Bootcamp 2

by Nancy Bekhor

Next day I paid close attention to my mood, the tone of my voice and my general atitude because the bootcamp is still on. It is not possible to put on an act for Marley. Word stuff means not much to him. He ‘gets it’ with vibrations and knows what’s authentic from what’s not. Or better said, ‘he responds to what the other person is really feeling regardless of what they may say’.

You have to understand that those with epilepsy and autism can become extremely, stubborn and obsessive as a precursor to a seizure. When Marley does this he will always apologize profusely later on for the difficulties of dealing with him, but in that bad mood he is stuck and it is emotionally painful for him. He will keep saying, “it’s my head, I cannot stop this”. (Sometimes a seizure discharges this pressure build up and all becomes peaceful again)

In reading many of the autobiographies of those with autism it is apparent to me that many go through seizure-like moments even if not a problem enough to be diagnosed with epilepsy.
If these issues are not understood by the guardians it is easy to see how a kid could be labelled as aggressive and sedated to a point that he is ‘not himself’ anymore.
When it comes to Marley’s need at those times for easy harmonious light vibrations from me, his intolerance for its opposite can turn his behaviour so unpleasant that I then react badly and have my own ‘turn’.
But of course peace and light is what I want too. And when he is lost in the wilderness of not-managing his own feeling state, I am the one who needs to lead by opening my heart in the moment. When I can manage it, I change my state and he instantly matches and we are back being happy. It serves to repeat: This outcome is my goal and the goal of the bootcamp.

I wish I learned how to do this years ago. I remember at age 11 saying,”I want to be happy” when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. Somehow I sensed that I would not find happiness easy. Marley has taught me that it is possible to feel instantly happy in any given moment…or else. I have to say that this ability to ‘shift’ my mood has improved my experience of life dramatically.

I will often tell him that he could tell himself to stop the behaviour but he always wails that he simply cannot. Of course this about self control and maturity and the diagnosis of developmental delay means this will happen, slowly. But just a second here, I am having great difficulty modifying my own behaviour!!! Yet we expect and even demand that these individuals change to our liking.

As I said at the beginning, this day I paid close attention to my mood and here’s what happened:

Marley had told me how at school that day he had protected a girl from a boy’s annoying foot. I asked him to show me how he had helped. Just as his hand was raising in demonstration, I realised that there was a delicate glass that was dangerously in the way of the action. Marley does not ‘see’ the peripherals.
Quickly, I put my hand on top of the glass to protect from a smash. but his hand landed heavily onto of my mine. I screamed as my hand was pushed into the rim. I feared the glass was breaking into my hand.

Luckily I was unharmed. Regardless, Marley went straightways into his “it’s my head” funk because I had shouted out. The sound of it hurts him to his core.
I looked at his contorted face. I know to deal carefully.
Normally, referring to my scream, he would have repeated with menace-curled lip-fangs, “Why do you want to hurt me? Why do you like hurting me?”

Saying” but its an accident” or “I was just trying to help you” would never relieve him at all because ‘words’ do not do it for him. He can remain stuck in the groove of his mood.
Behaviour modification is no easy matter for anyone and I have observed how difficult it is for me to do it.

This day however, Marley behaved very differently. He said for the first time in his life, ” I need to be quiet” as he walked away down the hall to his room.
Two minutes later he returned and everything was back to normal. A landmark! My efforts in this bootcamp are reflecting and resonating in his changing behaviour. Oh Happy Day!
The gig’s up. I hope I really ‘get it’ now.
continued at bootcamp 3 Tormentor to Mentor

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