim? Was it when my sister and I confessed that an abnormally large amount of bad things happened on our side of the family while our husband’s families seemed to be hunky-dory? Or was it all of the years listening to my mom play the martyr? (By the way, all moms have the right to martyrdom.) Or was it just when autism emerged as a fact of life?

I wonder if it really matters where it came from or when it emerged.

Maybe, all that matters is looking at it and saying, “I am no victim.” Maybe, all I need is to recognize that the boogeyman is not lurking around every corner, waiting to attack. Maybe there is no boogeyman or if there is, he’s just a friendly teacher. Maybe pain and suffering aren’t the end of the story, but only the beginning.

Maybe the discouragement in the emergency room isn’t all consuming. Maybe it’s just one moment in time. Moments in time pass. Nothing is forever.


That word is the key. When it feels like the end or a grave injustice has occurred, then all we need is to say “Maybe…” And follow it up with another possibility.

Perhaps flexibility in our thinking is the way forward, the end to finite trials and the beginning of evolution.


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