I saw my mother-in-law last night…it was the first time I’ve seen her since she died. She told me that she would be there for me. But I wasn’t in my house…I was in my childhood home. My husband was there too. He was trying to fix something that was not fixable..
I woke up crying at 4:30 AM. I feel it happening again.
When I got the news, I was driving my car. I wanted to cry.
Then I felt angry. I drove faster than usual. I wanted to punch someone. I almost wanted someone to hurt me so I could kick, punch, scream, and fight back.
When I got home from my swimming class, I wanted to go for a long hard run. But it was getting dark out.
I felt deep sorrow. It took me to some dark places. It brought back demons so ugly, dark, and evil that I couldn’t possibly outrun them by running hard.
How could we not see what was happening? When Matt was taken off of his anti-psychotic medicine what did we expect would happen?
Matt was taken off of his medication because long term use was straining his liver..
Then started the sleepless nights of agitation. The tics and Tourette’s. The gagging and throwing up of meals. The extreme anxiety.
It wasn’t withdrawal. It wasn’t a virus. The old Matt was back. We just didn’t recognize him because he was gone for so long.
Don’t you remember Alissa? I used to read you books at night…books like Little Women. But Matt would pace the floors in agitation keeping everyone up until midnight. I had to stop reading to you. I had to be with him.
Then yesterday my mom told me that the hallucinations came back.
It started with a dream. A dream of Matt hurting my niece. In the dream, he killed her. He has become fixated on hurting her.
You see, I was Matt’s first victim. Year after year, day after day..it was me that he hurt. He punched me. He kicked me. He clawed me. He bit me.
After awhile, it seemed almost normal.
I wasn’t allowed to fight back. I wasn’t allowed to feel anything.
Then I grew up and had a little girl of my own.
Matt became obsessed with her…or I should say that he became obsessed with hurting her. What would happen if I held her head under water? What would happen if I twist her arm? Would she cry? The voices told him to hurt her.
Then one day he did.
He hurt my daughter on her 4th birthday. After my brother and husband wrestled Matt off of her, my brother Luke took Matt home. Matt went into a psychotic episode so bizarre. He muttered to himself for hours not seeming to be aware of his surroundings.
He still obsessed about hurting my daughter for years afterwards. I had to isolate myself from my family. I did not allow Matt around my daughter for years after that.
Then Matt went on anti-psychotic medicine and became a very peaceful loving person. He started giving hugs instead of bruises. Eventually we were able to reunite as a family once again.
But then this happened.
My mom decided to put Matt back on his medication despite the possible health risks.
Matt loves his family and doesn’t understand why he would want to hurt them.
My brother Luke is keeping his little girls away from Matt until he gets better again.
I never understood how autistic people could be violent. Hearing voices that tell you to hurt someone you love does not seem like a symptom of autism to me. But, a lot of autistic people I know who are violent are non-verbal. Would they be telling the same stories if they could talk?? How is this even possible?
I took the news about this pretty hard.
We will be okay. We will get through this again.
I just feel very compelled to share my story with you.
Please, if you are going through something similar…I would love to hear from you. I feel very alone in all of this.