Out of now where, my two sisters-in-law appear and take Rich by the hand. The environment changes where I see them walking along a dim lit hallway. My mother-in-law is there too and motions us to follow. We find ourselves in a large shower room and the one sister-in-law who is a nurse, is gently washing Rich. He is in a fetal position, naked, with his back toward us. I go to him and gently bend down to rub his back. He is growing up to be a young man. He turns around and as he does, he changes into baby. My husband and I are the only ones in the room with baby Rich.
Baby Rich appears underdeveloped. His head is bigger than his body. On the right side of his forehead, there is an open wound, but it is not bleeding. He yawns, and I see the wound open to reveal fang like teeth similar to a piranha. I catch my breath, a bit repulsed, I quickly reach to embrace him. This is my son and he is in pain! Repulsion turns into compassion and love. Holding him in my arms, he becomes his 15 year old self again, wearing the blue plaid jacket he likes to chew on. Rich is distressed and in tears. Telepathically asking me, “Why am I like this? Why are there two parts of me? I’m smart and yet others see me as a child?”
My heart is aching and with tears, I say, “Your autism is not who you are. I promise we will work hard and help you through this. You are not alone. We love you”. We hold each other tightly and cry. I feel my tears roll down my face and down my throat, choking me. My heart is breaking into pieces. Then, I feel a gentle hand on my face and a voice saying, “Honey, you are safe, it’s just a dream”. I wake up feeling my husband’s hand cupping my face and stroking my forehead.
A mother raising a child with a profound disability can’t help but contemplate the meaning of life. The gift of this dream, comes after a week of pondering the difference between Soul and spirit. God/Universe seems to keep giving, because a day later, I stumble on the workings of mythologist and psychologists Michael Meade and Thomas Moore. Their contrast of the soul and spirit resonates deeply.