Aaron’s Tears

Let me say right from the beginning of this blog post that I am sorry for writing another sad Aaron story.  As if The Flip Side – my previous blog – wasn’t enough, here I go again.  But I promise to have happy stories and huge Aaron smiles coming up.  After all, Halloween is right around the corner and Aaron is nothing short of over-the-moon excited about all things Halloween and pumpkins and…for the first time ever (really!)…a costume that he cannot WAIT to wear!!

In my last blog I tried to explain the impact that Aaron’s obsessions have on his everyday life.  In true autistic fashion, he will become hyper-focused on something that soon controls his decisions and his emotions. 

Water, as in the drinking of water, is another of Aaron’s obsessions.  Years ago, our daughter told him that there was such a thing as drinking too much water.  She was right.  In 2015, Aaron ended up in the hospital.  He was incoherent and unable to walk.  His sodium was dangerously low.

Over the years we have attempted to control his water urges but it’s very difficult to do so with a grown man who is able to get his own water…and is very sneaky about hiding water bottles, especially at bedtime. 

Three weeks ago, after routine bloodwork, I got a call from his doctor informing us that Aaron’s sodium was low again.  Aaron did a great job of reducing his fluid intake and in only one week his levels were normal again.  We praised Aaron for the good work, and he was quite thrilled.

But water obsessions are like an addiction.  The urges for lots of water returned, along with our removing bottles from his room and threatening to lock the garage refrigerator with all the water bottles inside.  Gary and I hadn’t figured out what to do about the faucets or the fridge water dispenser.  Ugh!!

Aaron has been doing better the past few days, though, and so we can only hope that he is learning to control himself.  But this past Monday at his day group was rough.

Aaron got some coffee at QuikTrip, and it accidentally was kicked over by a friend.  It spilled all over the floor.  He had taken water with him that day, but decided he wanted a bottle of water that was inadvertently offered to him.  A staff reminded him that he couldn’t have more water.  All of this was just too much, and the tears came.

He was totally dejected.  A staff took this picture of him in her office.

At first I smiled, but then I zoomed in, and the look on his face…

Well, it broke my heart.  And then I was crying.

If there was ever a picture of Aaron’s deep frustrations, this is it.

But why do I share this? 

Because I want others to know that these fixations of Aaron’s…and of so many others with autism or other issues…are life changing for them and are not to be flippantly brushed aside with a, “Oh, just get over it, Aaron.”

He can’t “just get over it.”

He is so deeply affected by his own fixations.

My blogging friend, Nancy, commented on The Flip Side that I wrote last week. 

“Dear Aaron,” she wrote, “it must be SO frustrating to deal with uncontrollable urges.”

Her comment touched me so much because she acknowledged that Aaron’s urges…his obsessions…are truly uncontrollable.  And she expressed empathy for that side of Aaron because of how deeply impacting it is in his life. 

How frustrating it is for him.

And I know that if I can look at Aaron through eyes of understanding and compassion, then hopefully he will see and feel the fact that he is understood and loved. 

Easy?  No.  Especially in the heat of the moment, or late at night when I am carrying three water bottles out of his room while he loudly protests.

Yet again, though, Aaron has shown me how much I am this way with my heavenly Father.  How I let my obsessions for things that aren’t good for me control my thoughts and my actions.

The mercy and grace that God gives to me is exactly what I need to show to Aaron. 

I goof up and God is there to forgive and to instruct, and to patiently love me through the repercussions of my repeated actions.

 I must do the same for Aaron…forgiving and instructing and most importantly, loving him through the repercussions he might face.

And maybe look into a water sniffing dog, as well?  😊

Author: Patty hesaidwhatks

I'm Patty and I write about our adult son who has Epilepsy and Autism, who still lives with my husband and me, and who is a package full of many surprises and joys and challenges and TALK! Lots of talking, which creates laughter and some other reactions as well. I also write about how God shows Himself to me in everyday life.

