My child is a rabid animal—a brute, a beast, a demon—lunging, flailing, writhing, wailing. He screams and growls like a taunted bobcat, possessed by some dreadful tormentor. At times his mouth purses into a sickening grimace as if he's bitten something foul or rotten. In the seconds-long brevity of calm between his countless bouts of pain or madness, I recall Regan in The Exorcist, and wonder how and when my child will be released.

Our struggle lasts for over an hour. With him, in his bed to keep him safe, my wild child tears at my hair, shoves fists into my throat, throws elbows in my face, butts my head, grabs my neck, kicks me with his restless legs. My attempts at soft restraint yield us no respite. His savage fits repeat every few seconds in a viscous loop of unknown misery. Are these Cramps? Night terrors? Migraines?

I manage to give him some CBD. When it doesn't ease his distress, I give him extra, rectally. Within ten minutes the frequency of his surges ebbs, their intensity lessens. Half an hour later his rage has waned, and in my arms he begins to settle.

In the dark I lie awake for a bit, his hands clasping the back of my neck, his head pressed into mine the way he likes to sleep. Just outside his window, I think I hear a captured squirrel gnawing on its metal cage. A wild thing trapped and desperate can become insane. Are my child and I like that? Wild animals held captive? Deranged? Each by our own bleak state? I imagine straight jackets and padded cells, lobotomies and opioid pills. I wonder if these wretched episodes will ever end.

Finally tamed, my wild son and I sleep. We are safe. Still, we're living in a virtual cage.

1 comment:

  1. Christy, I read most of your posts and so want to hug you, cry with you and just be with you. Your words are powerful, gut-wrenching and the naked truth. Thank you for telling your story. My son also has seizures nearly every day and I understand, maybe not your specific journey, but this seemingly bottomless pain and suffering and love for our boys. I so often appreciate how your link the suffering of our children ( and us) to the suffering of so many in this world. And how we can all do so much better.