Monday’s dirty laundry

I started the week off by having to buy a new washing machine. The last couple of weeks it sounded like a gun range in my house every time I threw in a load of laundry. Bang, bang, pop, pop, pop. Then this morning it almost started on fire. Good thing I didn’t throw in a load and leave for work. Stinky smoke billowed out of our utility room. I sure hope this is not an indicator of how the rest of the week will go. Lol. 

Yesterday my mom came over for supper. We spoke about my mother’s childhood years. She said that as the second oldest girl, without older brothers, it was her job to assist her dad in his work. His job was very labor intensive. She spent the summers picking cucumbers to sell to help support her family. She had to help her mother wash clothes, including cloth diapers every day, in a basin with bleach. They did not have a washer or dryer. It sure makes me appreciate my broken washer, or should I say being able to afford to buy a nice new front loader. 

I wish that my mom would write down her stories so I could understand her life more. Just like I hope someday my kids will read my writing and understand me more.
Then we talked about Matt and parenting an autistic child in the late 70’s. She said that she was thinking about writing down everything that happened to help herself heal. At times like this, I am so tempted to tell her about my blog but didn’t. She said that she is helping herself heal by helping others that are struggling. She has more compassion than anyone. She said that she wouldn’t have been able to make it through without her faith in God.

We spoke about the abuse that Matt suffered at the hands of the school. She said that she only saw Matt cry twice in his life. He cried when he spoke of what happened at school. It was absolutely barbaric. The teacher had him sit underneath her desk while she sat at her desk. If Matt touched her, she would kick him. One teacher held him face down on the floor while the other sat on his back. He couldn’t breathe. That is the story he cried about. There was a disabled child that died that year from a teacher that used the same discipline method.

We spoke about my mom’s church friends. I was not aware of this, she said one time when Matt swore in church her friend hit him. Another friend told my mom that they needed to beat it out of him. Oh, my dad did try to beat it out of him. It didn’t work. My mom spoke of when my dad kept hitting Matt over and over trying to beat it out of him. I told her that I remember that day clearly because it was my first childhood memory. I remember the screaming of my dad and Matt. I remember the plunking noise of Matt being knocked back and forth against the cupboards in the kitchen.

My mom said that Matt crawled around on the floor like an animal. He spent a lot of time screaming after he quit talking. 

Later on he became fixated on hurting little girls and I just happened to be the only little girl around. My mom said that she felt terrible that I had to suffer. She spoke of the birth of her first grandchild, my daughter Angel. She said that she was excited and filled with joy the day Angel was born. But her second feeling was horror because she knew what that might mean.

Matt did hurt Angel. What I didn’t tell you was that the two years leading up to the attack, Matt became obsessed with the thought of hurting Angel. He ruminated about it. He asked questions about what it would be like if he pulled her hair, twisted her arm, hit her, or held her head underwater when we were together. My mom and I were worried. I had to take a step back from Matt.

When Matt hurt Angel on her 4th birthday, my mom went in the other room and cried. She was so upset that she didn’t talk and was inconsolable. Luke took Matt home and the whole time it was like he was possessed. He laughed. The voices in his head were whispering over and over out loud. I almost forgot about his maniacal laughter after hurting someone. I could only describe it as evil or demonic.

My mom was at her breaking point. We had to part ways. She quit going to church for the next 3 years. She was angry at God for allowing this to happen. 

We have forgiven Matt for all of the things that happened. But it has been a long road and painful process.

Tomorrow I am going to start another autism series. I have a copy of Matt’s clinical diagnosis report from the early 80’s. I have been holding on to it for the last 20 years. I am going to share it with you along with my feelings about what was written.

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