Gravity by Alysia Butler
I am stuck
Buried under the weight
Of unwashed laundry, unpaid bills, and
I can’t breathe
Smothered by the pain
Crushed by the special needs mother that I have become
Versus the mother I thought I would be.
I can’t move
Held down by incompetence
Trying to do everything for everyone
I see my boys
Giggling, tumbling, playing
Like siblings should.
I am weightless
Lifted by their laughter
Buoyed by their love
Ready to take on another day.
After reading Autism disrupted: A Mother’s Journey of Hope, something inside me stirred.
I knew I had to write a poem.
I sent Jennie Linthorst an e-mail. “I was wondering if I should try a stab at a poem about my experience and you could guide me through it? I was trying to think of something creative that not only showed how your work spoke to me, but also how your therapy sessions work. What do you think? Thank you again for the gift of your words. It’s meant so much.”
She sent me a lesson from her poetry therapy workshop: Capture Your Journey With A Special Child. She asked me to read her poem “My Mantra”, and to look through the materials on Perseverance: Your Tools of Inner Strength.
We chatted back and forth through e-mail and on the phone. And the words just spilled out of me.
I need to thank Jennie for her session with me. Her poems hit me at just the right time. I brought “My Mantra” with me to my youngest son’s doctor’s appointment the following Monday, when we received his PDD-NOS diagnosis. Her poem helped me get through that day for so many reasons. She writes about hearing her late mother’s voice in her head, reminding her that “you can do this.” I lost my dad 13 years ago to cancer after I watched him fight that awful disease for a year before that. I often hear his voice in my head, all these years later, with subtle parenting advice. Or a memory pops up, and it gets me through the day.
Just like this poem.
“Everyone is a writer,” says Jennie.
Today, she made me a poet.
Enter to win Jennie’s book at Autism disrupted: A Mother’s Journey of Hope Review/Giveaway. For more information on Jennie’s poetry therapy sessions, visit her site at LifeSPEAKS Poetry Therapy.
(editor’s note: LIFESpeaks Poetry Therapy is a sponsor of the SPD Blogger Network. I was not paid to do this post. In talking with Jennie about the review for her book, we worked together on this poem to show how the power of writing one’s story can help with the healing process. We used the materials from one of her therapy sessions for this work. )