Parenting

When He Outgrew 'Cute'

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When he outgrew cute

The looks changed from compassion to concerned Towards him And towards those who supported him. And sometimes disgust Overshadowed concern As he stubbornly clung to his ways.

When he outgrew cute

The calls increased Calls desperate for help Desperate for summer options for a fifteen-year-old in diapers Desperate for respite Desperate for adaptive equipment Desperate for anything that would assist a non-verbal man child Or anyone And the voices were silent Or they whispered – Sorry. Sorry. Sorry.

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When he outgrew cute

His movements were no longer celebrated But instead feared Violent head banging Aggressive pulling Dangerous optimism With the strength of a man And not that of a child.

When he outgrew cute

The damage began Damage to walls Damage to others And damage to himself And this damage Wreaked havoc on more than just objects in his path. It wreaked havoc on psyches as well.

When he outgrew cute

The walls caved in And the house became a tomb And the isolation suffocated those within As they desperately yearned to belong To something Somewhere.

When he outgrew cute

Milestones were no longer encouraged And his future grew dim And symptoms of PTSD set in For those who loved him and had been Rattled by his screams for years.

When he outgrew cute

Mood altering drugs were doled out like candy One option after another For him And also – Suggested for his caregivers. Drugs to dull the pain Drugs to pacify Drugs to silence the demons

When he outgrew cute

She outgrew herself As every ounce of strength was poured into him And she got lost in the daily grind Lost in the sleepless nights And invisible behind the never ending tasks

When he outgrew cute

She outgrew silence And she raised her voice To join the cacophony for change And her battle cry rose – A better tomorrow! For him And for those who loved him. Because when he outgrew cute He outgrew society And that’s simply not an option. For anyone. Anymore.

When he outgrew cute

She found the strength to move forward To move towards advocacy And move towards hope. She found the strength To keep going And keep growing And she found the strength To just keep living.