23 thoughts on “Aaron’s Tears”

  1. Oh, how often do we want what we cannot have and pout about it! The grief on Aaron’s face is so graphic. There might be a water sniffing dog! Although I do not know if Aaron would understand, Jesus told the woman at the well that he had living water that would quench her thirst. I pray that Aaron would see the living water coming out of him so he would not overdo physical water. Also, I pray that God would give you and Gary creative water ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this, Patty. It reminds me of working with difficult patients who truly have no control but are not understood by those around them. You have to show them mercy and grace for their plight. To not would be cruel.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You give us hope and an example Patty. Thanks for being willing to share. We’re just grandparents not parents to Christian who is our own Aaron. We love him to death but I know his mom struggles as she had 4 others to try and parent at the same time. Our son has his moments too when Christian just pushes his button one time too many. Bless you all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can be such a struggle to daily parent these children. Then throw other kids in the mix and boy, some days and moments are just too much. I completely understand what your son and DIL are going through, and I know that your understanding means the world to them. Blessings to each of you!


  4. Dear Aaron! I can only imagine his frustration, heightened as it is by autism and seizures. The life lesson you pinpoint from this experience is a vital one. I too have “let my obsessions for things that aren’t good for me control my thoughts and my actions.” May we all lean on our God more consistently as we fight these battles!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to see your son that unhappy, and not be able to “fix it.” And thanks for reminding the rest of us that people with obsessions can’t “get over it.” Their desires, and their pain, is real, and they deserve our compassion. And the people who love and care for them deserve our compassion too!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can only begin to imagine what it must be like to watch Aaron go through his obsession with water. This school year I am teaching in SPED. We have 9 little boys with autisum in our class. It’s hard to watch them struggle on a daily basis with obsessions and continuous stemming. We pray most mornings at 7:40 before school starts asking God to open our eyes to their needs and for understanding, wisdom, and to love our children well. God has used your post to open my eyes to a few things. Thank you for writing Aaron’s story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This blesses me so much, Deb. I’m thrilled to see you and the other teacher’s love for your special students, and especially that you pray every day for them and for you as you work with them. And I’m very blessed to know that what I write might give some insights and understanding that can help. That’s a big goal of mine in writing about Aaron. Bless you and every other teacher and worker who love and guide these amazing children!


  7. Boy this one pulls at my heart Patty. I somewhat understand Aaron’s frustration. Because going through counseling and trying to heal (IN MY MIND) childhood trauma sometimes feels like what you described: ‘In true autistic fashion, he will become hyper-focused on something that soon controls his decisions and his emotions.’

    That childhood trauma has caused hyper-focused anxiety or triggers in my life that sometimes controls my thoughts and feelings. It’s rough and feels uncontrollable like you said as well. But as Jesus comforts my worries it does remind me to have mercy and grace for others who are struggling with various things. God can use the hard things for His glory and to make us relatable for one another.

    Prayers for you all as you navigate through these situations, may they be seen as opportunities to grow closer to God.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All of us have so much in common, don’t we? I become hyper-focused on worries at 4:00 in the morning when I can’t sleep. Mentally grabbing on to God’s promises doesn’t even always soothe my mind. What you said about having mercy and grace for others and using these hard things to relate to others is exactly what Paul said about using the way we have been comforted by God to comfort others. You have had that impact on my life, Alicia, as I read your blog and I’m thankful for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very sweet and honest comment Patty. Thank you for the reminder of Paul.
        I, too, understand the discomfort when God’s promises don’t even seem to soothe the mind. (🙏🙏🙏Lord help us to become calm in the messes and listen for your truth.)
        I’m so thankful to God for you, Aaron, and your blog.❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Patty,
    I have been reading your blog for about a year. You have been such an encouragement to me! It amazes me how you can see things in the spiritual light. So many times I have seen myself in Aaron!
    You are a perfect example of an older godly woman who teaches me a young woman. May God bless you more than you could ever think or imagine!!

    Liked by 2 people

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